Death by Dark Waters by Jo Allen – extract

Jo Allen is the author of Death by Dark Waters the first in the DCI Satterthwaite series. Death by Dark Waters was published by Aria on 9 May 2019.

Aria have kindly allowed me to share an extract from the book with you.

It would be impossible to avoid her all the time – or rather, to do so would mean giving in, changing his normal pattern of activities to suit other people, choosing what he did around others when they gave no thought to him. He shook his head as he watched Mikey standing at the bar. Becca had been the same age and stage in life, twenty and back from university for the summer, when he’d first realised that the girl he’d grown up over the road from had somehow metamorphosed from a friend’s irritating younger sister into an attractive woman. He replayed the moment in his mind. He’d been kicking a football around in the garden with Mikey when she’d come swinging down the road and smiled at him. The smile, and the realisation that Becca Reid was a beautiful butterfly looking for a flower on which to rest, had knocked him off his normally confident stride. It had taken him a year to ask her out, though she’d needed barely a second to accept. Eight years of semi-domestic bliss had followed, the two of them embedded in a relationship that seemed destined to end in forever. And then there had been that one moment of choice, the decision he made that had ended everything

He didn’t think he regretted it, and sometimes he wondered whether she did. Though there was never anything but animosity when she spoke to him, she didn’t have to seek him out the way she did. The opposite of love, after all, was not hate but indifference, and she was anything but indifferent to him. Which might have made perfect sense, if she didn’t keep on carping away at him as if he were the one who’d ended it and she the one who’d been hurt. 

His phone rang and he looked down at with a sigh. He’d got through the best of the weekend without a call so he should be reasonably grateful for that. Nevertheless, he let it ring a couple of times before he answered it. ‘Jude Satterthwaite.’ 

‘Hey, Jude.’ It was the joke everyone made, thinking it original. Not for the first time, he cursed his mother’s fondness for Thomas Hardy. ‘Busy just now?’ 

‘Not at all.’ He didn’t recognise the disembodied female voice at the end of the line. All the call centre operatives seemed to know him, all of them assuming a familiarity that irritated him. He was a man who liked to know the people he spoke to. 

‘Good. I’ve got a Signal Seven for you.’ 

He sighed. A Signal Seven meant a dead body, the end of his evening and, if he wasn’t mistaken, a late night. Even something straightforward would be time consuming, and he suspected this was complicated, or it would have been referred to someone of lesser rank. ‘What do we know? Male or female? Age?’ 

‘I don’t have any details. All I know is that it was a fire.’ 

‘Where?’ Already, Jude was pushing aside his plate, trying and failing to signal to Mikey and cancel the order for the Coke. 

‘The west bank of Haweswater. South of Burnbanks.’ 

In Jude’s head, the vivid image of the afternoon’s fire reignited, making such rapid progress along the lakeside and up the hill. The speed of its spread, so unusual, now made tragic sense. The chances were that whoever had got so casual with their campfire had paid a grim price for it. ‘I know where you are. I can be there in fifteen minutes. Are there uniformed officers on the scene?’ 

‘Yes. They were already on site and secured the scene the moment the body was found.’ 

‘Just the one body?’ 

‘Just the one that’s been reported. The fire brigade are still in attendance, but the fire’s out.’ 

‘I’ll need a CSI. Who’s on call?’ He stood up, digging out his wallet, peeling off a couple of notes and tossing them on the table. ‘Mikey. That’ll cover the drinks and the food. And a taxi back, if you can’t get a lift.’ Then he turned back to the call. ‘Tammy Garner, did you say? Good. I’ll pick her up.’ Tammy lived just outside Penrith and it would cost him a few minutes in the way of a diversion to pick her up on the way, but the time would be well spent in discussing the case. ‘And thanks. Bye.’ 

About the book

The charred remains of a child are discovered -a child no one seems to have missed….It’s high summer, and the lakes are in the midst of an unrelenting heatwave. Uncontrollable fell fires are breaking out across the moors fasterthan they can be extinguished. When firefighters uncover the body of a dead child at the heart of the latest blaze, Detective Chief Inspector Jude Satterthwaite’s arson investigation turns to one of murder. Jude was born and bred in the Lake District. He knows everyone…and everyone knows him. Except his intriguing new Detective Sergeant, Ashleigh O’Halloran, whois running from a dangerous past and has secrets of her own to hide… Temperatures -and tension -in the village are rising, and with the body count rising Jude and his team race against the clock to catch the killer before it’s too late…

About the author

Jo Allen was born in Wolverhampton and is a graduate of Edinburgh, Strathclyde and the Open University. After a career in economic consultancy she took up writing and was first published under the name Jennifer Young in genres of short stories, romance andromantic suspense. In 2017 she took the plunge and began writing the genre she most likes to read –crime. Now living in Edinburgh, she spends as much time as possible in the English Lakes. In common with all her favourite characters, she loves football (she’s a season ticket holder with her beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers) and cats.

Twitter: @JoAllenAuthorFacebook: @JoAllenAuthor

*I was asked to share this extract to help promote Death by Dark Waters. I have not received a copy of the book or any payment for hosting this content.*


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