Months of re­search pays off for gran as book proves a hit

De­but novel set in le­gal world reaches top 10

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE - By Ed McCon­nell em­c­connell@thek­m­group. @EdMcCon­nel­lKM

A grand­mother’s painstak­ing re­search into the le­gal world has seen her de­but novel chart­ing in­side the top 10.

For­mer gov­ern­ment ad­vi­sor Clare Bal­dock from Lin­ton Road, Loose, wrote high oc­tane Out of Court af­ter spend­ing months look­ing at the le­gal sys­tem.

The 69-year-old, who was also a busi­ness man­ager at Corn­wal­lis school for more than a decade, based the book on an ear­lier short story she had writ­ten.

It tells the story of bar­ris­ter Olivia Bai­ley who is forced into a clan­des­tine out of court al­liance with her ad­ver­sary, the highly suc- cess­ful Michael Gor­don-Jones QC, af­ter a ma­jor fraud trial is aban­doned.

As the bizarre case pro­gresses an un­likely sus­pect is iden­ti­fied and Olivia strug­gles to re­sist the grow­ing temp­ta­tion of Michael.

Mrs Bal­dock said: “Out of Court is a tale of mur­der, sus­pense and emo­tional en­tan­gle­ment.

“I wrote a short story called A Law­ful Week­end and a dear friend, who is also a writer, said I should make it the start of a novel. That was more years and rewrites ago than I care to re­mem re­mem­ber. A lot of le­gal and po­lice pro­ce­dural re­search was re­quired to turn the short story into a con­vinc­ing novel, but it was worth it.”

The mother- of- three, who has seven grand­chil­dren, lives with her hus­band Neil and has only just al­lowed her fam­ily to read her fin­ished novel, de­spite it re­ceiv­ing a five-star reader re­view on its re­lease and reach­ing num­ber nine in Ama­zon’s crime chart. She said: “I paid for a pro­fes­sional edit for Out of Court and I fol­lowed most of the ad­vice and did a ma­jor re­write.

“Other than my close writer friend Lyz who helps with the edit­ing and proof read­ing, I didn’t show Out of Court to any­one else be­fore it was pub­lished.”

For more in­for­ma­tion, go to Ama­zon and search for Clare Bal­dock, where the Kin­dle and pa­per­back ver­sions of Out of Court are avail­able.

Clare Bal­dock of Loose wrote Out of Court, inset, af­ter spend­ing months on re­search

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