Category Archives: Crime/Mystery

Devil’s Cauldron by Alasdair Wham #DEVILSCAULDRON

Devil's Cauldron

Devil's Cauldron
BLURB

What would you do if you saw your father murdered and no one believed you? When he was twelve Finn McAdam, saw his father, a scientist, murdered. No one believed him. Now he has returned to his native Galloway to discover the truth. Wherever it leads him. Whatever it costs. But the conspiracy he discovers exposes a cover-up involving leading political figures and places his life in great danger. Some people are determined that the truth must not get out.

EXTRACT

Chapter 1 – Part one

I was level with the library when I first saw him across the road, emerging from the entrance to a garage. He moved into the light of the late afternoon sun, casting a long, dark shadow across the pavement, which felt like a dagger pointing at my heart. There was no doubt it was him. His face was etched in my mind forever: straight, long nose perched above a narrow mouth, not overly attractive, dour type. Black hair that now looked dyed, slicked against his head. He seemed at peace, unaware of me as he walked down the road, wearing what looked like an expensive tweed jacket edged with leather piping, smart tan trousers and black brogues.
I was stunned that I had finally found him, disbelieving, adrenaline surging, light-headed. I had searched for him unsuccessfully for many years, always on the lookout. Now I had run into him when I hadn’t expected it, on my way to get food from a local supermarket.
Jolted by his sudden appearance, I found myself standing gawking at him but turned away not wanting to alert him to my presence. Desperately trying to regain my composure, I walked on trying not to turn around. Hurriedly, I reached stone steps leading up to a car park at Market Hill near the top of the town, clutching at the handrail gasping for breath, my stomach knotted, head light, dizzy. After all this time I had seen him again.

 

BUY LINK


https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0993340032/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Devil's Cauldron

Alasdair’s first two novels were set in Islay and Mull (west coast of Scotland) and have proved very successful, rich in local detail with interesting plots.

His third novel, Devil’s Cauldron, is set in Galloway which is in southwest Scotland, he likes to write about places that he knows the best.

Before he turned to fiction, he produced a series of books exploring Scotland’s lost railways, a hobby that he enjoys with his sons and that took him all over Scotland.

FOLLOW ALASDAIR

FACEBOOK @alasdairwham.author

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alasdair-Wham/e/B0034NASL6/

Devil's Cauldron

Devil's Cauldron

The Migrant by Paul Alkazraji #THEMIGRANT

Migrant

Migrant

BLURB

Fascist populists, callous sex-traffickers and murderous mafia gangs – these were not what Pastor Jude Kilburn had expected to face when he moved to Albania. But when vulnerable 19-year-old Alban disappears from his poverty-stricken village to seek work in Greece, Jude has to undertake the perilous journey across the mountains to try and rescue him from the ruthless Athenian underworld. Accompanied by a volatile secret-service agent and a reformed gangster, Jude soon finds himself struggling to keep everyone together as personal tensions rise and violent anti-austerity riots threaten to tear them apart and undermine the mission. Caught between cynical secret police and a brutal crime syndicate, the fate of them all will be determined by a trafficked girl – but not every one will make it home. The Migrant is a tense and evocative thriller with a powerful redemptive twist.

EXCERPT

Chapter One Part Three

Ssshhh … budalla,’ hissed Ervin as he stepped back and lifted him by the arm. When he was upright, Alban yanked it back and glared again at him. He walked briskly for the next hour close behind him, listening as the trees rose around them and the darkness between them deepened. At one point they came upon a wolf cub lying alone on its side at the track’s edge. Its breathing was shallow and rapid. Alban squatted down beside it and gently lifted its head.

‘Oh, how bad,’ he whispered to Ervin. A little blood from its mouth came off on his fingers. He remembered his uncle Skender and the argument they’d had: the shock and the hurt when Skender struck him across the mouth forwards and backwards. He loved Skender. It was the raki: he drank too much of it. Well, he was nineteen now, not fifteen, and old enough to make his own decisions. He wanted to take the cub and nurse it. He brushed a tear from his cheek, partly for Skender, and left it.

The track came to an arched, stone bridge just wide enough for a cart to cross, and Alban stopped to peer over the side. The sound of trickling water came up from the ravine where a cluster of fireflies were gyrating around each other.

‘Ervin, shall we stop a little? What time is it?’ he asked quietly.

