Jade Ryan is an attractive,
highly successful career girl.
However her first day working as personal secretary to Nicola Johannson,
president of cosmetics company Enn-Jai has not been so good.
An argument with her boyfriend, a road rage incident and her new boss found shot
to death in her office … and it’s not even lunch time yet!
Was Nicola’s death suicide or murder?
What was the reason behind this tragedy?
Can the day get any better for Jade?
One thing is certain …. Nicola’s death is bound to open up a can of worms.
Can Jade trust anyone?
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Format: A5 Paperback
Number of pages:
|Author: Chris Kent
Publisher: Poseidon Books
Date Published: March 2004
Kent was born, raised and resides in Sydney Australia.
After High School, he drove taxis while putting
himself through University. He graduated with a degree in Meteorology. Chris
couldn’t find any work, so he joined the Public Service for a temporary period.
Eighteen years later, resigned to try his luck at trading on the stock market,
with mixed success.
The information I have gained over the last three
years of trading gave me the idea for my first novel, he says.
I have written short stories for school and
university magazines, but never had anything published. I am enjoying my
writing, and hope to publish more works in the future. My interests include
computers, trying to stay fit and playing golf. I like to read just about any
kind of book, fictional or otherwise. Reading is my motivation, says Chris.
– TUESDAY, 12 AUGUST
Jade Ryan was nervous, which was
unusual for her. She was sitting in a small waiting room on the second floor of
the Richards and Nicholas Recruitment Agency. The interview for the position of
Personal Assistant to Nicola Johansson, head of the highly successful cosmetics
company, Enn-Jai, was just a few minutes away. Jade kept mentally reviewing her
answers to possible interview questions, while trying not to look too
uncomfortable. She was smartly but conservatively dressed in a jade-green skirt
and white blouse. Her dark green eyes glanced around the small but neatly
furnished room, and especially to the door marked ‘Interview Room 1’ with
increasing anticipation. Normally she was more self-assured than this; her
friends admired her confidence and ability to achieve the life goals she set
herself. At twenty eight years of age, she already had extensive experience as
Personal Assistant / Secretary in a variety of areas, including recruitment
agencies, law firms and private companies. Her current position as Executive
Assistant for the head of a large Telecommunications company was certainly busy
and rewarding, but her restless nature told her that perhaps it was time to move
Jade had been attracted to the Enn-Jai position by two
factors. Firstly, she had an abiding interest in financial matters, especially
the stockmarket. Her father had instilled this interest when Jade was in high
school. He taught her how to manage her money and not to put all her financial
eggs in the one basket. As a result, she now owned a portfolio of successful
stocks, including Enn-Jai, which she bought when the company listed on the Stock
Exchange nearly two years ago. The price had
been two dollars per share, and now were well over four. Secondly, and
more importantly, was that Jade had been attracted to Nicola Johansson on a
personal level. Although Jade had never met Nicola, she greatly admired her
drive, ambition and determination in building Enn-Jai from a small business
operating mainly in week-end markets, to a large and profitable cosmetics
company. Enn-Jai was now the most
popular brand in cosmetics, and with people of all ages. Although Enn-Jai’s main
business was in women’s cosmetics it had, over the past twelve months, entered
the men’s cosmetics arena with great success. The advertising campaign for Enn-Jai’s
new after-shave was one of the best of the past twenty years. Yes, thought Jade,
the company was certainly heading in the right direction. The reports were that
the company was dynamic and an exciting place to work, with the presence of
Nicola to drive it along to new successes.
Jade was interrupted in these
thoughts by the opening of the interview door. A tall good-looking man of about
forty emerged and approached her, smiling as he said Jade Ryan?
When she nodded, he held out his hand. I’m Paul Nicholas, very pleased
to meet you. We’re ready for the interview now. They shook hands, and she
followed Paul through to the interview room. Like the waiting room, it was
neatly furnished, though somewhat larger. Paul crossed over to a group of
chairs. Three chairs were arranged on one side of a glass coffee table. On the
other side was a single chair. The arrangement was comfortable for an interview.
Standing in front of two of the interviewers’ chairs were two women. The first
introduced herself as Maria Cattini, chief of Enn-Jai’s Human Resources section.
The other woman Jade immediately recognized. Nicola Johansson smiled as she
shook hands. As Paul asked Jade to take a seat, she could feel the presence that
Nicola commanded. The vitality of the woman was almost visible; and since Nicola
was only thirty five, this vitality seemed to be inexhaustible. Jade took a slow
deep breath as she sat down, focusing her mind on the interview.
Jade felt comfortable as the
interview unfolded. The first few questions were predictable, designed to put an
applicant at ease. Jade answered the questions with confidence, but careful not
to ramble on. The interview panel asked about Jade’s previous work, her goals,
her work ethic and her various attributes that would be useful in the position.
Maria asked a fairly difficult ‘hypothetical’ question which Jade answered (so
she thought) very well. She was starting to feel easier, thinking the worst
might be over, when Nicola asked her a question she was unprepared for.
Jade, I want you to assume
that you are me. You are the head of Enn-Jai. I want to know what you would
expect of your Personal Assistant.
Jade was fazed for a few seconds, but then decided to answer
the question according to her own ideas, and not try to be somebody she was not.
Well, the qualities I would expect are loyalty, both to me and to the
company. Efficiency, honesty, reliability and the ability to be independent.
Taking the initiative. I would not want somebody that constantly needed to be
told what to do. The person would also be confident, and also a confidante to
her/his boss. In short, I would hope that my secretary would be someone I could
Nicola had been scribbling some
notes on a small notepad. Thank you very much, Jade. A thorough answer.
Paul then asked if there was
anything Jade would like to add to her application.
Jade spoke briefly about the
challenges that she saw in the position, and then concluded, I am sure that I
would find this job very rewarding, on a number of levels, if I am offered
it. Everyone then rose and shook hands. As he was leading Jade out of the
room, through a different door, Paul informed her that they were interviewing a
small number of applicants and the decision would be made by the end of the
week. Maria would contact the successful applicant next Monday. Jade thanked
him, and walked out of the room towards the elevators. As she pressed the ‘down’
button, she thought to herself that she did well. She would be happy and
excited if she got the position, but if not…well, life goes on. Now for a
quick lunch, and a couple of hours browsing through the local shopping mall.
With this thought, Jade relaxed a little more and felt confident that she would