Today I am happy to give you an exclusive extract of Blood Torment. This is the latest in the DCI Andy Gilchrist series by T. F. Muir, set in St Andrews. Blood Torment was published on 5th May 2016 by Constable and is available here. Here you go …
By the time Gilchrist drove through the pend and parked at the back of the North Street Office, he had organised a search of Andrea Davis’s bank accounts, standing orders, direct debits, credit and debit cards, to help him understand why she could afford to live in a mansion – albeit a dilapidated one – alone with her daughter and a dog-tired Chivas. Maybe she had money of her own; a trust fund perhaps – good enough reason to initiate a ransom demand – but he needed that confirmed. If she thought she could brush him off with some fudged excuse about twenty missing minutes, she was sorely mistaken.
Once in his office, he accessed his computer and checked his messages – nothing urgent or relevant to the current case – and was about to head to Jackie’s office, when his mobile rang – ID Becky.
‘The weather’s forecast to pick up later today,’ she said, without introduction, ‘so I thought you might like to unpack my new barbecue and set it up for me. And I’ve found a new recipe for a Caribbean marinade, which I’m eager to try out on you. But I suppose I should first ask if you’re free this evening.’
‘Good morning to you, too, Becky.’
She chuckled. ‘Polite to a fault, Andy. Your most endearing and irritating trait.’
Their relationship was coming up for four months old and, despite her being pregnant, he felt as if he still didn’t know her. They needed to spend more time together, but not that evening. ‘Just been hit with a new case,’ he said.
‘Hopefully not the kidnapped girl.’
‘It’s on all the news channels. The granddaughter of that vile ex-politician Dougal Davis. God, I hate the man and all he stands for. And so full of himself. You should hear him talk. He’s already made a statement to the kidnappers—’
‘BBC Scotland. About fifteen minutes ago—’
‘Let me get back to you.’
He hung up, and strode to Jackie’s office – Jackie Canning, first-class researcher, who suffered from cerebral palsy and scurried around on crutches with surprising agility, but had a stutter so bad she had almost given up speaking.
Jessie was standing next to her, staring at her monitor. ‘Log on to BBC Scotland,’ he said to Jackie, ‘and pull up a replay of Dougal Davis’s speech.’
Jackie worked the mouse and keyboard like the expert she was. She opened her mouth to ask a question, but her stutter stumped her every time.
‘It was on about fifteen minutes ago,’ he told her. Jackie’s rust-coloured mop of hair bobbed as if sprung.
‘Twe . . . twe . . .’ she tried.
‘That’s it,’ he said, and almost knocked her crutches to the floor in his eagerness to see the monitor. He moved them out of the way, stood them in the corner. ‘Turn up the volume.’
***About the book***
When a three-year old girl is reported missing, DCI Andy Gilchrist is assigned the case. But Gilchrist soon suspects that the child’s mother – Andrea Davis – may be responsible for her daughter’s disappearance, or worse, her murder.
The case becomes politically sensitive when Gilchrist learns that Andrea is the daughter of Dougal Davis, a former MSP who was forced to resign from Scottish Parliament after being accused of physically abusing his third wife. Now a powerful businessman, Davis demands Gilchrist’s removal from the case when his investigation seems to be stalling. But then the case turns on its head when Gilchrist learns that a paedophile, recently released from prison, now lives in the same area as the missing child. The paedophile is interrogated but hours later his body is found on the beach with evidence of blunt force trauma to the head, and Gilchrist launches a murder investigation.
As pressure relentlessly mounts on Gilchrist, he begins to unravel a dark family secret, a secret he believes will solve the fate of the missing child.
Torment of Blood can be purchased on Amazon
Say hello to T. F. Muir on Twitter https://twitter.com/FrankMuirAuthor
My review will be posted shortly!