– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Nine Lives’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
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.
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.
“We discovered on Hazel’s wrist a bracelet with the words To Hazel from Paul inscribed on it. Was she having a relationship with anybody called Paul from here in Dublin? One of the locals in Blairstown told me that she was going out with a young man she knew from Trinity and that he used to come down to see her some weekends.”
“Paul? No, sorry, again I have no idea. God, you must think I was a very irresponsible father because I have no notion of who my daughter was seeing.”
“Not at all, as you said she was a typical student, she liked to socialise and meet people.
“Did Hazel keep a diary by any chance, or maybe a little notebook that she stored her friend’s phone numbers or addresses in?”
“Yes, she did, I have it upstairs, you’re welcome to look through it, just hold on a moment,” Colin said as he got up from his chair and left the room.
Mulcahy could hear the heavy steps of the doctor climbing the stairs and walking on a creaking wooden floor above the drawing room. The footsteps stopped for a minute and then he heard them coming down the stairs again.
“Here you are, Jim, this was on her bedside locker,” Colin said, passing the detective a small hardback notebook with a cover embellished with a red and yellow floral design.
“Thanks, Colin, do you mind if I hold onto it for a week or so just to check it thoroughly?”
“Sure, that’s fine…There was something else… look, maybe it’s nothing,” Colin said, holding out a small piece of notepaper he had taken out of his pocket.
“What is it? As I said, the least little item or information could make all the difference.”
“When Vanessa and I went to Blairstown to collect Hazel’s belongings, after the Guards said it was okay to do so, of course, I discovered this peculiar note. It was in a small envelope that was ripped open. I found the envelope in a drawer in the kitchen. The envelope was addressed to Hazel. It just said, Hazel Devereaux, on it. It didn’t have the house address. So maybe it was just pushed through the letterbox.”
“What did the note say?” Mulcahy said impatiently.
“Here, you read it,” Colin said.
“The solemn song be sung,” Mulcahy read, holding out the note in front of him.
“The solemn song be sung,” Colin repeated, having obviously memorised the line because he had read it and pondered over it so often.
“Does that mean anything to you?” Mulcahy asked.
“No, I have no idea what the significance of it is, I was hoping that you might know.”
“It could be a line from a popular song maybe, but I’m not sure, to be honest with you. I’ll have to check it out.”
“Do you think it could be linked to the murderer?”
The Magic of Wor(l)ds