Showing posts with label book tour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book tour. Show all posts

Thursday, March 15, 2018

"Killer Tied" by Lesley A. Diehl

Killer Tied
(Eve Appel Mystery Book 6)
by Lesley A. Diehl

Killer Tied (Eve Appel Mystery Book 6) by Lesley A. Diehl

Killer Tied is the sixth book in the Eve Appel Mystery series. Also available: A Secondhand Murder, Dead in the Water, A Sporting Murder, Mud Bog Murder, and Old Bones Never Die (read my blog post).

Killer Tied is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Eve Appel Egret is adjusting to married life with Sammy and their three adopted sons in Sabal Bay, Florida. While still running her consignment stores, she is going pro with her sleuthing by becoming an apprentice to a private detective.
Until her marriage, Eve’s only “family” was her grandmother Grandy, who raised her after her parents died in a boating accident. Now, in addition to her husband and sons, she has a father-in-law who clearly dislikes her. Sammy’s father, a full-blooded Miccosukee Indian long presumed dead, has emerged from the swamps where he’s been living like a hermit, and he isn’t happy about Eve’s marriage to his half-Miccosukee, half-white son.
As for Eve’s family, are her parents really dead? A woman named Eleanor claims to be Eve’s half-sister, born after her mother faked a boating accident to escape her abusive husband, Eve’s father. Then Eleanor’s father turns up dead in the swamps, stabbed by a Bowie knife belonging to Sammy’s father, Lionel. Strange as Lionel Egret is, Eve knows he had no motive to kill this stranger. In order to clear him, Eve must investigate Eleanor’s claims, and she might not like what digging around in her family’s past uncovers.

