The Country Set – Fiona Walker ~ Blog Tour.

 

fiona walker

Back of the book : 

They say you should never go back. But this is exactly what ravishing Ronnie Ledwell is about to do, twenty-five years after she scandalised the Cotswold village of Compton Magna by abandoning her husband and children former lover.

Here her father’s famous stud farm has seen better days.  Faithful Lester, the gifted stallion man, has guarded Ronnie’s secrets for three decades. but can they both forgive and forget the past ? Meanwhile, charismatic Kit Donne can’t stand the sight of the woman who so reminds him of his beloved late wife.

Among the predators greedily eyeing up the estate is sexy Bay Austen, a man who usually gets what he wants. Now he’s after pretty Petra Gunn and the stud farm land. Can Ronnie stand in his way ?

In a village riven with affairs, rivalries and scandals, Ronnie’s unexpected return, with allies glamour and mystique, sets in motion a drama from which there is no turning back.

 

What I think : 

Ronnie Ledwell has got to return home, which would be ok if many years ago she hadn’t of run off with her lover leaving her husband and children behind. But, her father has died and she’s needed back home. Nobody knows whats going to happen to his stud farm so its down to Ronnie to jump into the breach and save the day. Can she face all the people she let down and make amends to all the people she carelessly left behind ?

Then there is Petra, who is a middle aged married mum who has a SMC (a safe married Crush) on Bay Austen, will it stay a crush or will her feelings get the better of her ?

And Carly, who is a young mum, who’s husband has just returned home from the army and is having trouble settling back in after life on the battle front.

Lastly Pip who is a general dogsbody and housekeeper at the stud, will her efforts be noticed or will she be forever the ‘odd’ Housekeeper ?

This is another epic read ( when I say ‘epic what I mean is, this is a very long, thick book ! ) from the wonderful Fiona Walker. There are many characters that,  I must admit, did slightly confuse me. Its a good job that there was a cast list or I really would have got lost. However, once you get past the massive cast list, there are some really impressive characters in there. I did feel quite sorry for Carly and her struggles with her veteran husband. Petra did, quite frankly need a medal, in my opinion, with the way she put up with her dreaded mother-in-law !  So all in all they all come together for a epic tale of secrets and lies.

Yes, I really enjoyed this rip-roaring romp through the countryside with Petra and the ‘Saddlebags’  and will be looking forward to Fiona’s next romp, that hopefully will be of a more manageable size !

I give this fab book  8/10 (four stars ) (Due to the unmanageable size of the book ! 😦 )

four-stars

Published by Head of Zeus on 05/10/17.

A huge Thank you to Clare Gordon at Head of Zeus for the review copy of the book.

Here for your reading pleasure is a extract from the book.

Extract : 

The Bags’ conversations had got a bit prosaic lately, mind you. Petra wished something exciting would happen in the village to give them something new to talk about. A few scarecrows hardly measured up to the Bardswolds’ big-cat sightings, the transgender vicar or Eyngate Hall being used as a location for a Richard Curtis film last year. It was also a far cry from the intense era of hotheaded Bridge almost leaving husband Aleš on a weekly basis, or Mo’s dilemma when she thought her elderly parents were no longer coping as crisis followed crisis. Even dry-humoured Gil was usually guaranteed to keep them agog with tales from the equine clinic she ran with her cycling-fanatic husband Paul, a hub of local horse gossip and marital discord, but it had been a very dull summer.

The Bags had a rule: what’s said in the saddle stays in the saddle. It was why they could all speak about their marriages so openly, sharing secrets with unswerving support, understanding and gales of laughter. Petra owed it to them to liven things up a bit, especially as she’d been the one to introduce the idea of the Safe Married Crush, their way of cheerfully deflecting from those neglectful husbands. Emotional infidelity didn’t count, she’d told the Saddle Bags cheerily. Feeling attracted to someone other than one’s spouse was as healthy as reading an escapist novel – or, in her case, writing one; you were secure in the knowledge that it was all in the mind. Now that her marriage was nearing the end of its second decade and lovemaking had waned to high days and holidays, Petra always tried to keep at least one SMC on the go, an instant guilt- and calorie-free heart-warmer. She justified these innocent infatuations by thinking of them as research. Inspiration for historical erotica was hard to come by when one’s entire life sometimes felt like a never-ending rota of drop-offs and pick-ups, co-ordinating the complicated demands of her teenage and tweeny children, commuter Charlie, and their menagerie of animals, often at the expense of her own fading career. The Safe Married Crush unleashed something wild in buxom, smoky-eyed Petra, which helped her write steamy fiction, as well as immunising her against her husband’s indifference.

