Very excited to have won a signed copy of this book. I have of course already read it and thoroughly enjoyed it. But to have one from the hand of the author is pretty special.
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Truth Series. Book 2/Chapter 12
Link to Twist of Truth on Amazon
“Poor old thing. Did you get any details?” They were driving away from Ramstone. They passed the bungalows on the outskirts of the village and then it was all dry stone walls and fields dotted with shaggy sheep and low, wind formed trees. As soon as he had closed the car door Simon had blurted out the news about his ‘client’.
“No, not really. There’s no real reason to do it but I’ve been arguing with myself back and forth, trying to keep things in perspective, not jumping to conclusions, but I just keep thinking it’s bloody odd.”
“Do you know where it happened?”
“Yes, I looked at the local news on line. It’s not all that far from where Melanie was killed, and I’m trying not to read anything into that. It’s not the most direct route but it is the nicer one, going over the tops as it does but…”
“Did you make a note of whereabouts?”
“Yes, can we go and look, can we do that first?” She nodded.
“I know these roads can be dangerous but it’s a heck of a coincidence isn’t it? Or am I just a bit freaked out and overreacting?”
What had promised to be very little more than an excuse for a winter picnic had become something else and the atmosphere in the little car was sharp with tension.
It was easy to see where the accident had happened. The grass beside the road was torn and muddied. Great clods of soil had been thrown up the bank which was scarred with huge gouges where the big four wheeled drive had plunged down the embankment. Yellow paint on the road, marking the start of the skid and swerve evidenced the police investigation. Simon and Gloria walked back and forth. A wet wind began to blow and grey clouds scudded low across the sky.
Gloria pulled her collar closer. “Not much to see really is there? He’s lucky someone came along, it’s not that busy.”
“It was a young woman, been taking her daughter to school apparently and just coming back a different route from normal.”
“I wonder if we can find out who that was?”
“Perhaps. I think I’ll go to the hospital as soon as they say he’s well enough to have visitors and maybe Charlie will be able to tell us more.”
“Well, I wouldn’t bank on it. If he was knocked out he might well not remember anything.”
“No, but – well, I can ask.” She nodded and climbed back into the warm car.
“So, the other accident, the first one. Can we work out from the plan exactly where that was? As we’re here we might just as well carry on.”
“Yes. Down here, there should be a narrow turn off and it was just before that.”
“It’s an odd place for a young girl to be walking about on her own isn’t it?”
“Yes, I’ve puzzled about that myself but her friends said that she often walked this way. Did it because she enjoyed the buzz of being on the hills alone. I can sort of understand that because I love it myself but it’s not that usual for women, girls, is it, even these days? Plus, it was winter, latish in the day, all just a little bit of an odd choice to make.”
“Well, I guess she must have been pretty self-confident. Didn’t do her any favours though in the end. Here we are. Is this the turn?”
“Looks like it. It’s very isolated.”
“Yes, but once you get over the dip there are houses, not quite as lonely as you would think. I wonder where that turn off leads to?”
“High Hill Farm according to the OS map.”
Clouds had gathered in grey heaps on the tops of the moors and they lowered now over the peaks and flowed into the valleys. Sheep huddled at the foot of low walls and in minutes they could see only a couple of hundred yards in any direction.
“God, the weather’s turned now. Come on Gloria, get back in the car. Did you bring something hot to drink?”
“I did but I don’t think this is going to clear do you?”
“Let’s give it a little while it might blow over. Anyway I rather like it when it’s like this. As long as you’re not out in it with the wrong clothes on it can be fun and it certainly makes you appreciate a hot shower after.”
She poured soup into mugs and gave him a packet of cheese and ham sandwiches and they ate quietly, watching through the streaming windows as the moors, the road and the walls vanished in swirls of mist.
The roads ran with water and fine rain whispered against the windows. But every now and again a glimpse of blue peeked through and as suddenly as it had begun the drear weather cleared. Beams of light speared through the remaining clouds and the pools and puddles shone in wintery sunshine. Grass and leaves twinkled with moisture and as a hawk spiralled up into the rapidly clearing sky Simon sighed and leaned forward to wipe with a cloth at the condensation on the inside of the windscreen. “This is what it’s about for me you know. This is the closest thing to magic that I can imagine. I know it’s lovely in the summer but this, this wildness is what I love.”
“Yeah, it’s pretty special, I used to enjoy it back in the day, with Dave you know.” She sighed. Anyway, we need to get back, if you’ve seen all you want to.”
“I think so, to be honest I’m not sure I’ve learned anything much but it’s been good to come here, it all helps to make it real.”
Gloria pulled out onto the narrow highway and gave a little squeal as a horn blared loud into the quiet. She wrenched the wheel over as a Land Rover, its headlights flashing, streaked past them down the gleaming tarmac.
“Bloody hell. That’s a bit quick for the conditions isn’t it? I’m beginning to think this road is jinxed.” She puffed out a sharp breath and then slipped the stalled car into neutral. She turned the key, Indicated and turned to look back through the window, no longer trusting what she saw in the mirror, she pulled slowly onto the road.
Simon reached over and touched her leg, “Are you okay, you’ve gone pale?”