Chapter 1
I looked around the old detective’s office. The top of the desk no longer overflowed with paperwork, the floor was as clean as a heavy-duty cleaner could get it, and the paperwork was neatly filed away in the cabinets. I knew Crusty McNabb would hate what I had done to the space, but he had told me to make myself at home while he was gone. He was visiting his daughter, whom he hadn’t seen in over a year, and wouldn’t return for a few days. I was his apprentice now, somewhat eager to learn the private-eye business, and I had the blessing of all my family—my grandmother Grandy, her husband Max, my husband Sammy, and our three adopted sons—Sammy’s orphaned nephews—Jason, Jerome, and Jeremy. Even my best friend and business partner, Madeleine, and the police detective Frida Martinez had blessed my PI career path. The only one with misgivings was me. I still wasn’t real keen on the use of firearms, although I had been going to the gun range to practice with the pistol Crusty loaned me. My instructor there said I’d soon be a crack shot, no problem, but, he added, opening my eyes when I fired the durn thing might help my aim.
Well, I lied about me being the only one with doubts about my new career path. So did my friend Nappi Napolitani, who was a mob boss, or that’s what we all thought—I mean, how do you ask a mob boss for his crime credentials to determine if he’s genuine? Anyway, it seemed clear to me that he had something he wanted to say to me about my PI license but hadn’t gotten around to saying it yet. And then there was my ex-husband, who worried I’d take this opportunity to pistolwhip him or arrest him for transgressions against me while we were married. There were many, but getting revenge for those wasn’t a priority right now.
I heard a knock on the door and turned to see a man peering through the store window. He rattled the knob. “Sorry, the office is closed until the end of this week. Mr. McNabb will be back on Friday.”
“Are you Ms. Appel?” This was silly, having a conversation through the closed door. I walked over and opened it.
“I’m Eve Appel, but I—”
“Then you’re the one I’m looking for. They told me next door I’d find you here.” He smiled and held out his hand. “Henry Montrose.”
He was a slender man with thinning, brownish-gray hair. He wore a beige knit shirt, khaki pants, and sneakers. I noted the beiges did not work together. That was just me, quick to make a fashion judgment. I shook his hand, curious about his reasons for seeking me out.
“If it’s detective work you need, I’m just Mr. McNabb’s apprentice. I don’t do cases on my own, so you might want to come back when he’s here. Like I said. End of this week.”
“I need someone to find my daughter.”
“Have you reported her missing to the police?”
“Well, no. You see, I’m not certain where she’s missing from. Or whether she just moved away. We lived in the Northeast, but we left. But not all together.”
He wasn’t making a lot of sense, and as he talked, he began to show signs of distress. His voice was shaky, and he twisted his hands so tightly together I thought he’d remove the skin.
“Maybe you should sit down for a minute.” I offered the usual but seemingly useless glass of water. He collapsed into the chair in front of Crusty’s desk.
“What police department do I notify? The one up North or the one here? See, I know my daughter was headed here.”
“So you’ve heard from her?”
“No, but this is where she’d come. I told her that her mother might be dead, but my daughter insists she’s still alive.” He shook his head. “That woman, my wife, has nine lives, it seems.”
I was more and more confused by his tale. “Uh, I have a friend on the police force here. Maybe she could help. I can call her, if you’d like.”
Frida might be able to make better sense of his story than I could. And she’d know the legalities of missing persons. Someone walked past the front windows and caught the attention of my visitor.
“No, never mind. I have to go now.” Without another word, he jumped up from the chair and ran out the door, stopping on the sidewalk, looking in both directions and then running toward the street. I lost sight of him when he turned left into the alleyway at the end of the strip mall.
Weird. Just plain weird, but Crusty said that PI work could be unusual, although he warned me that most of it was just plain boring. I shrugged and decided to tackle cleaning the tiny bathroom. It looked as if Crusty hadn’t taken a brush to the toilet bowl since he’d moved in. As I scrubbed—with rubber gloves on, of course—I thought over my decision to move from Connecticut to rural Florida. I’d chosen to open a consignment-shop business with Madeleine Boudreaux Wilson, my best friend forever and forever. The shop was here, right next door to Crusty’s detective agency.
Some might question why I’d located a consignment business specializing in high-end fashions and classy home goods in rural Florida, where you’re more apt to run into a live alligator than a designer alligator bag. We set up our shop to remedy that, not by doing away with the alligators, but by buying apparel and furnishings from the matrons of West Palm Beach, who rarely wore their clothes more than once or twice. Since none of these wealthy ladies would consign their items close to home for fear of someone recognizing the merchandise, we stepped in to take anything they no longer wanted off their hands. They liked having “mad” money to use any way they pleased without conferring with hubby or leaving a credit card trail for him to grump about.
To our surprise, our consignors often slipped off the coast and visited our shop just for the fun of it. They didn’t buy much. They preferred to sell, but they liked to pick up tips about where they could find entertainment not offered in upscale West Palm. Nothing kinky, you understand. Just good old country two-step in our local bars with some mighty handsome cowboys or airboat rides with a member of the Miccosukee Indian tribe piloting the boat (that would be my husband, more handsome than any cowboy). I’d also turned the gals on to a local dude ranch. They sometimes dragged their husbands along for a trail ride.
So why was I in training to become a PI? Was selling used items too tame for me? Well, yes and no, and that’s a long story, but here’s the truth. I am a snoopy gal. I get it from my grandmother, who is the queen of curiosity. Over the years I’ve “intruded” in a number of murders in rural Florida—at least that’s the word you’d hear used to describe my investigations by my family, friends, and Detective Frida, who is also a friend of mine when she’s not moaning about my interfering with her cases. From my perspective, I’ve been more than a little helpful tracking down clues and bringing the bad guys (and gals) to justice. A former lover and private detective Alex Montgomery thought I had a nose for murder and the brain to match wits with any killer. Although he resented my meddling in his business, he respected my sleuthing instincts so much, he suggested I get a PI license by learning the trade from Crusty.
My life was so full of family and business that the very last thing I needed was to learn the professional sleuthing trade, yet the restless side of my nature was intrigued. With Grandy helping Madeleine at the store and Shelley McCleary, our new dressmaker, assuming a growing role in the shop as tailor and junior partner, I figured I had time to try my hand at the detecting business.
I yearned to sink my teeth into a big murder as my first case. Why waste my skills on small potatoes? When I excitedly talked with Crusty about murder investigations, he laughed. “What you get in the private-detecting business is routine: surveillance of cheating spouses, insurance fraud, and some work for the police department when they need to hire out part of their investigation. Most of the work entails a lot of sitting on your butt in a car. I sure hope you don’t have a tiny bladder.”
I reminded him that I’d been key in solving several murders in the county. He did a dismissive flap with his hand. “Well, maybe you’ve taken out all the bad dudes in this county, and the rest of us will be left in peace.”
I squeezed some bleach gel into the sink and began to scrub at the grimy brown stains. I ran water and rinsed out the bowl. When I turned to extract a new bar of soap out of the cabinet behind me, I bumped into the person standing there. I jumped.
Damn. I’d forgotten to lock the front door. A fine detective I’d make. The person standing inside the entrance of the small bathroom was a tall, slender woman with long frizzy brown hair. She looked somehow familiar, although I’d never met her before.
She smiled sweetly. “Hello. I’m your sister.”
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“Getting to the bottom sure takes a boatload of work but this book definitely couldn't be put down I read it one day. Eve has a way of dragging you in and not letting go until the perps are arrested and justice has been correctly served!” ~ Paula Ratcliffe