‘Let’s get across that clearing … by the edge of those trees. It’s gone ten.’ They passed a circle of blackened stones that lay around the charred remains of branches, plastic bags and empty Tirana Beer cans. ‘Albanians … always leave the local picnic spots clean when they leave. Why don’t they mark the route with arrows so the Greeks know where to wait for us?’ said Ervin with disgust. Alban slumped down on the grass by him and lay on his back.

‘Hey! Ervin, that was close. I thought you’d done this before?’ said Alban. Ervin looked away, avoiding the embarrassment of an acknowledgement, thought Alban. ‘So, what are the Greeks like?’ he continued. ‘Do they cook their pilaf like us?’

‘You’ll see them soon enough,’ said Ervin. ‘There are good and bad ones … the army are the worst. They could shoot you in these parts in the early years. They caught a group of Albanians once and made them all climb up a tree. Then they cut it down – laughing – as they fell through the branches, like it was sport.’ He then smiled and wiggled his finger as if it was swimming through water. ‘They like their pilaf with seafood in it. Prawns.’

Alban felt a coldness entering him despite the warmth of the June night. He drew his sack closer and untied the string around its neck. He lifted out a jar of village cherries in syrup with a spoon, and some sardines fried in flour and wrapped in newspaper his mother had cooked yesterday. Then he pulled out a roll of plastic sheeting for sleeping under. Lastly, he took out his best training shoes. They were white with a black tick on the side. He buffed them with the edge of his T-shirt while he ate a little.

‘They are originals, not Turkish,’ he snapped as he noticed Ervin’s sceptical look. They were like his cousin Shpetim used to wear. They would help him make a good impression on Greek employers, he thought. He’d find work, despite the crisis. He would show them that he was a good worker too. He could put his hand to many things: plastering, picking peaches – he even knew a little about plumbing. He picked up a tiny, tin compass that had rolled out onto the ground. It had the flag of Great Britain on the back and the white wheel of the London Eye on its face. He tapped it and noted where the needle pointed and then where south-east was, deeper into Greece, where the distant silhouette of a watchtower could be seen just above the treeline. ‘Want some fish?’ he said and passed the sardines over to Ervin as he stuffed the other items back inside.

BUY LINK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07M8XWS84/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Migrant

Paul Alkazraji worked as a freelance journalist in the UK from the mid-nineties. His articles were published in Christianity Magazine, The Christian Herald, The Church Times, The Baptist Times and other publications. His travel articles were also published in The Independent. His first book Love Changes Everything, a collection of seven testimonies, was published by Scripture Union in 2001. His second book Heart of a Hooligan, a biography of ex-football hooligan Dave Jeal, was published by Highland Books in 2000. His third book Christ and the Kalashnikov, a biography of missionaries Ian and Caralee Loring, was published by Zondervan in 2001. From 2004 to 2010 he was editor and publisher of Ujëvarë magazine in Albania. His first novel, ‘The Silencer’, was published by Highland Books in 2012. His new novel, ‘The Migrant’, set in Albania and Athens during the austerity troubles, was published by Instant Apostle in February 2019.

FOLLOW ON

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/paul_alkazraji

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Muthena-Paul-Alkazraji/e/B0034OJYLK/

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5655990.Paul_Alkazraji

Migrant

Release by Karen Moore #RELEASE #crime #mysteries

A husband is given an early release from prison. What could go wrong? Better yet, what could go right? Karen Moore spins her take on just that in her latest novel.

Karen

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When Hanna’s estranged mafioso husband, Luciano, is released early from a Sicilian prison, she fears he will come after her and her young daughter, Eva.

The revelation leaves her with a dilemma. Invited to Sicily to attend her best friend’s wedding, can she really take the risk?

But even staying at home in North Wales may not be safe. Something strange is going on at her old cottage in the hills. As the lines between Sicily and North Wales blur, Hanna uncovers a criminal operation that leads her to fear for Eva’s life all over again.

Will Hanna ever be able to release herself from Luciano’s grip? Or will her discovery lead her into even deeper danger?

Karen

ABOUT KAREN

Karen

Karen Moore is passionate about all things noir – crime, mystery, thrillers – and writes in that genre.

She has been writing all her life, mostly for work purposes, and is now delighted to be able to spend more time developing her own creative work.

Her debut novel, Torn, is a dark tale of intrigue and betrayal set in Sicily and North Wales. Release is the sequel, although it is written as a standalone novel for people who may not have read Torn.

