I’m terribly sorry there are no wallabies today, fear not I have some beautiful photos lined up for next Wednesday. Today I’m announcing that my third book in the Death Series, is up and ready for sale on Amazon, for the princely sum of US$2.00 (click here to go to Amazon)→ River of Death
A young woman’s body is found hanging in an abandoned shipping container, at Pinkenba, near Fortitude Valley. This is Detective Senior Constable Simon Fynch’s first case and it’s nearly his last. DSC Annie Leeson, from Brisbane Homicide is assigned to the investigation. When the next body washes up on the shores of the Brisbane River, they find themselves on the hunt for a killer, with a bent for the mythological and the bizarre. He has a preference for red haired, green eyed victims, and if they’re pregnant it’s a bonus. On a downward spiral he strives to find his perfect, pure woman and if she doesn’t exist, then he’ll make her. Refined, charming and sadistic he’ll keep killing until he reaches his goal. If one killer isn’t enough another is on the run from Sydney’s Long Bay Jail and heading north to Queensland. He’s cold, brutal and someone from Detective Annie Leeson’s past. Annie may have hardened and matured since Valley of Death but her relationships are still in turmoil. Old friendships are reignited, new friends are made. Loved ones move on and new lovers fill the emptiness in her life, while she juggles work, relationships and motherhood. Her daughter, Susan is the cornerstone of her life and the centre of her frustration. A gifted child, she has a ‘special friend’ who keeps her company, much to the annoyance of her mother. Killers aren’t Annie’s only problem, her reputation is brought vividly into the spotlight again. Will it affect the investigation, more importantly will it put Susan’s life at risk? River of Death will keep you reading as the breadth and scope of the killer’s reach unfolds. No one is safe from either killer as they are drawn together by a common bond. Understaffed and overworked the police at Fortitude Valley put everything into tracking down a monster, despite the toll wrought on them.
River of Death, third in the series almost wrote itself, from the opening lines it flowed, pardon the pun. Once again it came to life as I finished the first draft of the preceding book, Valley. The characters, new and old blended seamlessly into the story right from the start. Not only were they waiting in the wings I think they put their own resumes in. Of course Annie Leeson is back, fighting fit and not taking crap off anybody. She’s had a promotion and after her harrowing experiences in Valley has sworn off men, at least for a while. There is something different about her in this book, she’s cynical with a, take no prisoner’s approach. You can almost feel her sandpaper-like attitude as she is dragged into the story. The glass-ceiling is still a problem for women in the force and she is no exception. Being lumbered with the case of a woman’s mutilated body in a shipping container seemed a good way for her Boss to get her out of his hair.
We meet Simon Fynch, ex-motorbike cop now a brand new Detective Senior Constable in Fortitude Valley. He has finally found his niche in life, the years of study and his ongoing degree have paid off. A horrendous incident from his childhood spurred him on to become a copper, now he hopes he can make a difference. A family man with something of a studious look about him his career is almost cut short before it begins. He finds Annie’s abrasive attitude annoying but has to suck it up and work with her. There’s Detective Sergeant Harry Swift the consummate drinking man who rises to the occasion when needed. Inspector Bill Pygram is still with us, along with Detective Stan Grimes. His life has changed but not his attitude to Annie. Annie’s daughter Susan plays a big part in this book and she is quite a character. Further in we meet, Detective Sergeant Michael ‘Dunnie’ Painter. For my overseas readers, in Australia a toilet is known as a Dunnie. So with the surname of Painter what other nickname could you use? On the surface he is a grizzled, bad-tempered bastard, a man you don’t want to mess with. There is another side to him and it may surprise you.
Some old characters pass on in this book and let me tell you I fought back a tear or two while writing the scenes. Bit players from book two come to the fore and play their parts admirably. I won’t say anything about two of the new characters that appear, it would compromise the story. Needless to say they are quite pivotal. To talk at length about the protagonists would give it all away but rest assured they will make you look twice before going out at night. Yes protagonists, two to be exact and they step up to the plate and play their parts admirably. The lead protagonist is a fine example of a killer whose mental faculties are in a state of decline. Highly intelligent, with the morals of an alley cat he leads the police on a frantic hunt, leaving a rare coin as a clue. His taste is classical – his methods worthy of Dr Frankenstein. The second is one mean, angry son of a bitch and he’s escaped form Sydney’s Long Bay Jail, with a huge score to settle in Queensland.
The story is more than a kill-fest. We have love and sex, heartbreak and loss, bravery and determination and the ongoing endurance of the human spirit. There is cynicism and revenge, jealousy and regret, death and violence, post mortems and porn. In other words something for everyone. Set in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, where the river of the title snakes around we find ourselves in a Brisbane winter. ( Not too cold at all) The river dominates, though Moreton Bay and Bribie Island gain a mention. Ipswich ( I’ve lived and worked there for forty years ) plays its part, again supplying some grim backdrops. August in Brisbane is known for two things, cold westerly winds and the Royal Queensland Show or ‘The Ekka,’ held at the Exhibition grounds a stones throw from the Valley. It plays a pivotal role in the story. So there we have it, River of Death will be released as an eBook in March 2014.