Guest Post by the Author
Eve Apple, protagonist in Killer Tied by Lesley A. Diehl
Eve’s not the gal she used to be: Character development in a cozy mystery series
This is the beginning stop for a two-week book blog tour for Killer Tied, the sixth book in the Eve Appel Mysteries released this month by Camel Press. There are three more books scheduled. It’s a paradox how I feel about the series. It’s as if I began it only yesterday, yet Eve and I have come a long way together, weathering the romance storms of a philandering husband, a PI boyfriend and now Sammy, the Miccosukee man who immediately “got” Eve and instantly loved her. And there have been murders, many murders. Eve helped solve them all … with help from her friends and family, of course.
Eve has expanded her circle of friends since she moved from Connecticut to rural Florida. There is her best friend and business partner Madeleine, now herself married and the mother of two young children. It was Madeleine shopping for cups to replace those she broke that lead to one of the most interesting characters in the series - handsome, suave and sophisticated, Nappi Napolitano, the supposed mob boss who has helped Eve out of many scrapes. Eve is looking for a way to repay him. Perhaps she’ll get that opportunity in one of the three books to come. Nappi doesn’t expect a return on his generosity, but I always think it’s a good plan to return the favor and especially if he’s a “Family” man.
Except for Nappi whose character remains constant - he’s so terrific that I wouldn’t want to change him much - most of the characters, not only Eve, have developed and grown, changes that are necessary to keep the series fresh and vibrant for the reader. Of course, murder is just the sort of challenge that shakes up everyone, not only the protagonist. It can bring out the best in the characters as well as reveal their flaws. Readers like to know the protagonist and others stumble and fall … and get up again. Some of Eve’s character flaws remain throughout the series such as her impatience, which often leads her off on her own when she ought to know better. In Killer Tied, the possibility of her parents being alive when she thought they had died years ago leads her to jump to the conclusion that her grandmother (Grandy) has lied to her. She ought to know there is no one she can trust more than Grandy, but Eve is still the impulsive and impatient woman we met in the first book, A Secondhand Murder. In Book 6, it appears to Eve that love has abandoned her not once but twice, first with the loss of her parents at a young age and then with her assuming Grandy has lied to her about the event for all these years. The reader knows Grandy is steadfast and true in her love for Eve, but will Eve eventually understand that this love doesn’t include lies and deception? Or have I deceived the reader about Eve’s parents? That is the central question that both Eve and the story grapple with throughout this book.
Eve and Sammy’s adoption of three Miccosukee boys and the return of Sammy’s father to the family has deepened Eve’s understanding of the importance of family. Not only does family bring love to her, but she grows to see how loving others is the real definition of love. It makes her a more complex and humble person. Eve has always had sass, but now she’s sassy with a lot of compassion and love added to the mix.
Sammy’s father remains a trial for her as he’s stubborn, impatient, and quick to jump to judgments, almost the female equivalent of Eve, but he has an edge not yet softened by the caring of others. I work on making that happen in Killer Tied. I think the reader will understand him better because he understands himself better, and he will reveal himself as someone who sees deeply into others. He is Sammy’s father after all, so the reader should expect more from him than the self-centered and conflicted person he often presents to others.
Grandfather Egret, Sammy’s father, like Grandy, provides the grounding for family life, but he, too, has evolved throughout the series. He will remain a man in touch with the traditions of his culture, but Eve has brought joy to his life.  While he’s not always an active participant in Eve’s adventures, he has joined her in several of her romps. It is clear she has added a dimension of excitement to his life. Eve has come to trust his advice and counsel and seeks out his advice as she does her Grandy’s. For a woman raised without parents, Eve now has a full complement of family surrounding her: Grandy, Grandfather, Madeleine and her husband and children, Sammy and Eve and Sammy’s children. Can Eve fully appreciate this bounty?
Eve is not the same woman she was in the first book. She’s still as sassy, in-your-face and impulsive as ever, but she’s more loving, a little humbler and more aware of how others have made her life more complete. She’s even more tolerant of her ex-husband, Jerry, who followed her from Connecticut to Florida. He’s still as lacking in common sense as ever, still annoys Eve intentionally and unintentionally, but in Book 6 Jerry’s giving side helps Eve tackle the bad guys.
Eve began her adventure in rural Florida running away from a marriage that did not work. She’s found that life among the cowboys, cattle, alligators, ranchers, locals and winter visitors has brought her more excitement and sense of belonging than she ever thought possible. Killer Tied returns Eve to her roots in the Northeast, but she finds the nostalgia of the past is not as satisfying as her new life in Florida. While still seen as an outsider by many Floridians, Eve knows that this place with all its swamps and alligators, fields of grazing cattle and palm trees has become as familiar to her as her own whip thin body. It is her home.