None of the Bags took the crushes seriously – Bridge’s on sleazy farrier Flynn was a cause of much hilarity, Mo’s on devilish lurcher-enthusiast and lamper Jed Turner more so, Gill’s on the oleaginous local MP an obvious smokescreen – but they were a source of fun during lean periods, comforters that helped them through the long weeks between Poldark series or anything starring James Norton, especially if one’s husband was only home at weekends, as Petra’s was. Until recently, her secret whim had lain safely with London theatre director Kit Donne but her eye had been drawn inexorably to Compton’s dishiest farmer. Bridge was right: she did have quite a big crush on Bay, but it was at a very delicate stage. The whole point of a Safe Married Crush was that it was innocent, and this one felt unnervingly reciprocal. The texts had been bouncing back and forth all summer, all the best Petra and regards Bay quickly becoming ‘Pxx’ and ‘Bx’. They’d be carving their names in tree trunks next.

Lusting after Bay Austen was hardly an exclusive gig. Many village wives were in Petra’s SMC team. The sexy, roguish agricultural entrepreneur had long been the local pin-up, a good-looking charmer, whose cool Dragon’s Den business head had breathed new life into the family farm, turning his parents’ large arable holding, with its fishery and shoot, into a huge moneyearner. Compton Manor Farm was now a Mecca for craftsmen, holidaymakers, yummy-mummies and foodies, with its business units, farm shop, micro-brewery, yurts and Wagyu cattle, while its small, exclusive shoot was legendary. Taking a gun at one of the

Austens’ cliquey invitation-only days had long been an ambition of shooting-mad Charlie; celebrities and royals were reported to be regulars, along with enough City hedge-funders to enclose the Square Mile in privet and – most importantly to Charlie, whose occasionally ragged career at the Bar relied heavily upon old school ties in the Legal 500 – a great many high-flying, crack-shot solicitors. His enthusiasm for an alliance between Bay and the Gunn family made her crush even more awkward: Charlie had even been overheard loudly encouraging the dashing farmer to buy Petra’s books for his very beautiful, very bored wife.

Bay had bought Petra’s entire backlist – Got one for all the family! B – then teased her when he found out how racy the plots were: Kept them all to myself. Up all night reading, I am officially your biggest fan. Bx. A handsome, bouncy Labrador of a man, constantly waggy-tailed and encouraging, he was hard to put on a discreet pedestal. It had been so much easier to harbour her longing for Kit Donne, who visited his cottage so rarely that it was like fancying a distant celebrity. He’d once owned the Gunns’ farmhouse yet had no idea who Petra was. Bay, by contrast, had her number on speed-dial, a terrible reputation as a flirt and a way of looking at her that made her feel sexier than she had in years.

fiona walker blog tour

 

The Angel – Katerina Diamond ~ Blog Tour.

 

kat diamond

Back of the book : 

The truth won’t stay looked away forever …

When a burnt body is found in a disused signal box, suspicion falls on lonely teenager Gabriel Webb. There’s no doubt he was at the scene of the crime, but does he really deserve what awaits him in prison ?

DS Imogen Grey is certain there’s more to the case, but while she struggles to convince others of the truth, her partner DS Adrian Miles is distracted by his own demons.

When a brutal double murder is reported, their investigation stops short. The duo realise Gabriel might be locked up for a crime he didn’t commit – but with enemies watching his every move, they might be too late …

 

What I think : 

A charred body is found in a old signal box by the railway track in Exeter, Is goth Gabriel Webb to blame ? Yes, he was there at the scene of the crime on the day it happened. But was it him that actually committed the crime ?

DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles are on the case, and something just isn’t adding up. However Adrian has other things on his mind, his son’s new step-father isn’t all he seems and his son thinks that he’s up to no good. Adrian has already had Dominic investigated and found a few disturbing things, however nothing that sticks.

They have Gabriel in custody and he is on remand in prison, however when there is a brutal double murder of an elderly couple and their dog, again things don’t quite seem as they should do. Have they really got the right person in custody after all ?

Poor Gabriel isn’t fairing very well in prison, things seem to happen to his cell mates, they’re taken off to the hospital wing never to be seen again, and he seems to be being watched constantly, and not just by the screws. There is something quite sinister going on and the screws just seem to turn a blind eye ….

Will Imogen and Adrian be able to solve these crimes before its too late …. ?

