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Troubleshooter by Dakota FranklinLe Mans by Dakota FranklinREQUIEM AT ONZ by Dakota FranklinTROUBLESHOOTER by Dakota FranklinTROUBLESHOOTER by Dakota FranklinRACING JUSTICE by Dakota Franklin

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RACING JUSTICE by Dakota Franklin

by Dakota Franklin

I retired from the law at the age of 31 not so much because I made my fortune and could afford retirement but because I was totally disillusioned with the lottery that the law has become in these United States.

In a year which will change Simon Aron’s life forever, his friendship and loyalty will be tested by every woman he ever knew, and one will betray him.

Simon Aron defines himself as a man who retains the friendship of all the women he ever knew, even those who have parted from him. It doesn’t matter that self-declared ‘real attorneys’ treat him with contempt as a Broadway dilettante underwritten by inherited trust funds who, after ‘five years of being daily road kill for Constance O’Flynn’, won his first and only case by a lucky fluke on the very last witness.

What matters is that The O’Flynn’s clients, two perjured Rodeo Drive hustlers, have to pay Simon’s friend Bella Aranja 1.8 billion dollars for stealing from her. What matters is that Simon stood by Bella years after every other lawyer would have given up.

Terminally disillusioned with the law, Simon hides out at the auto races from the media and fortune hunters seeking a cut of his 900 million dollar contingency windfall. There he finds another of his women who needs him.

Mallory, an old girlfriend with whom he raced a Cobra while they were at college, has been kidnapped by a brutal mobster in the pay of Fred Minster to keep her out of Le Mans, the top endurance race in the world. Minster has also stolen the winning designs of the Cartwright-Armitage car she is entered to drive.

Simon is not surprised. The trustee of Simon’s funds, the banker Christopher Maplin, set the youthful Simon a test in finding hidden assets and their defenses against corporate raiders—and the subject was Minster.

‘The existence of this little Sillitoe corporation proves that Minster’s entire corporate empire is a premeditated theft that hasn’t happened yet.’

Armitage is vengeful. So is their sponsor, the immensely rich Lydia Simpresi. They want to destroy Minster for setting a monster to rape and kill their princess. Simon’s youthful study of Minster’s corporate soul is a blueprint for taking over his property empire.

They want Simon to be in charge.

‘I want to destroy Minster utterly.’ Mallory said. ‘He ordered me tied to a bed by criminals. He ordered a film made of my degradation for his pleasure. And no steel pipe job, Charlie. I want Minster to suffer for the rest of a very long life.’

Her voice was low, not hysterical at all. She meant every word, and in a year will still mean it.

Mallory is the only woman Simon ever failed as a lover: he will not fail her again. For her he will return to the law.

If Minster did to Ruth what he did to Mallory, I would kill him. If he did it to Dot or Bailey, with whom I sleep now and might come to love, I would kill him. Mallory specifically does not want Minster killed, but otherwise punished.

The fund for taking over Minster is ten billion dollars.

The mechanism for destroying Minster’s reputation will be the court case for restitution and damages for the stolen car plans. Minster chooses to put in the delectable but ruthless Constance O’Flynn against Simon.

Soon Simon is in trouble. He has spent six billion belonging to people who do not take excuses but he can’t buy enough shares of Minster’s defense trigger, Sillitoe Renewals. Minster will end up with the consortium’s money in return for worthless pieces of paper.

‘You have a billion dollars of Cartwright money, Simon, and a billion from Charlie’s in-laws, the Santgiannini. I’m telling you for your own good. You don’t want Charlie to come after you with an iron bar.’

At least Simon is winning the case in court, but he will have to drop that next Thursday at noon when the Armitage team lands in Atlanta to drive in a race they cannot miss. He cannot put Mallory on the stand, because she saw Charlie Cartwright kill two of the kidnappers.

He cannot put any of his other Armitage clients on the stand because even the judge describes them as ‘free-booting scofflaws’.

He can’t even settle the case because he has given the judge and the DA personal assurances that he will produce his clients in the criminal case for industrial espionage to follow. If he settles the civil case, the judge will put him in jail and have him disbarred.

As if that isn’t enough trouble, a Minster magazine attacks Simon through his weakest spot: his women. His mother’s forty year-old nervous breakdown is exposed, the one lover with whom he made a mistake attacks him, his on-off inamorata the delicious actress and singer Dot Highsmith has her pubes exposed in Minster’s rag, actresses Simon never even said hello to have their married lives wrecked by Minster’s insinuations, even Simon’s seven year-old niece is attacked.

Simon blames The O’Flynn.

‘I’m too rich to care what people think of me, so I take advantage of bigger fools. When I turn you into public idiot number one, it will cost you, because you’re still trying to be rich.’

To make his dilemma worse, after destroying her career with a television special on ‘short lawyers making themselves look tall by embarrassing celebrity witnesses in court’, he discovers that the O’Flynn is not the unethical slime ball he thought. Now he has fallen into bed with her.

‘God help us both if Judge Judith Halloran ever finds out about this!’

On top of all this, Minster sends his tame mobsters to kill ‘the boy genius’.

When that fails, Minster tries to have the case restarted by having her senior partner fire The O’Flynn for the impropriety of sleeping with the plaintiff’s lawyer.

Only by betraying the fragile Mallory or the equally victimized Constance can Simon win instantly and certainly.

Casting cutting sidelights on the law, intellectual rights, Hollywood, Broadway, auto racing, free speech, money, Wall Street, yacht racing, power and sex, Simon has to manipulate everyone to win without going to jail himself, without breaking the law, without breaking his own code of conduct, without betraying any of his women, not even the opposition lawyer, Constance O’Flynn.