Today I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Hangman’s End. I’m sharing an extract from the book with thanks to Zoe O’Farrell for inviting me on the tour and to the author for my copy of the extract.
Twenty years apart.
The discovery of two bodies beneath London Bridge plunges DI Jack MacIntosh and his team at the Metropolitan Police into two of the most complex investigations they’ve ever had to deal with.
With two decades separating them, can the cases really be linked?
Having an intense dislike for coincidences, Jack can’t let it go.
And when evidence then emerges pointing to a 1989 cold case, Jack is transported back in time to a miscarriage of justice that has haunted him for quarter of a century – and back to a little girl he vowed never to forget.
As two cases turn into three, becoming more and more entwined, will the river finally give up its secrets?
Because sometimes the dead can speak.
Hangman’s End is the fifth book in the DI Jack MacIntosh series.
Date: Wednesday 21st May 2014
Location: London Bridge, London SE1
The call had come in at a little after two o’clock. Detective Inspector Jack MacIntosh hadn’t been asleep and it had taken him all of two minutes to pull on some clothes and run out to the car. The details had been fairly brief but the urgency, even at this time of night, wasn’t lost on him.
The streets were quiet and Jack soon arrived at the entrance to London Bridge, parking at the side of the road by Monument tube station. That was as far as he could get – the outer cordon already established. He could see the bridge was already littered with patrol cars, plus one ambulance standing idly by. The road had been blocked off at both ends; no traffic allowed on or off the bridge.
As he stepped out of the Mondeo, Jack spied a vehicle he recognised. As he made his way on foot across to the south side, where the majority of activity was centred, he picked out the balding head of the force’s forensic pathologist standing a good foot or so above everybody else.
Dr Philip Matthews stood close to the edge of the bridge, peering over into the shallow waters below.
“Evening, Doc.” Jack approached the pathologist’s side and followed his gaze. “What’ve we got?”
Dr Matthews hesitated before tearing his eyes away from the activity beneath them. A tired smile crossed his face. “Good morning, Jack. Hope we didn’t wake you.”
Jack gave a quick shake of the head. “Not at all.” Chance would be a fine thing, he wanted to add.
The pathologist turned to look back down towards the river. “It’s an unusual one, Jack. I’ll say that much. I’ve been here only a few minutes myself – they’re still establishing the scene down there. I expect we’ll get the nod to go down shortly.”
Jack saw the familiar figure of Elliott Walker, crime scene manager, below them on the shingle covered banks. Even with his protective suit on, Jack recognised the tall, lithe figure instantly – getting a glimpse of his smooth shaven head before the investigator snapped the elastic hood back into place.
“First indications?” The message Jack had received had been patchy to say the least. A body found beneath London Bridge – that had been the extent of the information divulged that tore Jack from his pitiful attempt at sleep. He joined the pathologist in peering over the edge of the bridge once more, his eyes searching for the body on the banks below. A jumper, surely. It had to be a jumper. But despite scanning the area several times, Jack couldn’t see anything resembling the poor unfortunate soul who had decided tonight was the night to jump.
“Dog walker found it not a couple of hours ago.” Dr Matthews nodded towards the river bed. “Concealed in a suitcase.”
Jack’s eyebrows shot up. “A suitcase?” That piece of information had been absent from the earlier brief phone call.
Dr Matthews nodded, gravely. “That’s all I’ve been told so far.”
Just as Jack opened his mouth to comment, he spied Elliott raising a hand in their direction. “Looks like that’s our cue, Doc. Let’s get down there.”
An inner cordon had been set up around the immediate location of the suitcase. Once down on the river bed, both Jack and Dr Matthews donned their protective clothing and signed the official attendance log, then ducked under the tape and made their way towards the commotion.
Arc lights were already erected, illuminating the area in a harsh, false light – and the metal stepping plates, set at regular intervals, helped guide them across the silt banks. Jack slowed down as they approached the scene. “Elliott? What’ve you got for us?”
Elliott Walker turned around, and Jack could immediately see the concern in the man’s eyes. As an experienced crime scene manager, Elliott had attended many a distressing scene, but his eyes told Jack that this one was bad. Really bad.
“Jack. Dr Matthews.” Elliott nodded in greeting, stepping to the side to allow both of them to move closer.
Jack hadn’t really known what to expect.
But it definitely wasn’t this.
“Discovered at approximately twelve-thirty, the suitcase contains what we believe to be a torso, plus both arms and legs. No head, hands, or feet located at this stage.” Elliott paused and Jack noticed, even in the dark, how the seasoned crime scene manager’s face had paled. “I’m no medical professional, but it looks to me like a child.”
Hangman’s End is available from Amazon.
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