I am delighted to share an exclusive extract with you on Blog Tour today for Cradle to Grave by Rachel Amphlett. But before I do that, lets check the blurb out
When a faceless body is found floating in the river on a summer’s morning, Detective Kay Hunter and her team are tasked with finding out the man’s identity – and where he came from.
The investigation takes a sinister turn when an abandoned boat is found, covered in blood stains and containing a child’s belongings.
Under mounting pressure from a distraught family and an unforgiving media, the police are in a race against time – but they have no leads, and no motive for the events that have taken place.
Will Kay be able to find a ruthless killer and a missing child before it’s too late?
Cradle to Grave is the eighth book in the Detective Kay Hunter series by USA Today bestselling author Rachel Amphlett, and perfect for readers who love fast-paced murder mysteries. Available in eBook, print, large print and audiobook.
Extract from Cradle to Grave (Detective Kay Hunter, book 8)
Detective Inspector Kay Hunter slammed shut the door of the mud-streaked silver pool car and hurried after her detective sergeant.
Ian Barnes, late forties, greyer around the temples this past year, held up the crime scene tape draped between two ornamental posts, and pointed at the river running beneath their feet.
‘This is the outer cordon,’ he said. ‘The body got tangled up under one of the pylons of the bridge after the call came in. Uniform organised the underwater search team and forensics.’
‘Witness?’ said Kay.
‘Got sent home after his initial statement was taken. You heard he had his seven-year-old son with him?’
‘Christ. Did the boy see it?’
‘No. I figured uniform did the right thing in the circumstances.’
They paused in the middle of the bridge and Kay peered over the railings, hooking a tendril of blonde hair behind her ear.
Below, the pathway alongside the River Medway was teeming with white-suited forensic specialists and their accumulated equipment.
A team of three divers stood up to their knees in the shallows, their attention taken by activities underneath the steel and concrete construction. A fourth diver emerged from the middle of the water to Kay’s left, his neoprene suit glistening as he raised his hand and gestured to his colleagues.
‘All clear there, then,’ said Barnes.
A group of six people were milling about on a concrete pier beside the boats. Two uniformed officers stood close by with their notebooks out, one holding a radio to his mouth.
‘What about the boat owners?’ Kay pointed to the three cabin cruisers further upstream on the opposite bank. She spotted two women amongst the men, and all seemed to be middle-aged or older. ‘What do we know about them?’
‘Locals. One couple – the pair nearest that boat at the end – are from Thanet. Apparently, they come down here every other weekend for a break. The ones who own the middle boat are from Yalding and stopped here overnight on their way up to the estuary later today. All bar one of them were asleep,’ said Barnes. ‘The nearest boat is owned by a local jazz musician. He saw our witness this morning as he was making his way up the riverbank towards a popular fishing spot. You can see it up there, by that beech tree.’
Kay shielded her eyes against the morning sunlight.
The riverbank curved away from Tovil, its path mirrored by the railway line to the right beyond a line of trees. A wide grassy bank sloped gently from the railway line to the Medway Footpath that stretched onwards towards East Farleigh and beyond. Wild flowers flourished, and a pair of swans graced the water’s edge. The whole vista was one of Kentish idyll.
Except for the body underneath the bridge where she stood.
She slapped her hands on the railing and turned. ‘Let’s go. Who’s in charge down there?’
‘Harry Davis. He was out on patrol with Parker when the call came in. They were first on scene.’
Kay followed Barnes down the other side of the footbridge and raised her hand at the older police sergeant who hovered on the footpath.
‘Morning, Harry. Good work getting this organised.’
He handed a clipboard to her. ‘Thanks, guv. Morning, Ian.’
Kay signed the crime scene log, then paused at the blue and white tape that fluttered in the breeze off the waterway and cast her gaze towards the group of divers now conversing with the CSIs on the path a few metres away.
‘What’s the current status?’
Harry turned and gestured towards a form that lay amongst a tangle of reeds beside one of the divers. He wrinkled his nose. ‘They’ve managed to retrieve the body from the bridge pylon about ten minutes ago. Harriet is here. Lucas is around somewhere – he’s already confirmed the bloke is dead.’
Kay sought out the Home Office pathologist and spotted him further up the riverbank, the tops of office buildings in Maidstone visible through the line of trees beyond his position.
Lucas Anderson held his mobile phone to his ear while he gesticulated in the air. He saw her, pointed to his watch, then returned to his phone call.
Kay’s eyes moved to the shortest of the three CSIs cloaked in white suits as the CSI lead, Harriet Baker, started to move towards them.
‘Morning, you two,’ she said. She tugged at the mask that covered her mouth and nose, then jerked her gloved thumb over her shoulder. ‘You’re going to have one hell of a job identifying him.’
Kay’s heart fell. ‘Has he been in the water too long?’
‘No – he hasn’t got a face.’
A stunned silence followed Harriet’s words.
‘You what?’ said Barnes eventually.
‘Yes, I know. God knows who he pissed off but he didn’t fall in the Medway by accident, that much is certain,’ said the CSI lead.
‘Bloody hell,’ said Kay.
© Rachel Amphlett 2019
All Rights Reserved
If you like the sound of that then you can grab a copy on the link below
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Rachel Amphlett writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Detective Kay Hunter British murder mystery series, the Dan Taylor spy novels, the English Assassins series, and a number of standalone crime thrillers.
Her novels are available in eBook, paperback, large print and audiobook formats from worldwide retailers as well as her own stores at http://www.rachelamphlett.com. Get exclusive behind the scenes news, discount coupons, and more by joining Rachel’s Reader’s Group at http://www.rachelamphlett.com.
Download the FREE Official Reading Guide and Checklist to Rachel’s books here: https://www.rachelamphlett.com/books/official-reading-guide-and-checklist/
Thank you to Tracy Fenton for the blog tour invite.