Karen worked as a tour guide across Europe, North America and Canada, followed by a career in PR and marketing. She has lived in France and Italy, and is now based in Cheshire, England. Her cat, Lexi, often appears in her social media feeds.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

 FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/karenmooreauthor

TWITTER http://www.twitter.com/KarenMo35731701

BUY LINK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Release-Karen-Moore/dp/B09BGG72N1/

Karen

 

Happy National Book Lovers Day!

Today is National Book Lovers Day!

I happen to love books every day of the year. There’s nothing better than curling up with a good book, whether it’s an ebook or print.

Book
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

How will you celebrate, participate?

There are many genres out there to choose from – crime, romance, erotica, YA, memoirs, creative non-fiction, non-fiction and the list goes on.

All these main genres have a multitude of sub-genres as well, so there is something out there for everyone’s taste in reading.

I write romance, primarily, although YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS has a psychological thriller element included. It’s probably my darkest work yet. I remember when I was having the computer read it back to me, my husband entered my ‘writing cave’, and the particular segment scared him. I guess I nailed the creepy, unnerving bit.

You can check out all my books on the novels page on my website. Perhaps, you’ll find a little something to your liking.

In what format do you prefer to read your book?

Are you a hardcover fan? Paperback (trade size or mass market)? E-book (kindle, kobo, nook, or other)? Or do you read from a combination of all of the above?

Leave a comment stating what your favourite genre and format is. I’d love to hear your thoughts and preferences.

The Shetland Sea Murders #THESHETLANDSEAMURDERS

Marsali Taylor returns with the ninth gripping mystery in her Shetland Sailing Mystery series.

Shetland

BLURB

While onboard her last chartered sailing trip of the season, Cass Lynch is awoken in the middle of the night by a Mayday call to the Shetland coastguard. A fishing vessel has become trapped on the rocks off the coast of one of the islands.

In the days that follow, there’s both a shocking murder and a baffling death. On the surface there’s no link, but when Cass becomes involved it is soon clear that her life is also in danger.

Convinced that someone sinister is at work in these Shetland waters, Cass is determined to find and stop them. But uncovering the truth could prove to be deadly . . .

Shetland

BOOK LINK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shetland-Sea-Murders-gripping-chilling/dp/1472275969/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shetland

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland’s scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays, as well as a history of women’s suffrage in Shetland. She’s also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.

AUTHOR WEBSITE LINK

www.marsalitaylor.co.uk

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/MarsaliTaylorAuthor
TWITTER: @marsalitaylor

Unravelling ~ a gripping tale of dark secrets, lies and murder

#UNRAVELING

a gripping tale

Celtic Connexions is happy to welcome Helen Forbes, author of Unravelling ~ a gripping tale of dark secrets, lies and murder.
gripping tale
And just look at that cover! If that doesn’t draw you into this gripping tale, then perhaps the blurb will.
gripping tale

Blurb

Incarcerated in the gloom of a Highland asylum, 

a young mother finds illicit love. And death.

Kate Sharp’s family is a mystery. Her mother, Ellen, disappeared into the shadows of Craig Dunain psychiatric hospital when Kate was a child. When her grandmother dies, Kate is desperate for answers. What were the circumstances of her mother’s life and death? Who is her father?

Kate’s not the only one trying to uncover the truth. The remains of two bodies with murderous injuries have been found buried in the forest next to the former hospital.

And someone else is searching for answers, and he will stop at nothing to find them.

As the tale of Ellen’s tragic unravelling unfolds, the secrets that led to her death are exposed, along with the shocking truth about Kate’s father.

Unaware of the danger stalking her, Kate continues her search. 

Will she find the answers? And can she save her own life?