About the Author
Lesley A. Diehl
Lesley is a country gal through and through, from her childhood on a dairy farm in Illinois to college in a cornfield in Iowa, Lesley creates sassy, snoopy protagonists who embrace chasing killers in country settings. Lesley writes several series: the Big Lake Mystery series and the Eve Appel Mystery series both set in rural Florida; the Laura Murphy Mysteries located on a lake in upstate New York; and short stories, some featuring a few of Lesley’s unique relatives from back on the farm (Aunt Nozzie and the Grandmothers). She is inspired by an odd set of literary muses: a ghost named Fred and a coyote as yet unnamed. Killer Tied is the sixth mystery in the Eve Appel Mysteries.

Enter our exclusive giveaway for a chance to win an ebook copy of Killer Tied by Lesley A. Diehl.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

"Queen of Corona" by Esterhazy

Queen of Corona
by Esterhazy

Queen of Corona by Esterhazy

Queen of Corona by Esterhazy is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Roza Esterhazy is a mixed-up kid. Eighteen years old and on the threshold of adulthood, she feels powerless in the face of a world that hasn’t adequately prepared her for adult life. She is riddled with anxiety about the world’s problems, the problems of her classmates at an inner-city high school in Corona, Queens. As an American of multicultural heritage (Polish-Jewish on her mother’s side, Venezuelan on her father’s) she struggles to find her place in society where the odds are stacked against people like her.
At the outset, she is on an airplane heading to Warsaw – the city of her ancestors, a city she’d never been to before. The city her mother had fled from in the 1980s because of an article she’d written that had offended the authorities. Roza’s voyage is a kind of reverse immigration – she’s escaping from America back to Poland because of a student protest that ended in tragedy. She alludes to the protest and its bloody end throughout the novel, with flashbacks tormenting her traumatized mind to the very end. When she arrives in Warsaw, she struggles to come to terms with what happened and what part she played in the tragedy. She grapples with the concept of guilt and blame – were the students to blame for what happened or was it the fault of overzealous police? She weighs how fear quells courage in an oppressive society. She confronts the grey reality of post-war Warsaw and realizes that there’s very little of it that she can identify with. She retraces history’s steps through the Polish capital and the former ghetto of WW2.
Her longing for home is visceral, reflected in the flashbacks of school and relationships that are woven through her daily existence. Flashbacks that reflect the absurdity of the inner-city high school experience, where kids are meant to learn an inimical thread of history that has little to do with their own reality, that places many of them in the position of the conquered and exploited.
Queen of Corona is a look into the inner life of the inner city. A foray into the mind and heart of a young woman on the cusp of adulthood, torn from her destiny because she dared to stand up and speak up for those who don't have a voice. A glimpse inside the hopeless hallways of New York City's failing public schools. It is a coming-of-age novel in a tumultuous time. It is a lesson on how fear is the most dangerous aspect of our Trumped-up existence.

