Book Extract // Perfect Prey by Helen Fields

Today is my turn on the blog tour for one of my most highly anticipated reads for late Summer 2017 – Perfect Prey by Helen Fields. I absolutely LOVED Perfect Remains when it was released (you can see my review here) and I’m so excited for more Callanach! I’m hoping to review really soon, but in the meantime, here is an extract (I’m ALREADY excited).

‘Some bastard leaked the autopsy summary!’ Ava yelled, slamming Callanach’s door and throwing herself into a chair. ‘Which means either someone in Ailsa’s office or a police officer here is responsible, as if this wasn’t bad enough already.’

‘Have you slept?’ Callanach asked.

‘Listen to this.’ Ava ignored his question, tearing open the newspaper she was clutching and beginning to read. ‘“Helen Lott, a forty-six year old palliative care nurse, was deliberately crushed to death in her own bedroom.” Of all the monsters I’ve ever dealt with, who would want to kill a nurse who looks after terminally ill patients? “Injuries included multiple fractured ribs and sternum, a collapsed windpipe and severe damage to internal organs, resulting in internal bleeding and asphyxiation. A neighbour alerted police after loud noises were heard coming from the property late at night. The autopsy report suggests that the murder was torturous and orchestrated to cause as much pain to the victim as possible. Mrs Lott will be sadly missed by work colleagues and patients alike, who have described her as nothing short of an angel who had dedicated her life to nursing.” Did you know there’s graffiti about the murders emerging on walls across the city? God only knows who started that off. And we’ve just been notified that concerned citizens are planning a Take-Back-The-Night-style protest march. Like we don’t have enough policing to do already. What the fuck is going on?’

‘Have you reported the leak?’ Callanach asked.

‘Of course I have. We’ve got two officers interviewing anyone with access to the information at the city mortuary, and a member of our technical services team is checking the digital route the document took from there to us to make sure the breach didn’t come from Police Scotland’s end. On top of that, all the usual media outlets have been contacted to see if anyone approached them offering the article for money. No joy there so far. Why is the first thing that happens always the last thing you need?’ Ava huffed.

‘You want coffee?’ he asked.

Ava shook her head. ‘Sorry about yesterday. With Joe. It was . . .’ her voice dwindled.

‘None of my business,’ Callanach said.

‘Joe and I were friends at University. He phoned me a few weeks ago to say he was likely to be posted here. You know how sometimes you just pick things up where you left them as if no time had passed at all . . .’

‘Forget it. You want to get something to eat on the way home? If I don’t get a shower soon my clothes are going to sue me for hygiene abuse.’

Ava looked down at her hands.

‘It’s fine,’ Callanach said, Ava’s unspoken plans hanging in the air between them. ‘I’ll catch you tomorrow. And don’t worry about the papers. New story every day, remember?’

That turned out to be good advice. In spite of the endless coverage afforded by two murders in one night, the media headlines the next day focused on an altogether different target.

The largest incident room was taken up with an array of well-dressed plain-clothes officers, freshly washed and scrubbed, who obviously had not been up all night watching endless mobile phone footage and scanning photos with no results.

‘Something happen overnight?’ Callanach asked Sergeant Lively as he passed by.

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