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Spotlight & Giveaway: The Riverman by Alex Gray

Synopsis:

Fans of atmospheric police procedurals will love watching Glasgow vividly come to life with the shocking twists and turns that have made Alex Gray an international bestseller

When a dead body is fished out of Glasgow’s River Clyde the morning after an office celebration, it looks like a case of accidental death. But an anonymous telephone call and a forensic toxicology test give Detective Chief Inspector William Lorimer reason to think otherwise. Probing deeper into the life and business of the deceased accountant, a seemingly upright member of the community, Lorimer finds only more unanswered questions.

What is the secret his widow seems to be concealing? Was the international accounting firm facing financial difficulties? What has become of the dead man’s protégé who has disappeared in New York? And when another employee is found dead in her riverside flat these questions become much more disturbing. Lorimer must cope not only with deceptions from the firm, but also with suspicions from those far closer to home . . .

Genre: Police Procedurals
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: January 10th 2017
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 0062659138 (ISBN13: 9780062659132)
Series: A DCI Lorimer Novel, #4
Purchase Links: Amazon ? | Barnes & Noble ? | Goodreads ?

Excerpt | The Riverman by Alex Gray

PROLOGUE
April

THE RIVERMAN

The riverman knew all about the Clyde. Its tides and currents were part of his heritage. His father and others before him had launched countless small craft from the banks of the river in response to a cry for help. Nowadays that cry came in the form of a klaxon that could waken him from sleep, the mobile phone ringing with information about where and when. It wouldn’t be the first time that he’d pulled someone from the icy waters with only a hasty oilskin over his pajamas.

This morning, at least, he’d been up and doing when the call came. The body was over by Finnieston, past the weir, so he’d had to drive over the river towing a boat behind him on the trailer. He was always ready. That was what this job was all about: prompt and speedy response in the hope that some poor sod’s life could be saved. And he’d saved hundreds over the years, desperate people who were trying to make up their mind to jump off one of the many bridges that spanned the Clyde or those who had made that leap and been saved before the waters filled their lungs.

George Parsonage had been brought up to respect his river. Once it had been the artery of a great beating heart, traffic thronging its banks, masts thick as brush-wood. The tobacco trade with Virginia had made Glasgow flourish all right, with the preaching of com-merce and the praising of a New World that was ripe for plucking. The names of some city streets still recalled those far-off days. Even in his own memory, the Clyde had been a byword for ships. As a wee boy, George had been taken to the launch of some of the finer products of Glasgow’s shipbuilding industry. But even then the river’s grandeur was fading. He’d listened to stories about the grey hulks that grew like monsters from the deep, sliding along the water, destined for battle, and about the cruise liners sporting red funnels that were cheered off their slipways, folk bursting with pride to be part of this city with its great river.

The romance and nostalgia had persisted for decades after the demise of shipbuilding and cross-river ferries.Books written about the Clyde’s heyday still found readers hankering after a time that was long past. The Glasgow Garden Festival in the eighties had prompted some to stage a revival along the river and more recently there had been a flurry of activity as the cranes returned to erect luxury flats and offices on either side of its banks. Still, there was little regular traffic upon its sluggish dark waters: a few oarsmen, a private passenger cruiser and the occasional police launch. Few saw what the river was churning up on a daily basis.

As he pushed the oars against the brown water, the riverman sent up a silent prayer for guidance. He’d seen many victims of despair and violence, and constantly reminded himself that each one was a person like himself with hopes, dreams and duties in different measure. If he could help, he would. That was what the Glasgow Humane Society existed for, after all. The sound of morning traffic roared above him as he made his way downstream. The speed of response was tempered by a need to row slowly and carefully once the body was near. Even the smallest of eddies could tip the body, filling the air pocket with water and sending it down and down to the bottom of the river. So, as George Parsonage approached the spot where the body floated,his oars dipped as lightly as seabirds’ wings, his eyes fixed on the shape that seemed no more than a dirty smudge against the embankment.

The riverman could hear voices above but his eyes never left the half-submerged body as the boat crept nearer and nearer. At last he let the boat drift, oars resting on the rowlocks as he finally drew alongside the river’s latest victim. George stood up slowly and bent over, letting the gunwales of the boat dip towards the water. Resting one foot on the edge, he hauled the body by its shoulders and in one clean movement brought it in. Huge ripples eddied away from the side as the boat rocked upright, its cargo safely aboard.

The victim was a middle-aged man. He’d clearly been in the water for some hours so there was no question of trying to revive him. The riverman turned the head this way and that, but there was no sign of a bullet hole or any wound that might indicate a sudden, violent death. George touched the sodden coat lightly. Its original camel colour was smeared and streaked with the river’s detritus, the velvet collar an oily black. Whoever he had been, his clothes showed signs of wealth. The pale face shone wet against the pearly pink light of morning. For an instant George had the impression that the man would sit up and grasp his hand, expressing his thanks for taking him out of the water, as so many had done before him. But today no words would be spoken.There would be only a silent communion between the two men, one dead and one living, before other hands came to examine the corpse.