There comes a day when you go looking for your roots and you realize they’re all gone.
You grope about in the dark and find nothing. Nothing but bits and pieces of a legacy gone astray like a dog that was never loved in the first place. No matter where you come from, the day you become an American is the day you lost it all. No matter if you were born here or made it over by plane, train, bus or banana boat. Just like that, thousands of years of memory vaporize like the plane that hit the Pentagon. You forfeit miles of spindly roots planted into the earth by your ancestors from way back when. Slowly, painfully, you squander your family recipes and all them heirlooms, memories, traditions go slipping through your fingers. You figure you’re living the dream, but something’s off. Something’s missing.
Something you didn’t even know you needed. You lose track. You lose your ground. The connection with the earth that made you. That dust that hardened into your bones and softened into your skin. You think you can go on making the tamales, the pierogis, the same old samosas your grannies made for generations but they’re not the same at all. The flour here is different. The water is different. The proportions are all out of wack. And you know it’s just a dumpling and dumplings don’t always come out right, but for some reason you’re bawling your eyes out. Because you know it’s not just a fluke. It doesn’t come out right no matter how many times you try. Because it just ain’t in you no more.
A sourness that tastes like shame comes up in your throat. Shame that flips on itself, turning on the past, turning on your parents because they’re the ones who made you and brought you here. Your loving parents are now the bullseye for your shame. Their accents and their crazy foods. It was their brilliant idea to ship you all the way across the ocean before you had anything to say about it. So now you do all you can to keep them at home, hidden behind closed doors. You never invite anyone over. You do what you can to become like everyone else. You want to look like the girls in the videos. The selfie-stick chicks on the gram. Then you start dressing like the guys in the videos so the dudes round the way no longer feel obliged to tell you that your ass is too big or your ass is too flat. You convince yourself that you’ve been here all along.
That there is no motherland. No Poland, Ukraine, Honduras, Philippines, Bangladesh. The past fades like the last wisp of smoke after a dumpster fire. But the stench of it lingers, you know. There’s nothing you can do to make it disappear for good. It’s a blemish that won’t go away. An ugly little blackhead of guilt. Because you denied your ancestors, denied your heritage. When you denied them, you denied yourself. You denied your very existence.
This is the tragedy of assimilation. The old folks give up trying to talk sense into you. They throw their hands up and let you be what you always thought you wanted to be. An apple-pie-eating, base-ball-bat swinging shiksa like all those other girls in the hood. You try telling them that shit ain’t really you at all. So they ask you, who is you then? And you try to tell them but it’s like snakes crawling up your throat. You can’t spit out a syllable. So, you figure maybe they’re right. You start grasping at straws, the frayed threads of history, shreds of a native realm.
There comes a day when you finally realize you have no idea who you is or even who you are, and where you came from. So maybe you get on a plane and try to take a good hard look at things from a distance. Try to take in the bigger picture and all. Back to the future. Though the truth is I’m not really doing it for the right reasons. My story ain’t all high and mighty like that. There’s more dirt I’ll have to dig up at some point, for sure. I’ll get to it when the time is right. No point in rushing things. We have all the time in the world.
[Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“I highly recommend this novel to anyone that like biography like novels that have anger, disappointment, romance illusions and every other even that teens face as growing up” ~ Steph Destiny
“I loved Roza as much as I wanted to scream at her. […] kudos to Esterhazy for writing such a believable and antagonizing protagonist. […] The ending made me so angry, I actually screamed at my Ol' Man when I was done. I can't say much without spoiling it, but I wanted to cry. It's possible that what upset me the most was how realistic it was. It hits ya right in the feels because you know it's real.” ~ Ms. J
“… it brings up a lot of critical issues that need to be discussed, that people need to stop sweeping under the rug, issues that privileged need to stop blaming the others for. It's not an easy read, but maybe that's what makes it so important. It doesn't glorify the ugly, it leaves it all there for you to see.” ~ Maxine