This is a really fast-paced, dark novel. Right from the beginning there is something going on. it had me riveted.

Again we are reunited with DS Imogen Grey and her partner DS Adrian Grey,  Imogen is struggling, she knows she needs to keep her mind on the case, however she has Dean her ex-convict boyfriend on her mind, she doesn’t know where she stands with him. He’s still acting strangely and blocking her out. Adrian is still trying to figure out what Dominic (his ex-wife’s new husband) is up to. He knows that he’s involved in something bad but he doesn’t know what. He fearing for his son and his ex-wife. He wouldn’t hurt them, would he ?

The characters are brilliantly written and there is one massive twist at the end. All in all this is another fabulous third novel from the pen of Ms Diamond. I can’t wait for the next one !

I give this marvellous book 9/10 ( 5 Stars )

5 gold stars

Published by Avon on 21/09/17.

A huge Thank you to Sabah Khan from Avon for the review copy of the book.

Here for your reading pleasure is an extract from the book …. 

Extract ….

Extract Five from Chapter One, pp 17-18

It had started to spit. As they approached the fence, Gabriel saw two guys in their late teens standing waiting for them, hoods pulled up against the rain. Leanne yanked up some of the chicken wire fencing and disappeared behind it. Gabriel and Emma followed. The disused signal box near Exeter Central station was a known hangout for some of the less savoury characters that Leanne was friends with. As they made their way down, Gabriel heard a commotion and the sound of glass smashing; he was kind of excited at the rebelliousness of it all. In Gabriel’s eyes, the only thing worse than being bored was listening to his parents either fighting or fucking. Tonight was going to be far from boring, he would make sure of it.

Gabriel had seen the boys by the tracks in town before; they were Laners. Laners were the scum of the city as far as most people were concerned. Burnthouse Lane had a reputation for being home to some of the more violent members of local society. Between the ASBOs and the muggings there was little love left for the Laners. The kids were left to fend for themselves and the adults just did what they wanted. There was no community feel to the Lane, except among the teens. Several of the boys claimed to be the offspring of the Sly crew, the firm of football thugs that supported Exeter FC and made a name for themselves in the eighties. The Sly crew were not only well known for their random acts of violence, but also their almost myth-like status. None of the teens were sure if they had ever actually existed or not, which somehow made them even more terrifying to boys like Gabriel growing up. Everyone from the Lane had a story about the Sly crew, usually exaggerated to the point where they had witnessed a murder or were owed a massive favour that they could call in at any time.

Inside, the signal box was set up like an office, with all the levers chained to the wall, although most likely no longer connected to the tracks. There were three large chairs facing the centre and various wrappers, bottles, needles and other rubbish lying around the place. Gabriel stayed standing, aware that they may need to start running at any moment if anyone figured out they were in there. Emma wrapped her arms around herself, rubbing her arms as though she was cold and huddling up on a chair, crossing her legs to stay warmer.

kat diamond blog tour

 

The House – Simon Lelic ~Blog Tour.

the house

 

Back of the Book : 

Are you sure, you’ve locked the door ?

Are you sure you’re alone ?

Every house has a past.

Every couple has their secrets. 

Londoner’s Jack and Syd moved into their house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home : tons of space, the perfect location and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.

So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Sad choose to ignore it. But that was a mistake.

Because someone has just been murdered.

Right outside their back door.

And now the police are watching them … 

 

What I think : 

Syd, Jack’s Wife is really pleased when they win a sealed bid auction on a house they never thought they’d be able to afford. Never in a million years did they think that the owner would pick them, as they thought that their offer must be a lot lower than everyones else’s.

The house itself comes packed with all the old owners belongings, and when I say packed I mean horder packed, old newspapers, boxes and letters are all crammed in, I don’t think the old owners ever threw anything away !  Apparently they just upped and left, leaving everything behind.

Syd really loves the house but Jack isn’t as fussed, he thinks there is something a bit dark and a bit wrong with the house. But, he wants to makes to make Syd happy so he goes along with it and agrees to live there.

However, soon odd things start to happen, and they find something really awful in the loft. Its from there on in that it starts to get really weird and all the time the police are watching …..

The book is narrated through the couple, Jack and Syd. It tells us how their live spirals out of control almost as soon as they move into “The House”

We also get to know them a bit better through their pasts, Syd’s was more unsettled as she fell into the wrong path and took drugs. Where as Jacks life is more settled and was brought up in a mddle class household.