“Yeah, yeah I’m fine, it just made me jump that’s all. It came out of nowhere.”
Filed under Books, Serials, Serials, Shorts and Stuff
Truth Series. Book 2/Chapter 11
The shop looked forlorn with old planks nailed across the front and they sighed and shrugged when they saw that ‘Gazo’ had already tagged it. It didn’t matter. The insurance company had arranged for a glazier who was coming by the end of the day.
“There’s no real damage is there, apart from the window? Did they break in by the back door?”
“No, I reckon they must have come in through the broken glass. Bloody dangerous really, those big shards have been dropping out all the time, whenever a car goes past. They could have been sliced in half.”
“No, you’re right. It was messy but apart from the wood on the skirting boards here and there, oh yes and my trainers and jeans, there’s nothing much to see really.”
“It makes me even more sure that this wasn’t meant to do real damage, not meant to hurt you. You haven’t said but I’m guessing you haven’t called the coppers?” Simon shook his head.
“I don’t see what they could do and I can’t face it. There’d be fuss and risk that the papers might find out and – well you know what it’s like.”
“Yes, but it’s just that they would have access to any cameras and might be able to see the car. At that time of night there wouldn’t be much traffic would there?”
“I think for now at least I’d rather not.”
“Fair enough. So, what are you going to do? Are you going to call Mr Clegg?”
“I am, yes. But for now I’m not planning on mentioning this. I don’t want to worry him; he’s got enough on his plate.”
“Okay, so I suppose the thing to do is to get going on trying to find out about that poor girl and the bloke in jail. I’ve been thinking about that though, since last night and it’s not like you is it?”
“How do you mean?”
“Well, you fought it right from the start, you denied everything even after they locked you up. Yes, you knuckled down later but at the beginning you told them it wasn’t you. But this bloke hasn’t. Isn’t that a bit odd? I reckon that for the time being at least you have to keep in mind that he might actually have done it and it’s Mr Clegg who is just clutching at straws. With his sister so ill and everything.”
“I’ve been over that and over it in my mind and you’re right, but this puts a different light on it doesn’t it?”
“Maybe. How are you going to start?”
Simon shrugged and for the first time in months Gloria laughed aloud, it surprised her as much as him. “You haven’t got a clue have you?”
He raised his eyebrows, “Well, that’s not strictly true. I have found out about her friends, the ones she was with that night. I thought if I could find them and have a word it would be a start. I also want to go and have a look where it happened. Charlie gave me a plan, it’s out on the moors.”
“Yeah, that seems like the right place to start. What do you know about her mates?”
“I have their names. They were all college friends. Hairdressers and a veterinary nurse.”
“Well she’d be your best bet I should think.”
“Well, they’ve probably graduated and finding a young woman hairdresser would be like trying to find a piece of wood in a log pile but surely a veterinary nurse would be registered somewhere.”
“Brilliant. See, I knew I needed you.” He leaned and hugged her. She smelled like Gloria, shampoo and the perfume that she had always worn.
“I’ll go on line and see what I can find out about it. Hopefully I can at least find out whether or not she qualified and then if it comes to it I’ll just start ringing round the veterinary surgeries.”
“It’s a start at least.”
“When the bloke’s been to fix the window I’ll drive you to the accident place. I’ll go back home now and make a flask and some sandwiches. Let’s have a picnic.”
“A picnic, it’s bloody cold and it’ll be even colder up on the tops.”
“I know but I feel like a picnic. I’ll make soup. Don’t be a wuss.” She paused for a moment and then raised her eyes to his. “Thanks Simon, I feel so much better already. I can’t believe the difference a couple of days has made. God, I’m a stupid cow sometimes.”
“Yeah, well.” She thumped his arm and then turned to leave. “Give me a call when the glazier’s finished.” And she was gone. Simon went up to the flat with a grin on his face and his spirits in a much better place.
He was surprised that a female voice answered when he called what he understood to be Charlie Glegg’s private mobile number. “Hello. I’m trying to reach Mr Clegg. My name’s Fulton.”
“Hello Mr Fulton, this is Beryl. I’m sorry you can’t talk to Charlie just now.” Simon caught the break in her voice.
“Is he okay, is everything okay?”
“No, not really. We’re at the hospital. Charlie’s having an operation, he broke his leg.”
“I am so sorry, did he fall, is there anything I can do?”
“No, he didn’t – he didn’t fall Mr Fulton. He was in a car crash; his car went into a ditch. We’re lucky he’s still alive. If it hadn’t been for a young woman passing in her car I dread to think what would have happened.”
“I am so sorry. Will it be okay if I call again, in a little while? Just to see how he is?”
“Yes, alright. I’ll tell him you rang. Thank you.”
Simon turned off his phone and stared out of the window. Poor Charlie, his money wasn’t saving him from trouble heaped on trouble. Was it?
Filed under Serials, Serials, Shorts and Stuff
Help with Book Cover
I am not happy with my present cover for The Grave. I have had another try and would love to know which you think might be an improvement.
I wanted to stay with the idea of the digging which is the beginning of the book because the burial-place resonates through the story. I like the font and have kept that the same but what do you think about these. Please vote at the end. 🙂