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
At the beginning of the book, Roza is on a plane to Warsaw to escape the fallout from an incident at her high school graduation ceremony, which spirals out of control. We are left to piece her story together through her stream of consciousness ramblings, often lacking in punctuation. Her current situation is interspersed with reminiscences of her life in Corona, Queens, where she makes some wrong choices and ends up in an impossible situation. In Poland, Roza struggles to make sense of life and loses herself along the way. However, after receiving news from home she determines to turn her life around.
The author channels her teenage narrator perfectly, giving her an authentic voice and personality. However, some of the other characters come across as more intellectual than you would expect from their circumstances. Through Roza, the author provides keen observations on several topics, including friendship, family, religion, society, race, prejudice, discrimination, politics, history, education, poverty, single parenthood, abortion, love, war, and slut shaming. The narrative is given even more authenticity by including references to real-life victims of the system.
Be warned, this is not an easy read and includes some confronting issues.
Warnings: coarse language, drug use, excessive alcohol consumption, sexual references, sex scenes.

About the Author
Esterhazy is a journalist, writer, and translator. A native New Yorker, she holds degrees in Comparative Literature from New York University and American Studies from the University of Warsaw. Queen of Corona is her debut novel.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a print copy of Queen of Corona by Esterhazy (US/Canada only).


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

"The Silent Games" by Alex Gray

The Silent Games
(DCI Lorimer Book 11)
by Alex Gray

The Silent Games (DCI Lorimer Book 11) by Alex Gray

The Silent Games, the eleventh book in the DCI Lorimer series by Alex Gray, is currently on tour with Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Alex Gray's stunning new Lorimer novel, set against the backdrop of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, brings the vibrant city to life in a race to stop the greatest threat the city has ever known
In Alex Gray's page-turning new Glasgow-set crime novel, Detective Lorimer must protect his city from a terrifying threat in the countdown to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The Commonwealth Games is coming to Glasgow and security is extra tight, particularly after a mysterious bomb explodes in nearby countryside. As the opening ceremony for the Games draws ever closer, the police desperately seek the culprits. But Detective Superintendent Lorimer has other concerns on his mind. One is a beautiful red-haired woman from his past whose husband dies suddenly on his watch. Then there is the body of a young woman found dumped near to the bomb site who is proving impossible to identify. Elsewhere in the city, people prepare for the events in their own way, whether for financial gain or to welcome home visitors from overseas. And, hiding behind false identities, are those who pose a terrible threat, not just to the Games, but to the very fabric of society.