The book is pretty creepy right from the start, it has loads of twists and turns which kept me on the edge of my seat. I did find it slightly slow going to start with but it soon gathers pace.

Te characters are are brilliantly written and quite believable.

I quite liked the different way it was written and give it 8/10.

Published by Penguin on Ebook on 17/09/17 and in Paperback 02/11/17.

A Huge Thank you to Annie Hollands at Penguin for the review copy of the book

 

HOUSE-blogtourposter

 

 

 

The Roanoke Girls – Amy Engel.

Hello lovely book people …

I just wanted to do a quick review of this novel that I’ve just read …

I’d heard loads about it, I think its even on the Richard and Judy book list, so I was quite eager to buy it. However, with all things that have been hyped, I found it falling slightly short.

Anyway here’s my thoughts in this short review …

 

the roanoke girls

Back of the book: 

Beautiful, rich, mysterious …

The Roanoke Girls seem to have it all.

But there’s a dark truth about them that’s never been spoken.

Every Girl either runs away, or dies.

Lane is one of the lucky ones. When she was fifteen, over one long , hot summer at her grandparents’ estate in rural Kanas, she found out what it really means to be a Roanoke Girl.

Lane ran, far and fast

Until ten years later, when her Cousin Allegra goes missing – Lane has no choice but to go back.

She is a Roanoke Girl.

Is she strong enough to escape a second time ?

 

What I think : 

This is one odd book ! Like I said at the start of this review I’d heard a lot of different things about this book, mostly of how screwed up it is. However in my opinion, I don’t think it quite warrants this sort of description. Yes, admittedly there are some very questionable things that happen in this book, which to my mind are pretty sick, but in this day and age I really didn’t think think that it was quite that bad.

I went into reading this book with a open mind, but, as I started reading I pretty much guessed what was going to be the underlying topic of the book. I won’t say anything as I don’t want to ruin it for those who haven’t read it. However, I think like me, you can guess whats going to happen. Having said all that, I quite enjoyed the book, it is one of those that once you start reading you can’t put it down until you get to the end and find out whats going to happen. It also has a great twist, which I didn’t guess.

I give this questionable book 8/10.

Published on 10/08/17 by Hodder.

I purchased my copy from Amazon for £7.99.

Every Last Lie – Mary Kubica ~ Blog Tour.

mary Kubica

 

Back of the book :

She always trusted her husband …. 

Until he died ….

Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed.

But when Maisie starts having nightmares, Clara becomes obsessed that Nicks death was far much than just an accident.

Who wanted Nick dead ? And, more importantly, Why ? Clara will stop at nothing to find the truth – even if it makes her question whether her entire marriage has been a lie …..

 

What I think : 

Clara and Nick have a happy marriage, two kids, Maisie and four-day-old Felix, all in all they have a good life together, So you can imagine how Clara feels when Nick goes out one day to collect Maisie from her dance class and to buy some takeaway food, and never returns. Instead of her husband at the door its the police. They inform her that Nick has died in a car accident, but little Maisie is fine, apart from a cut on her hand. However Maisie is very traumatised, not by the accident its self, but by the “Bad Man’ that was after them at the time of the accident and who Maisie thinks may have followed them to the hospital. She won’t tell Clara who the “Bad Man’ is though she’s far too scared.

Its when Maisie starts having nightmares and won’t sleep on her own that Clara thinks that there was maybe more to this accident than meets the eye. as Clara starts to ask questions she soon discovers that her husband may have been lying to her all along and her marriage may well have been a lie ….

This book is split into parts : Nick – before the accident and Clara – Now.

The “Nick” before parts is narrated by nick and its a bit before the baby is born and before the accident. These chapters sort of set the scene for his and Clara’s life together on the run up to the accident.

The ‘Clara” now parts show how Clara is grieving and coping with the death of her husband and also how she soon realises that the accident probably wasn’t an accident after all. It also shows how she’s tries to work out what happened and how she keeps her children safe.

This is a novel that is full of twists and turns. Its very fast-paced, when I say that, I mean it moves very quickly and you have to really concentrate to keep up. But in a good way as its quite unput-downable. I really liked the way that the author wrote from different perspectives, Nick’s in the past and Clara’s now.

There are many secrets and lies that come out in Clara and Nick’s Marriage and I did wonder sometimes where the author was taking it. However it does all become clear in the end. Talking of endings, WOW ! what an ending ! its got a real hum-dinger of a twist, you really don’t see it coming.

This is the first of Mary”s novels that I have read, I will certainly be going out and getting her back list !

