It’s autumn in Abergarry
The nights lengthen and the weather turns and the atmosphere darkens as the community is rocked by a brutal roadside murder; a loan shark’s ‘bag man’, Craig Lumsden, is found bludgeoned to death in his car in the early hours of the morning.
The season for murder
The case seems simple enough, and the fingers quickly point to the most obvious suspect. But things are rarely as simple as they seem…..
A murder that’s too close to home
Too close for comfort, and definitely too close for complacency for private investigators Maddy Clifford and Paul Mackenzie. Delving into the case brings at least one on them face-to-face with danger … will life in Abergarry ever be the same again?
10 December 1987
The flat, spitting sound of the gunshot was almost lost in the snap of Duncan Wallace’s collar as the wind stepped up a level. But the faltering shape in the sky told him his aim had been true; the grouse tumbled, graceless, to the ground, to be triumphantly borne back in the laughing mouth of Duncan’s Gordon setter.
‘Good lad, Spark,’ Duncan murmured, handing the bird to his underkeeper.
‘Nice shot.’ Alexander’s voice lacked conviction as he lined up his own, but Duncan took the compliment; it had been a tough shot in this wind. He allowed himself a moment’s satisfaction as he watched his underkeeper fasten the kill to his previous one.
A glance at his other three companions, ranged across the hillside, showed them eyeing their own totals with less satisfaction – particularly Will, standing at a conspicuous distance from the others. The five of them had been at the same school at roughly the same time; Rob and Duncan had always been close, as had Sandy and Mick, and the four of them had, from mildly rebellious boyhood, together enjoyed the freedoms that well-off family connections afforded.
Will Kilbride was a decent enough bloke too, but he was… superfluous, really. He’d started hanging around with them as they’d hit their teens, and had been tolerated well enough, but no-one noticed, or minded, if he wasn’t there. Besides, he was new money, and it showed. For all that, Duncan quite liked him. He had a certain tenacity about the way he was deter‐ mined to become part of this inner circle of Highlands royalty, and a bluntness of manner that appealed to Duncan’s sense of devilry.
Anyway, today was the last day of the grouse season, and Duncan was feeling expansive. It was a time for goodwill, not elitism; for celebration, and perhaps a little well-earned gloating now, too, since the sun was dipping too low for the others to catch up.
He let Sandy take his shot, then broke his own gun for the last time. ‘That’s it, lads! Time to call it a day.’
‘Are we stopping for a dram before we head back?’ Rob asked. ‘Bit of a wind-down?’
Duncan looked back along the path, to where the gillie’s wooden hut nestled halfway down the hill by the fast-flowing river, overshadowed by trees so it was barely visible. There would be a parfin lamp, camping chairs, and some half- assed attempt at whisky waiting in there. He pulled a face. ‘Prefer a proper drink,’ he said. ‘What do you say, Mick, how’s that home brew of yours? We’re closer to yours here anywhere.’ His friend looked up at the lowering sky. ‘Aye, okay,’ he agreed. ‘All back to mine, then.’
Duncan looked at Will, since none of the others did. ‘Coming?’
Will shook his head, affecting a fairly convincing regretful look. ‘I’ve got to pick up Donna from her granny’s.’
Duncan and Rob exchanged knowing grins. Will had made no secret of the fact that, if he had to sit through Mick banging on about his family’s prized gem collection once more, he’d nick them himself, and distribute them to all his most gauche aunts for Christmas. Little Donna Kilbride had probably just deprived her great aunts of some interesting gifts this year..
Thank you, R.D. Nixon and Random Things Tours
About the author
R.D. (Terri) Nixon is a prolific writer, with thirteen books under her belt now. In addition to this crime series, she also writes historical fiction, family sagas and mythical fiction. When she’s not writing, Terri works in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Business at Plymouth University, where she is constantly
baffled by the number of students who don’t possess pens
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fair-Game-gripping-investigator-Clifford-Mackenzie-ebook/dp/B09S1BPL94/