In Western Ireland in 1979, Hazel Devereaux, a student of Trinity College in Dublin, goes missing while working at a summer job. Six months later her body is discovered in a shallow grave. A line from a poem by Edgar Allan Poe entitled “A Paean” is discovered in an envelope at the house Hazel was renting.
Could this be a calling card of the murderer?
Thirty years later, Detective Ray Logue discovers that a series of murders in Boston appear to be connected to the killings in 1979. Each victim also received a line from the poem by Edgar Allan Poe delivered to their homes.
It becomes evident that a serial killer is at work and has claimed seven lives so far.
The murderer kills two victims every ten years, always on a year ending in nine and always on the same dates in June and December. If he follows the same pattern, he will kill again in less than a fortnight.
Ray Logue is dispatched to Boston to work alongside Detective Olivia Callaghan and Inspector Sam Harper to discover the identity of the murderer and to stop him before he strikes again. Logue’s ‘bull in a china shop’ policing method brings him into conflict with Sam Harper’s more calculated and measured approach.
As a result, trying to work together becomes almost as challenging as catching the serial killer.
But catch a killer they must.
Sunday 3rd June, 1979
Four miles outside Blairstown,
County Galway, Ireland
Her wrists were red, blood red. Raw and agonisingly sore from squeezing them through the rope knot that had bound her to the rafter of the low ceiling of the outhouse. The back of her head was still pounding from the blow she endured that had left her unconscious for what must have been hours. It was morning now and she was running, terrified, across cold, rain-soaked grass, looking for a road, for a way out, but all around were high overgrown ditches of blackthorns. Her lungs fought to pull in air, adrenaline fueling her now, but reserves were running low. She had no idea how many miles she had run but she knew she had to keep going. The next field might bring her closer to salvation. As she pulled her feet through the cattle tramped mud of a wide gap she observed the light of a house below her. This steep gradient of the hill made her descent towards the beckoning light of the farm settlement easier as she dashed towards it. Each stumbling stride brought her closer to refuge, she hoped.
The rusted gate opened clumsily as it scraped along the concrete farm yard, her tired weak arms struggling to lift it. A border collie barked nervously as she approached. Her throbbing wrists powered her fists to pound upon the white painted door. Her cries echoed around the damp grey walls. A bolt shunted back and then a
latch lifted. Behind the narrow and cautiously opened door, greying middle aged female hair first appeared leading down towards tired eyes and a wide open mouth.
“What’s wrong, what’s wrong, who are you?” the middle-aged woman said.
“Please, please for the love of God help me, you have to let me in, he’s after me, he’ll find me,” the young woman pleaded.
“Okay, calm down, come in,” the middle-aged woman said as she opened the door wide. “Come into the kitchen, you’re freezing you poor thing, come into the warmth.”
“My name is Josie, what’s your name?” Josie asked as she directed the frightened young woman along a dark corridor into a small kitchen and placed her on a chair next to a smoke-stained cream range.
“I’m Hazel, my name is Hazel, do you have a phone? I need to ring the Guards.”
“We have no phone, what’s wrong, why do you need the Guards, what’s wrong, Hazel?” Josie asked.
“I was attacked by someone last night. All I remember is that I was walking out of Blairstown, heading home. I was in a pub, Grogan’s, and I left about midnight. I was walking to the house I was staying at… look, can you just give me a lift please to the Garda station? He is going to find me, and he is going to hurt me. I’m pleading with you, please!” Hazel screamed.
Thank you, Kevin McManus and Zooloo’s Book Tours
About the author
Kevin McManus is an Irish author. He primarily writes Crime Fiction novels but also delves into writing poetry and short stories. He lives in County Leitrim in Western Ireland with his wife Mary and their dog Jack. He works by day as a secondary school teacher. Kevin has produced a series of novels featuring an Irish Detective called Ray Logue and a series based around a New York Detective called John Morrigan. His debut novel published in 2016 was “The Whole of the Moon”. In a previous incarnation, Kevin was a bass guitarist in several rock bands for over twenty year. Kevin is a supporter of Aston Villa FC which has caused him to age prematurely.