RUN THE GAUNTLET
DI Donna Davenport and her team are under pressure.
With the hunt on for the country’s most notorious cop killer, and an ongoing complex international investigation, the murder of a local thug during a football match is the last thing the police need.
But as more incidents overload the police, and fear brings vigilante mobs onto the streets, suspicion grows that the mayhem is being orchestrated.
CUT AND RUN
One man can make it stop. With the city heading towards chaos and disaster Donna prepares to abandon caution and the rules, even if it means she is ostracised by her own team.
The body lay the length of the office floor, on its front and in a pool of blood around the head area. His feet were closest to the door. Donna’s eyes took in the worn black trainers, the black socks and shorts, the bright yellow top with black trim and blood-stained shoulders, the grey face lying side-on with its grey eyes staring at the opposite wall. And the wooden-handled axe planted firmly into the back of his shockingly crimson skull. She glanced up at the surrounding walls, and wondered what story the blood spatter she saw there would tell.
Archie McKinnes is dead, she thought, leaning in to take a closer look at the all too familiar face. The world was a better place. She caught the look that passed between Dexter and Cornton, and wondered if she’d said it out loud. Not that it mattered. She was pretty sure they were thinking the same thing.
“Don’t waste your time trying to find out who killed the useless fucker,” came a woman’s voice. “There’ll be a queue a mile long.”
Donna flinched as much in annoyance as in surprise that someone else was here at the murder scene. The newly widowed Agnes McKinnes stood in a corner of the office, staring at her husband’s cleaved head, with her arms folded firmly across her bosom, and an expression on her face that could stop a train in its tracks.
“There is a queue a mile long,” said Donna, picturing the 780 fans who’d been at the game.
Agnes drew a cigarette from her pocket and went for her lighter.
“Put that away,” said Donna, “this is a crime scene.” She turned to Dexter. “And what the hell is she still doing in here, anyway?” There were too many McKinneses in here. Even if one of them was dead. “Get her out of here.”
Dexter mumbled something about the imminent arrival of the FLO.
“She’s hardly shocked or upset,” Donna told him. “It’s not family liaison she needs.”
Dexter’s cheeks flushed, but he dutifully began to usher Agnes away from the crime scene.
As they were leaving, Agnes seemed to have a change of heart, and she broke free of Dexter’s steer, hurrying back to Donna’s side. In a small voice she asked, “Is it you that’s going to lead the investigation?”
In that moment, Donna saw the version of Agnes that she’d seen many times before. The Agnes with the fire belted out of her guts. The Agnes with her life in pieces, who endured the sting of failure and the bitter taste of self loathing over and over as she would let the words of some ludicrous excuse cross her lips – an excuse that would make an arrest pointless.
Thank you, Jackie McLean and Love Books Group Tours.
About the author
Jackie lives in Glasgow and has a varied background, including being a government economist, a political lobbyist, and running a pet shop in Glasgow’s Southside (ask her anything about pets). She currently works with East Ayrshire Council, where un-til recently her job involved frequent visits to Kilmarnock Prison.
• Toxic is her first crime novel, introducing DI Donna Davenport, and was shortlisted in the Yeovil Literary Prize before publication by ThunderPoint Publishing Ltd.
• The sequel, Shadows, was published in October 2017, and
• Her third book in the DI Davenport series (Run) will be published in October 2019.
Jackie has appeared at crime writing festivals Newcastle Noir, Crime at the Castle and Literally @ Newbattle, and regularly appears at Noir at the Bar events (including Edinburgh, Newcastle, Dundee and Dunfermline). She also forms part of the Dan-gerous Dames and Murder & Mayhem along with a number of other crime writers, and has appeared at events in libraries and bookstores across Scotland as part of these. She is one of Bloody Scotland’s 2019 Crime in the Spotlight authors.
Until recently, Jackie ran the writing group at Waterstones Braehead, and has also run creative writing sessions with the men in Kilmarnock Prison.
Website : https://jackiemcleanauthor.com