This is an excellent novel that keeps you right on the edge of your seat. I would highly recommend it and give it 9/10 (5 Stars)

5 gold stars

 

Published by HQ (Harper Collins) on 10/08/17

A big Thank you to Anna Massardi from HQ for the review copy of the book.

mary kubica blog tour

 

Then She was Gone – Lisa Jewell.

 

lisa jewell

Back of the book : 

She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl.

She had her whole life in front of her.

And then, in the blink of an eye she was gone … 

Ten years on, Laurel has never given up hope of finding Ellie. And then she meets a charming and charismatic stranger who sweeps her off her feet.

But what really takes her breath away is when she meets his nine-year-old daughter.

Because his daughter is the image of Ellie.

Now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back …

What really happened to Ellie ? 

And who still has secrets to hide ? 

 

What I think : 

When Laurel’s daughter Ellie went missing, she wasn’t sure whether she ran away or something more sinister has happened to her. But, almost 10 years later Laurel still holds on to the hope that, one day Ellie might just come back …. I mean, she only left to go to the library, she hadn’t packed any clothes or taken any of her other belongings so she obviously was meaning to come home again …

Then Laurel meets Floyd, she’s just sat in a coffee shop eating cake and there he is. They start to chat. Finally Laurel feels strong enough to move on and maybe have a life.

Floyd has 2 Daughters, one from his ex-wife, who’s all but grown now, and he also has a  nine-year-old called Poppy from a relationship that went rather bad. Poppy’s mother isn’t around anymore so Floyd is a single parent.

When Lauren meets Poppy she has a bit of a shock, for Poppy looks just like her lost daughter Ellie …

Is it all just a huge coincidence ?

Or does Floyd know more than he’s telling ?

I absolutely loved this brilliant novel !

The characters are fabulous, Laurel has two other children, that are older than Ellie. Her relationships with both of her remaining children are pretty strained. I think this is because of what happened when Ellie went missing, also her marriage to Ellie’s father Paul has broken down, which nine times out of ten happens when something like this happens to a family. Both of theses things are perfectly described in this book.

This book is broken down into four parts, before, the beginning, the middle and the after. Also some of the chapters are narrated by the main characters, so you always know what is going on.

But, what I liked the most was the way that Lisa has effortlessly crossed over from women’s fiction to thriller/crime writing. This book had me hooked from the very first page to the last. I absolutely loved the way it had me on the edge of my seat with all its twists and turns.

Although I pretty much guessed the twist, it was Lisa’s brilliant writing that had me hooked until its brilliant conclusion.

I really loved this book and I’m looking forward to more from Lisa in this genre.

I give this book a very well-earned 10/10.

5 gold stars

Published by Century (Penguin books) on 27/07/17.

I purchased my copy from Waterstones Cambridge for £9.99.

 Perfect Prey – Helen Fields ~ Blog Tour.

 

prefect prey

Back of the book : 

There will be blood ….

Welcome to Edinburgh.

Murder capital of Europe.

In the middle of a rock festival, a charity worker is sliced across the stomach. He dies minutes later. In a crowd of thousands, no one saw his attacker.

The following week, the body of a primary school teacher is found in a dumpster, strangled with her own scarf.

D.I Ava Turner and D.I Luc Callanach have no leads and no motive – Until graffiti appears around the city, describing each victim.

Its only when they realise the words are being written before rather than after the murders, that they understand the killer is announcing his next victim … And the more innocent the better.

What I think : 

When a well-liked charity worker is slashed in the stomach and killed at a rock festival, no-one saw it. And then almost minutes after, across town, a woman is crushed by her own furniture. Her attacker/murderer pushed a heavy chest of drawers on her and jumped on it, Squashing her to death. There are no clues and again no-one saw anything. Are the two linked … ?

D.I Luc Callanach and D.I Ava Turner are put on the case, they have nothing to go on. They have no witnesses and no CCTV.  Soon, however, there are two more murders. An elderly Librarian is skinned and strung up in the basement of the library where he worked and then a young woman is found strangled by her own scarf, and thrown in a dumpster.  Are all four linked do they have a serial killer on the loose … ?

Then there is the graffiti that has started appearing around town …

Who is doing this and why .. ? Can Luc and Ava catch them before its too late … ?

