The Deaths on the Black Rocks by BRM Stewart
I am part of the Love Books Group Tour for the exciting new novel by BRM Stewart. I am really looking forward to reading this, especially since the author has shared an enticing extract here.
It’s been a year since Rima Khalaf died in a fall from the Black Rock, deemed to be a tragic accident by the police.
But her grieving parents are dissatisfied with the police investigation, so DS Amanda Pitt is sent north from Glasgow to the small town of Clachdubh to re-examine the case.
Despite the suspicions of the distraught parents, all the circumstances seem to confirm Rima’s death was indeed a tragic accident until another woman is also found dead in the town.
Frustrated by the lack of any real evidence, DS Pitt pushes the limits of legality in her quest for the truth.
She’d packed and checked out of the Clachdubh Hotel, and driven to the Rock with the vague idea that she had to see the scene of the death of Rima Khalaf. She had an hour or so before going back to the school to meet Rima’s housemate Mary – also a teacher there, but who hadn’t been available the day before.
There was a small car park, and then a path than zigzagged up the hill. Calling it ‘The Rock’ made it sound more impressive than it really was, thought Amanda. It was less than two hundred feet or so high, and an easy climb. It was almost all grass here, and mounds of dog dirt were evident all the way up – some on the path, and some wrapped in poop bags and then left for posterity.
But, at the top, the view was good. She could look back over the town to the remaining high-rises of Glasgow in the distance, and in all other directions to the mountains, some still with scatterings of snow in shady corners. She looked round, wishing she knew the names of those mountains, and then stepped to the edge.
The north side of the Rock was steep, and had apparently been made more so by the need to widen the road down below. There was no barrier, only a line of warning signs. Amanda looked over the edge. The grassy slope fell away, steeper and steeper, and then there was the drop to the edge of the road. Plastic mesh coated the side of the rock face.
Amanda could see how you might slide and then simply fall. But surely you would be aware of it right at the start. You’d catch hold of one of the many rocky outcrops and stop yourself, then pull yourself back up.
OK, late at night if you were drunk, you wouldn’t manage to retrieve the situation. Or if you were old or had poor balance.
Or if you’d been given a good, hard shove in the first place.
Amanda looked down. A van appeared on the road and drove past at speed. Amanda frowned. And waited for the next vehicle – a blue car, also going fast.
She found a small stone, waited till the next car appeared in view, and lobbed the stone underhand away down the grass. It bumped and jumped, and fell off the edge. Amanda didn’t see it reach the roadway – and tensed in case in smashed into the car, but nothing seemed to happen. She reckoned it hit the road pretty much at the same time as the car reached the spot.
Give or take, a body would probably do the same. So, bad luck that Rima Khalaf had fallen at just the right time to land on the roadway as a car was about to be at that spot? Or had the person giving the shove known that would happen?
She shook the thought away. She wasn’t here to investigate the death, she reminded herself. There were gaps in the investigation, but nothing material.
‘Careful,’ said a man’s voice behind her.
Amanda turned: he was an older man with a Jack Russell on a lead – one of the few breeds of dog she recognised.
‘A couple of young lassies have fallen over the edge here. Careful.’
Remember to follow the rest of the tour for more insight into this fascinating new book, The Deaths on the Black Rock.
Buy Link https://amzn.to/2Rp13NL