Excerpt

Go, a voice cried in my head. Run. Before it’s too late. A little overdramatic? Not really. Who wouldn’t run from a seven-hour shift of spooning mushed-up food into gaping, toothless mouths, wiping backsides, and mopping up body fluids? But I didn’t have a choice. Not without another job, and I lacked the energy or motivation to find something else. Pushing open the front door, I caught the scent of tangerine and lemon. Mrs Shelby had been at the homemade air fresheners again. It made for a pleasant welcome to the foyer of the care home, but a few essential oils couldn’t cover up the natural scents of warm cabbage, bed sores and incontinence. Not that it was a bad care home. A large Victorian villa with high ceilings and big rooms, clean and well-managed, it was one of the better ones. There were just some scents that couldn’t be shifted. And some residents.
I heard Smyth before I saw him, his entitled plummy tones and the squeak of his wheelchair grating through me. Scarcely a shift passed that I didn’t fantasise about smothering him with a pillow, but that would be far too kind. He needed to be strung up and eviscerated.
‘Pole, you come here right now.’
Stefan was at the reception desk. He ignored Smyth and smiled at me. Deep in my belly, something primitive tugged and taunted. It was another good reason for running, but I’d left it far too late.
‘Pole!’ Flecks of spittle shot from Smyth’s mouth. His face was twisted with venom. There were bulging veins on his forehead, a crimson flush creeping up his wrinkled neck. I willed Stefan to pull the old man from his wheelchair and throw him on the floor.
He didn’t. Of course, he didn’t. He held out his hands. ‘Mr Smyth. What may I do for you?’
Smyth’s eyes narrowed. ‘What is your name?’
‘Stefan Nowak.’
‘Why are you here? Aren’t there care homes in your own
country?’
Stefan nodded. ‘There are, Mr Smyth. Remember, we
talk yesterday and I tell you all about them. The story of my grandmother and the tattoo?’
‘Yesterday?’ The old man’s eyes shifted between us. ‘A tattoo? Don’t be ridiculous. I’ve never seen you before in my life. I couldn’t believe it when Matron said you came from Poland to work here.’
Stefan’s smile didn’t falter. ‘I did, Mr Smyth, with others.’ ‘There are others? My God. Matron, get me out of here.’
As Smyth’s frantic hands wheeled his chair down the corridor,
I apologised to Stefan, and not for the first time. He waved his hand. ‘Kate, it is not your fault. There are many head-dicks.’
‘Dickheads.’
He laughed. ‘Ah, yes. I will learn.’
‘What’s this about your grandmother and a tattoo?’
‘My grandmother is… was… in a care home in Warsaw. My
young wild sister – you know, I tell you about her punky hair and purple lips – she take my grandmother out one day and she comes back with a little black cat on her ankle. There is… what do you say? Hell to pay. My father, he doesn’t speak to my sister again. Yesterday, Smyth, he almost die laughing when I tell him this.’
‘Almost died?’ I shook my head. ‘Stefan, you have to try harder next time.’
He laughed. ‘Today, he remember nothing. His head, it is full of holes.’
‘Full of shite.’

‘This too.’ Stefan smiled. ‘Forget him. He is just an old man. Tomorrow he will be my…’ He frowned and fished his notebook out of his pocket. He thumbed through the pages of scribbled vocabulary. ‘Ah, he will be my beastie.’
I couldn’t keep my laughter in. Stefan looked devastated. ‘This is not right?’
‘Let me see.’ I looked at his notebook. ‘I think you mean bestie, though you’re not too far wrong with beastie.’
‘Whatevers.’ His hand rested on my arm. ‘You are tired, Kate. How is she?’
I would have told him. I might have cried, and he might have held me, but our conversation was severed by the shrill voice of Mrs Shelby, a cloud of stale perfume, the crackle of starched polyester, and then the woman herself. She looked about to cry. ‘Stefan, whatever have you said to Mr Smyth? He’s in quite a state. His daughter will be here shortly and we mustn’t upset her. She’s very generous…’
Stefan shrugged. ‘I no know what you ask, Madame Shelby, but you look very… how you say…?’
‘Haggard,’ I muttered.
Stefan sighed. ‘Very beautiful, Madame.’
Mrs Shelby blushed and waved her hand. ‘Oh, Stefan. Just be
more careful. It’s not your fault things get lost in translation. Kate, there’s a new resident in room nine. She’s a little fragile. Younger than our usual clientele. She’s refusing to get out of bed. Says she can’t walk, but she had no problems yesterday on arrival. Perhaps you could have a chat, see if you can get her up and dressed, and into the dayroom.’
I nodded. ‘I’ll try. What’s her name?’
‘Lucille Leonard. You’ll need the key. She wants the door kept locked.’
That was understandable with the likes of Smyth roaming around, interfering with everyone else’s business.
‘What’s wrong with her?

