Author: Sean Keefer
Publisher: Four Hounds Creative
When you make your living fighting for justice, the last
place you expect to wake up is behind bars.
Attorney Noah Parks has spent his life keeping people out of
jail. When he’s charged with the murder
of a candidate for Charleston County Solicitor he finds himself on the wrong
side of the law for a crime he says he didn’t commit.
No longer fighting for others and now relying on the help of
the few people he does trust, Noah must fight to clear his name and find the
real killer before it’s too late.
His search will lead him through a maze of deceptions, lies,
family turmoil and treachery that spans generations.
The Solicitor is
set in historic Charleston and the surrounding South Carolina Lowcountry where
under the surface things are not always as genteel as they appear.
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sun’s arrival just as it cleared the horizon had always marked my favorite time
of day. It wasn’t unusual to find me at dawn on the Carolina shore gazing to the east in
anticipation, the ocean breeze softly brushing my face. The fleeting moments
when the first rays of sunlight painted an explosion of color were more than
enough to leave me knowing I was fortunate having witnessed it. Those, those
were my favorite mornings and anything that followed was a bit less
complicated, easier to handle.
found myself in desperate need of such a morning.
today there would be only cold concrete.
the past five days, my sunrise had been a sliver of light crawling across the
floor of my jail cell.
first, I’d looked forward to it, but on the third day I realized I’d need a lot
more to get me through the day, otherwise, that mere slice of sun would soon be
pushing me into the icy grip of depression.
quickly learned jail had a way of ushering in melancholy, even for the most
optimistic. Most everyone inside, even the guards, were simply miserable.
bail hearing had been a waste of everyone’s time. Accused murders don’t get
bail with their first request, sometimes not on the second, if at all. The fact
I’m a lawyer wasn’t helping. The last thing a judge wants to do is give the
impression that a lawyer, particularly a criminal attorney like me, is entitled
to special treatment.
change fast. Days
earlier, my life, while not perfect, had been good.
taken my girlfriend to the airport to catch a late-night flight to Chicago. She’d recently relocated
to Charleston, but was wrapping up her
ties to Chicago.
returning from the airport, I turned on ESPN, eager to hear what the talking
heads had to say about
the South Carolina Gamecock’s next football game. As was the case for most
Gamecock fans, their football season sanity ebbed or flowed with the team’s
It was a
cool fall night and the windows were open as I watched TV from bed, my dog at
my feet. Both he and I looked up as we heard a car outside–odd for that time of
night in our quiet neighborhood.
The sound of
the doorbell was even more unexpected, so much so I didn’t immediately get up.
Rarely did anyone just drop by, especially near midnight. The second ring was immediately
followed by a knock. I got out of bed, pulled on jeans and a T-shirt and went
down the stairs. Austin, my Australian Shepherd, was barking and jumping beside
me as I unlocked the door. He sat on my command.
I opened the
door to the sight of a tall black man in plainclothes with a Charleston Police
Department badge on his belt. Three uniformed Charleston County deputy sheriffs flanked him. Three
police cars occupied my drive. An unmarked cruiser in the cul-de-sac completed
the scene. Thankfully none had their lights on. I shifted my gaze back to the
officers. Not a smile among them.
couldn’t be good, I remember thinking.
“Noah, how about I come in?” Emmett Gabriel
said. He looked me straight in the eyes. We were the same height, just under
six feet tall, but the lack of a smile, his badge, and the deputies that
flanked him made him feel bigger and much stronger than me.
I’d heard his voice many times before. At the
police station, in his backyard, over a meal, on my back deck, other times
through the years but never near midnight with other police officers standing
on my front porch.
when have you ever asked permission to come in the house? What’s wrong?”
let’s talk inside?”
just stood in the doorway. Silent and motionless.
of the officers behind him coughed, jarring me back to reality.
stepped to the side. “Sorry, certainly, come in.”
outside,” Gabriel said to the deputies.
walked down the short hallway into my living room in silence.
“Where’s Anna Beth?”
feeling of panic ran through me as he asked about my girlfriend.
“As far as I know. She not here?”
“No. Chicago trip.”
feeling of panic faded to one of wonder, wondering why at midnight a detective I knew was
standing, unannounced, in my living room while three other anxious officers
were staged on my front porch. I asked why he was here. Wonder quickly faded
with the next words I heard.
“The officers outside have a warrant for your
been one to miss the obvious, I remember uttering my insightful reply, “A
the murder of Andrew Stephens.
While growing up in South Carolina, Sean didn't realize it, but he was absorbing the
styles, mannerisms, idiosyncrasies, dialects and the culture of his home.
Add to this the time he spent traveling the other Carolina for school and then North America
for work, he collected a vast array of experiences and observations from which
to draw upon and bring together in his writing.
After studying law in North Carolina, Sean settled in Charleston,
South Carolina and instantly became enamored with the people as well as
One day he started writing and
the words, generally, kept flowing. A page became a chapter which ultimately
became a book known as The Trust.
After this the process started again and TheSolicitor was the end result. Hopefully, if you are reading this you
either have, or soon will have, your very own copy of one or both.
The experience of taking two
novels from conceptualization to print has been one of frustration peppered
with increasing amounts of reward. Each
step from the first words hitting the page to ultimately holding a book in hand
has been a personal reward.
When Sean is not writing he
practices Family Law and works as a Domestic Mediator and lives with his Wife
and an ever-expanding pack of rescue canines – the current count is 4. As
well, Sean can frequently be found wandering the lowcountry of South Carolina with his camera, playing guitar in assorted venues
around Charleston or exploring the underwater world of the southeast.
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