Just like the last book, this one has a lot of blood and is pretty gory, the line on the front of the novel is very true … ‘There is a lot of blood”

This time however the author has split Luc and Ava up. Luc is more on his own as D.I Turner has her own cases to solve and also a face from her past has turned up in the shape of DCI Joe Edgar. He has arrived at the station with his own team to help investigate a cyber crime. DCI Edgar doesnt really seem to like Luc very much. He also seems to be taking up a lot of Ava’s spare time, so Luc isn’t even seeing her socially either.

I really liked all the twists and turns of this one and as usual the characters are really well written. I did think that Luc seemed slightly more human in this novel. But Ava seemed really unapproachable and different. I know she has a lot to deal with, but I do hope that in the next one she’s back to her normal self.

All in all a brilliant second novel in the D.I Callanach series and I’m really looking forward to the next one.

I give this a well earned 8/10 (4 Stars)

four-stars

Published by Avon Books on 27/07/17.

A big thank you to Sabah Khan at Avon Books for the review copy of the book.

And here for your reading pleasure is an extract from the book.

Extract …

Extract 2 Chapter 2 page 10 – 12

The cut was deep, even, and yet very little force seems to have been required to puncture far into the abdominal cavity. Whoever did this took pride in it, thought about efficiency, understood the mechanics of it. This was no impromptu stabbing or weapon grabbed in the heat of an argument.’

‘An assassination then?’ Callanach asked, bending over the body and taking stock.

‘More like a ritual, if you ask me,’ she said. ‘This was dreamed up, practised and perfected.’

‘How old is he?’

‘Between eighteen and twenty-two, I think. Five feet, eleven inches. Active, no spare fat, good muscle mass but not one of those types who live at the gym. Size ten shoe. Brown hair, hazel eyes. No defence wounds. Never saw it coming.’

‘So he didn’t recognise his attacker as a threat when they came for him?’

‘Most unlikely. You don’t look well yourself, Luc. Are you sleeping?’ Ailsa asked as she peeled off her gloves and made notes.

‘I’m sleeping just fine,’ he lied.

‘Eating properly? You’re pale and you have broken blood vessels in your eyes.’

‘I’ll phone you tomorrow for the tox results,’ he evaded. ‘Anything before that and you have my mobile number.’

‘Give my regards to DI Turner, would you? I haven’t seen her for an age. I used to catch up with her mother regularly at an opera appreciation group but I haven’t bumped into her recently either,’ Ailsa said, stretching her back. In her mid-sixties, tiny and birdlike, she was a force to be reckoned with.

‘I’ll pass that on,’ he said, stripping off his own gown and dropping it into the bin outside the door.

On his return to the station, a grim welcome party sat around in the incident room. Callanach looked directly to Detective Constable Tripp.

‘Just following up a lead from a phone call, sir,’ Tripp said. ‘Young woman called in to say she and her boyfriend got separated at the festival. He hasn’t turned up yet. I’ve sent a car to pick her up.’

‘Did she give his name?’ Callanach asked, grabbing coffee as he sat at a computer.

‘Sim Thorburn,’ Tripp replied, pressing a couple of keys and

waiting for a photo to load, one step ahead as ever. Some new social networking site popped up in seconds with a multitude of larger than life photos. In each one, the lad was smiling, laughing, his expression carefree and guileless. In the last, he was hand in hand with his girlfriend. Without a doubt, it was the same hand that Ailsa Lambert had been patting a short while ago.

‘That’s him,’ Callanach said. ‘So what do we know?’

‘At the moment, everything that’s on his home page. He didn’t bother with privacy filters, so it’s there for the world to see. He’s twenty-one, Scottish, lives in Edinburgh.’

‘Police record?’

‘Not that we can find.’ A phone rang behind Tripp and someone passed him a note. ‘The girlfriend’s here, sir. And DCI Begbie wants to see you as soon as you’re done.’

‘Of course he does,’ Callanach said, standing up. ‘Do you have any idea where DI Turner is, Tripp? Only Ailsa Lambert was asking after her.’

‘Off duty,’ DC Salter shouted from the corridor. ‘Said something about maybe being in late tomorrow too. Did you want me to get a message to her, sir?’

‘No thanks, Salter,’ Callanach shouted after her. ‘It’s nothing that can’t wait.’ Unlike Sim Thorburn’s girlfriend, no doubt already suspecting the worst but who’d be downstairs holding out for a miracle. She would be imagining some mistake, hoping perhaps that in

spite of the evidence, her boyfriend had met some friends and wandered off without telling her. Any number of excuses for his disappearance would be going through her mind. Until she saw Callanach’s face, he thought. People knew the second they looked at you.

 

prefect prey blog tour