Buy Link

amazon.co.uk

About the Author

gripping tale Helen Forbes is a mystery author known for her crime novels Madness Lies and In the Shadow of the Hill. The author has also written a few contemporary and historical fiction pieces as well as short stories. When she is not writing, Forbes enjoys her work as a lawyer in Inverness. She published the first two novels based in Outer Hebrides and Inverness, two areas that she feels have not been given enough attention in the crime-fiction genre. Forbes also has a deep liking for the Gaelic language and island communities, which explains her choice of characters in her stories.

Links

 Website: www.helenforbes.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Helen-Forbes-Author-457783327732599

Twitter: https://twitter.com/foreva48

Hunter’s Chase by Val Penny #HUNTERSCHASE

Hunter’s Chase Audible Tour

Hunter’s Chase, book 1 in the Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series, written by Val Penny is now available as an audiobook through Audible.

Val Penny

BLURB

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until Edinburgh is safe.

Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson knows there is a new supply of cocaine flooding his city, and he needs to find the source, but his attention is transferred to murder when a corpse is discovered in the grounds of a golf course.

Shortly after the post-mortem, Hunter witnesses a second murder, but that is not the end of the slaughter. With a young woman’s life also hanging in the balance, the last thing Hunter needs is a new man on his team: Detective Constable Tim Myerscough, the son of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable Sir Peter Myerscough.

Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this first novel in The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series.

Val Penny

MY REVIEW

Well plotted and fast-paced. I loved this book! al Penny wrote a fantastic debut novel. I can’t wait to read more DI Hunter Wilson stories.

This is my first time listening to an audiobook, so I’m glad it was one I was familiar with. I loved the narrator. Give me a man with a Scottish accent and I’m automatically in swoon mode. If there was a downside to the book, I found the breaks between chapters a wee bit too long. As I said, it was my first time with an audiobook so perhaps that’s the industry standard. Also, in one of the later chapters (I’m sorry I didn’t make note of it at the time), the narrator started a sentence and then started it over again.

I can’t wait for the rest of the Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series to be available in audio format.

AUDIBLE BUY LINK

Hunter’s Chase Audible

ABOUT VAL PENNY

Val Penny

Val Penny’s other crime novels, Hunter’s Chase Hunter’s Revenge, Hunter’s Force Hunter’s Blood, and Hunter’s Secret form the bestselling series The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries. They are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by darkstroke. Her first non-fiction book Let’s Get Published is also available now and she has most recently contributed her short story, Cats and Dogs to a charity anthology, Dark Scotland.

Val is an American author living in SW Scotland with her husband and their cat.

You can connect with Val at the following links:

Website: www.valpenny.com

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Authorvalpenny

Facebook: www.facebook.com/valerie.penny.739

Friends of Hunter Wilson & The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries: www.facebook.com/groups/296295777444303

Val’s Book Bundle: https://www.facebook.com/groups/167248300537409

Twitter: https://twitter.com/valeriepenny

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17300087.Val_Penny

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Val-Penny/e/B07C4725TK

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/val-penny

Val Penny

 

It’s National Book Lovers Day!

Today is National Book Lovers Day!

National Book Lovers Day
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

How will you celebrate, participate?

This year on National Book Lovers Day, I currently have two books on the go – one fiction, one non. Thunder Bay by Douglas Skelton is a crime novel set in Scotland.

The non-fiction is Marketing Matters by Wendy H Jones. Right now, I need all the help I can get in this department.

In addition to reading, I’m also working on Book 3 in my It Happened series set in the village of Percé on the Gaspé Peninsula of the province of Quebec.

Since the COVID-19 lockdown, I’ve struggled with writing, but my reading has flourished. According to my 2020 Goodreads challenge, I’m nine books ahead of schedule. That should give you an idea of how I’ve been spending much of my spare time.

Some of these books were already on my TBR (to be read) list having languished on my shelves or Kindle for some time. Others were new purchases that I just “had” to get. Still, others were review copies.

What to read?

There are many genres out there to choose from – crime, romance, erotica, YA, memoirs, creative non-fiction, and the list goes on.

All these main genres have a multitude of sub-genres as well, so there is something out there for everyone’s taste in reading.

I write romance, primarily, although YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS has a psychological thriller element included. It’s probably my darkest work yet. I remember when I was having the computer read it back to me, my husband entered my ‘writing cave’, and the particular segment scared him. I guess I nailed the creepy, unnerving bit.

