Today I am very happy to offer you an extract of Fatal Music by Peter Morfoot as part of the blog tour – the novel is available now from Titan books and details follow.
The doorbell rang. And rang again. Léo had a key and no john knew the address. Stubbing out her cigarette, she went to the door and peered through the spy hole. It was a policeman. Uniformed, the safer kind. And in a hurry by the look of it. She took a moment to compose herself and then opened the door sharply to the limit of its chain.
‘Who wants to know?’
‘Mademoiselle Cristelle Marie Daviot?’
Granot arrived at the morgue just in time to oversee the ID process. He and Darac had decided to tell Cristelle only that her grandmother had drowned in her hot tub. On seeing the look in the young woman’s eyes, it was the correct decision.
‘You don’t have to do this, mademoiselle.’ Sod Dr Carl Sodding Barrau. ‘We could get dental records.’
She set her jaw. ‘Yes.’
‘This way, please.’
He led her into a small room containing only a TV monitor. The screen was blank.
‘May I smoke?’
‘Sorry.’ Granot reached up and removed the battery from the smoke alarm. ‘It’s not permitted.’
Cristelle lit up, offered him one – he declined – and sucked in a lungful of familiarity.
‘Are you ready?’
Granot turned on the TV. He had to admit that in such a short time, Barrau had done a remarkable job on the right-hand half of the drowned woman’s face. And with the mutilated and missing parts of her skull hidden by cloths arranged to mimic bedclothes, the effect was as natural as could be imagined.
‘Mademoiselle, do you recognise your grandmother, Jeanne Honorine Mesnel?’
Shaking, Cristelle blew smoke, whispered that she did and then lost her cordon-bleu evening all over the floor.
‘Léo.’ She groped around in her handbag. ‘I need Léo. I have to call.’
‘What’s his number? I’ll ring him.’ Granot steadied her as she found a tissue. ‘There’s a bathroom across the hall if you want to use it.’
‘No, no.’ She closed her bag. ‘I’ll ring later, it’s alright. Across the hall?’
‘Hang on to my arm, I’ll take you.’
‘You’re very kind, Lieutenant.’
Cristelle’s stomach had settled by the time the police driver returned her to her apartment. She went to bed wondering how long she would have to wait. How long before she could enjoy stretching out in the sun? How long before gazing at the sea through a curtain of fumes would be a thing of the past? Not long, presumably. A smile giving way to a smirk, she lit a cigarette. ‘Thank you, Grand-mère,’ she said aloud. ‘Thank you, at last.’
About the Book:
Captain Paul Darac of the Brigade Criminelle is called to a potential crime scene – an elderly woman found dead in her hot tub. At first it is thought that she died of natural causes, but a surprising link with Darac’s own life leads him to dig deeper. In doing so he uncovers disturbing proof that there may have been a motive to kill the woman, and there is no shortage of suspects…
Follow the Tour!