Excerpt from Chapter 2
It was worse than he could ever have imagined.
Even from the roadside, where a line of police cars was parked, Lorimer could see the devastation. Plumes of smoke and flames still rose from the heaps of broken trees, and as he emerged from the Lexus, his skin was immediately touched by flakes of ash drifting in the air. The smell of burning wood was overpowering, and he could hear the occasional crackle and hiss of fire beneath the whooshing sound from the firemen’s hoses as arcs of water were trained into the heart of the inferno. His eyes took in the gap in the hedge where the fire engines had broken through to reach the narrow walkers’ path, and the tyre marks on the verge. It would be replanted, no doubt, but the burning trees would leave a scar that would take far longer to heal.
‘Detective Superintendent Lorimer? Martin Pinder.’ The uniformed chief inspector was suddenly at his side, hand outstretched. Lorimer took it, feeling the firm once up and down as the officer motioned them to turn away from the direction of the cinders. ‘Sorry to call you out, but as I said, we needed someone to front this. And your name came up.’
‘But isn’t this a local matter?’ Lorimer asked. ‘We’re in the district of Stirling, surely?’
Pinder shook his head. ‘It’s bigger than you might imagine,’ he began. Walking Lorimer a few paces away
from the line of cars, he dropped his voice. ‘And there is intelligence to suggest that it may have a much wider remit.’
‘Oh?’ Lorimer was suddenly curious. The telephone call had mentioned an explosion, the immediate need for a senior officer from Police Scotland and a request to keep the lid on things, but nothing more.
‘You said intelligence.’ He frowned. ‘You mean Special Branch?’
Pinder nodded. ‘I’ve been charged with giving you this information, sir. And doubtless your counter terrorism unit will already be involved.’ He licked his lips, hesitating, and Lorimer could see the anxiety in the man’s grey eyes.
‘We are given to believe that this is just a trial run.’ Pinder motioned to the fire behind them.
‘A trial run,’ Lorimer said slowly. ‘A trial run for what?’
Pinder gave a sigh and raised his eyebrows.
‘The Glasgow Commonwealth Games.’
Lorimer looked at the man in disbelief, but Pinder’s face was all seriousness.
‘That’s almost a year away. Why do they think. . .?’
‘Haven’t been told that. Someone further up the chain of command will know.’ Pinder shrugged. Perhaps you’ll be told once you liaise with Counter Terrorism.’
Lorimer turned to take in the scene of the explosion once more, seeing for the first time the enormous area of burning countryside and trying to transfer it in his mind’s eye to the newly built village and arenas in Glasgow’s East End. He blinked suddenly at the very notion of carnage on such a vast scale.
‘We can’t let it happen,’ Pinder said quietly, watching the tall man’s face.
Lorimer gazed across the fields to the line of rounded hills that were the Campsies. Glasgow lay beyond, snug in the Clyde valley; on this Sunday morning its citizens remained oblivious to the danger posed by whatever fanatic had ruined this bit of tranquil landscape. He had asked why the local cops hadn’t taken this one on, and now he understood: the threat to next year’s Commonwealth Games was something too big for that. And since the various police forces in Scotland had merged into one national force, Detective Superintendent William Lorimer might be called to any part of the country.
‘The press will want statements,’ Pinder said, breaking into Lorimer’s thoughts. ‘It’s still an ongoing investigation. Don’t we just love that phrase!’ He gave a short, hard laugh. ‘And there is no loss of life, so we can try for a positive slant on that, at least.’
‘They’ll speculate,’ Lorimer told him. ‘You know that’s what they do.’
Pinder touched the detective superintendent’s arm, nodding towards the figures milling around on the fringes of the fire. ‘Apart from you and me, there is not a single person here who has been told about the background to this event. So unless the press leap to that conclusion by dint of their own imagination, any leak can only come from us.’
When Lorimer turned to face him, the uniformed officer was struck by the taller man’s penetrating blue gaze. Fora long moment they stared at one another, until Pinder looked away, feeling a sense of discomfort mixed with the certainty that he would follow this man wherever he might lead.
Wouldn’t like to be across the table from him in an interview room, he was to tell his wife later that day. But there on that lonely stretch of country road, Martin Pinder had an inkling why it was that the powers on high had called on Detective Superintendent William Lorimer to oversee this particular incident.

Praise for the Book and Author
“An excellent procedural in which Gray … does for Glasgow what Ian Rankin did for Edinburgh in the annals of crime fiction.” ~ Kirkus Reviews
“Gray has no equal when it comes to unmasking killers and she has excelled herself here ... Gray is the new master of Scottish crime writing.” ~ Scottish Daily Express
“Brings Glasgow to life in the same way Ian Rankin evokes Edinburgh.” ~ Daily Mail (UK)

About the Author
Alex Gray
Alex Gray was born and educated in Glasgow. After studying English and Philosophy at the University of Strathclyde, she worked as a visiting officer for the Department of Health, a time she looks upon as postgraduate education since it proved a rich source of character studies. She then trained as a secondary school teacher of English.
Alex began writing professionally in 1993 and had immediate success with short stories, articles, and commissions for BBC radio programs. She has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers’ Constable and Pitlochry trophies for her crime writing.
A regular on the Scottish bestseller lists, she is the author of the DCI Lorimer novels. She is the co-founder of the international Scottish crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland, which had its inaugural year in 2012.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of three print copies of The Swedish Girl by Alex Gray (US only).