You can check out all my books on the novels page on my website. Perhaps, you’ll find a little something to your liking.

What format do you prefer to read?

Are you a hardcover fan? Paperback (trade size or mass market)? E-book (kindle, kobo, nook, or other)? Or do you read from a combination of all of the above?

Leave a comment staying what your favourite genre and format is. I’d love to hear your thoughts and preferences.

THE ROAD TO NEWGATE by Kate Braithwaite #historical #crime #giveaway

newgate

The Road to Newgate

by

Kate Braithwaite

newgate

Genre: Historical Fiction (crime/mystery)

Release Date: 16th July 2018

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

 

What price justice?

London 1678.

Titus Oates, an unknown preacher, creates panic with wild stories of a Catholic uprising against Charles II. The murder of a prominent Protestant magistrate appears to confirm that the Popish Plot is real.

Only Nathaniel Thompson, writer and Licenser of the Presses, instinctively doubts Oates’s revelations. Even his young wife, Anne, is not so sure. And neither know that their friend William Smith has personal history with Titus Oates.

When Nathaniel takes a public stand, questioning the plot and Oates’s integrity, the consequences threaten them all.

EXTRACT

“Mr. Thompson?”

At my side is a skinny fellow that Henry sometimes employs to deliver our pamphlets about the coffee shops. His sort often has a nose for news and will know if an arrest has been made or a scandal is brewing. He knows something now. I smell it on him, read it in the eager nod of his head. God knows, there’s gossip aplenty in the city, with talk of a missing magistrate and arrests of prominent Catholic Lords, so I turn my back on Anne, anxious for news. My conscience may creak as I listen to the young lad’s tale, but that’s easily ignored. Easily that is, until the sound of an altercation causes us both to twist round.

A woman, tall and sharp-featured, her lips pulled back from her teeth in bare anger, has her hand on Anne’s arm and is screeching at her. For a moment, I’m dumbfounded. I step towards them, but not quickly enough. In that split second, the woman tilts back her head and hurls a plume of spit right into my wife’s face.

No-one moves. Then the woman disappears into the crowd and Anne does her best to make light of it. She wipes her face, shows me her new bag, and insists on continuing about the fair as if nothing has happened. All she will say is that the woman was obviously deranged, some Bedlamite; quite a sorry case, in fact. I squeeze her hand, proud that my young wife can be so composed. And then I put it out of my mind.

In my defence, there is little enough time to remember it or question Anne further in the days that follow. The rumour whispered to me at the fair is the main news on everyone’s lips by the next morning. A man has been found dead in a ditch on Primrose Hill. He is identified as the missing magistrate, Sir Edmund Godfrey.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK: https://goo.gl/b2Nmu6

AMAZON US: https://goo.gl/11AJS7

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

NEWGATE

Kate Braithwaite was born and grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her first novel, Charlatan, was longlisted for the Mslexia New Novel Award and the Historical Novel Society Award. Kate lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three children.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KateBraithwaiteAuthor/

Twitter: @kmbraithwaite

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10792752.Kate_Braithwaite

Instagram: katembraithwaite

Blog: www.kate-braithwaite.com

Website: www.kate-braithwaite.com

GIVEAWAY

 A copy of the book, plus small handmade book of illustrations from the period. (Open internationally)

NEWGATE

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THE BRIDE’S TRAIL by A. A. Abbott #Excerpt

bride's trail

THE BRIDE’S TRAIL

by

A. A. Abbott

Perfect for fans of John Grisham, Jeffrey Archer and Ruth Rendell

Twenty grand has vanished from Shaun Halloran’s casino, and so has gorgeous blonde croupier Kat White. Once he’s tracked her down, he’ll shoot first and ask questions later.

Amy Satterthwaite’s just learned Kat stole her ID for a sham marriage. Desperate to clear her name and save her friend from Shaun, she swallows her pride and turns to arrogant Ross Pritchard for help. But can they find Kat in time?

Twists and tension keep the pages turning in A.A. Abbott’s stunning crime thriller. As Kat’s trail leads from London’s smart Fitzrovia to secret tunnels below central Birmingham, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

Extract

“What do you want?” she asked.

“Where’s Kat? I need to see her.”

“I don’t know.”

He took the knife from his pocket.

“No,” Amy said, “I really don’t know. If I did, I’d tell you. She’s been gone for three days and I can’t reach her. I’ve tried, believe me.” This was no time for heroics. Had she the slightest idea of Kat’s whereabouts, she would have divulged them, of that she was sure.

His eyes darted down to the knife. He flicked it open, stroked its blade, then looked up at her again. “I need answers, Amy,” he said, almost sorrowfully. “If someone had stolen twenty grand from you, you’d want some answers too.”

“Kat stole twenty thousand pounds?” A week ago she wouldn’t have believed it. Now, she couldn’t be sure. “That’s not all she’s done. She married an illegal immigrant, using my name. The police were round this morning.”

“Do they know where she is?”

Amy sighed. “No.”

“Good. I want to see her before the police do. I don’t suppose they’ve searched this flat for clues to her whereabouts?”

She was silent.

“No,” he said. “I thought not. You and me, Amy, we’re going to do that now, before any such clues might do a vanishing act like our mutual friend. Show me Kat’s room.”

“You’re in it.”

He looked around, shook his head. “Really? I thought this was the lounge. Okay, I want you to take everything out of those boxes.” He pointed to a stack of wooden wine crates, painted white, in which Kat’s belongings were stowed.

The top crate was crammed with shopping bags, over a dozen of them, bearing the names of designer boutiques: Prada, Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu and more. Reluctantly, Amy picked up a bag.

“Open it,” the knifeman said.

It was from Agent Provocateur, a powder pink paper bag sealed with a black ribbon. Carefully, Amy untied the bow. Inside, there was a pink cardboard box.

“Now that,” he ordered.

“Must I?” Amy pleaded. “These are Kat’s personal things.”

“That’s the whole point.”

Silently, she opened the box, unfolded the black tissue paper inside and shook out a frilly silk underwear set. A receipt showed it had cost two hundred pounds.

He whistled, leering. “Very nice. Now the rest.”

Altogether, Kat had spent over four thousand pounds on unworn purchases. “A shopping addiction,” he said thoughtfully, reflecting Amy’s surprised reaction. “Carry on.”

The crates below mostly contained clothes, neatly folded, and shoes in bags. There were a few books, overspill from the shelves by the wall, and finally, a box file containing paperwork.

“Give me that,” the dangerous stranger commanded. He fished out a letter. “Dearest Kat,” he read aloud, “I hope you are well. I am fine, and so is Cedric the Cat, but he is very old now. I have a little job now at Treasures in Harborne. Same old, same old. Do write and tell me your news. With love, Auntie Lizzie.” He paused. “Isn’t that sweet?” he said sarcastically. “Let’s see if there’s more of the same.”

He rifled through the box, shaking his head. Evidently, nothing further was deemed worthy of comment. He asked her to empty the only other article of storage in the room, a large rosewood chest, but that merely yielded towels and bedding.

“Interesting, and predictable,” he muttered. “I’ll tell you what we haven’t found. No suitcase, money, passport, women’s things like cosmetics. No certificates for qualifications, birth, marriage even.” He looked pointedly at Amy. “She’s done a runner.”

Amy bit her tongue. He was unlikely to appreciate being told he was stating the obvious.

He pocketed the letter. “I’ll be back. And you’ll tell me where she is, okay?” He fingered the knife again. “Not a word to the Old Bill. I’ve never been here, not on your life.”

“What about the CCTV?” she couldn’t resist challenging him.

“What about it?” he said dismissively. “None in that car park. I cut the wires.” He stood to leave, putting a finger to his lips. “You’re a lucky, lucky girl, Amy, because I believe you. Thousands wouldn’t. Now don’t forget – not a dicky bird, okay?”

When he’d gone, Amy bolted the door and searched the kitchenette for alcohol. Finding a bottle of Snow Mountain vodka, less than a quarter full, she drank all that was left of it and went straight to bed.

Please note there is also a taster story, The Gap, at:

http://aaabbott.co.uk/free-stuff/

About A.A. Abbott

bride's trail

AA Abbott (also known as Helen) chose her pen name in a shameless attempt to slot into the first space on your bookshelf. Born near London, she’s lived in Birmingham and Bristol, and worked in all three cities. She works for big companies for half the year as a tax accountant, taking temporary work so she can spend the rest of the year writing fast-paced crime thrillers. Although her work gives her inspiration, she says none of her colleagues have murdered, blackmailed or defrauded anyone. Hanging out in coffee shops and cocktail bars, she loves city life and can’t resist writing about it.

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