George grasped the oars and pulled away from the embankment. Only then did he glance upwards, nodding briefly as he identified the men whose voices had sounded across the water. DCI Lorimer caught his eye and nodded back. Up above the banking a couple of uniformed officers stood looking down. Even as he began rowing away from the shore, the riverman noticed a smaller figure join the others. Dr. Rosie Fergusson had arrived.

‘Meet you at the Finnieston steps, George,’ Lorimer called out.

The riverman nodded briefly, pulling hard on the oars, taking his charge on its final journey down the Clyde.

Excerpt from The Riverman by Alex Gray. Copyright © 2017 by Alex Gray. Reproduced with permission from HarperCollins | WitnessImpulse. All rights reserved.

About the Author:

Alex Gray was born and educated in Glasgow. After studying English and Philosophy at the University of Strathclyde, she worked as a visiting officer for the Department of Health, a time she looks upon as postgraduate education since it proved a rich source of character studies. She then trained as a secondary school teacher of English.

Alex began writing professionally in 1993 and had immediate success with short stories, articles, and commissions for BBC radio programs. She has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers’ Constable and Pitlochry trophies for her crime writing.

A regular on the Scottish bestseller lists, she is the author of thirteen DCI Lorimer novels. She is the co-founder of the international Scottish crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland, which had its inaugural year in 2012. Connect with Alex Gray on her Website ? & on Twitter ?.

Giveaway!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Alex Gray and William Morrow. There will be 3 US winners of one (1) PRINT copy of The Riverman by Alex Gray. The giveaway begins on January 9th and runs through February 23rd, 2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Darkroom by Joshua Graham

Darkroom by Joshua Graham is mind-blowing, fast-paced, secretive, and conspiratorial.  Conspiracy theorists, anti-government advocates, and the generally suspicious of all things military and political must read Graham’s book.  Mixing in elements of reality with those of fiction, Graham aptly captures the disillusionment with the Bush Administration just before the election of President Barack Obama and the fervor behind a movement for change that got our current president elected.

However, in this case, the candidate for change is independent, former Vietnam War military star Richard Colson.  He exudes confidence and decisiveness, even in the face of his wife’s health misfortunes and the continuous emergence of his past that must be addressed.  Cover-ups, suspicious natural and accidental deaths among members of the Vietnam War’s Echo Company, disappearing college students, and other events pepper the narrative, but Graham has written a story that is ultimately about faith in ourselves, our beliefs, and the uncharted.

Peter Carrick, a photojournalist from the war and friend of Colson’s, is a distant father, despite his daughter Xandra’s attempts to win his approval through cello recitals and her career as a photojournalist.  The death of Grace, Xandra’s mother, brings the story full circle as Peter and his daughter fly to Binh Son, Vietnam to scatter her ashes as she’s requested, but what the trip brings forth is ugly, horrifying, and disconcerting.  Soon Xandra is caught up in a case she has no physical connection to, and is guided only by the mysterious visions she sees in the darkroom when she develops her photographs.

“To my surprise, when we pass the wall of trees, the ground is level and clear.  Charred black, the skeletal frames of several farmhouses shudder, as though one strong gust could blow them away like dandelion spores.  The rest are simply dirt pads where other homes once stood.”  (page 16 ARC)

Alternating from the Vietnam War where Peter Carrick meets his wife Grace and falls in love to the present where his daughter is caught in an investigation that turns into a hunt for her as she becomes a fugitive, Graham has created not only a dynamic protagonist in Xandra who must overcome her incessant need to please her father and gain his approval, but he’s created secondary characters like her father, Colson, Agent Kyle Matthews, and others who are just as complex.  Book clubs would have a ton of topics to discuss from faith to whether not telling someone something or a lie by omission is still lying.  Further, readers will likely discuss the variety of conspiracy theories that have persisted throughout politics, including the true perpetrators of the JFK and MLK assassinations.

Darkroom by Joshua Graham is more than compelling, it’s engrossing with its alternating points of view in different chapters enabling the story of the Vietnam War to be filtered through the eyes of characters in the present and the conspiracy to unravel at a far more breakneck pace toward the end.  Graham is not afraid of unhappy endings nor afraid of making the tough choices to kill off integral characters, but have faith because all is not as it seems.

About the Author:

Joshua Graham is the award winning author of the #1 Amazon and Barnes & Noble legal thriller Beyond Justice. His latest book, Darkroom, won a First Prize award in the Forward National Literature award and was an award-winner in the USA Book News “Bests Books 2011” awards. Connect with Josh at his Website, Facebook, and on Twitter.

Also, check out this month’s guest post about the power of photography.

This is my 40th book for the 2012 New Authors Challenge.

Check the other tour stops

Guest Post: Do Photos Lie? by Joshua Graham

Today, I’ve got Joshua Graham, author of Darkroom, visiting today to talk about photography, the media, and whether everything is as it appears.  Like photographs and media stories, humans often hide their secrets, but what we condemn in others may not necessarily be the same things we condemn in ourselves.  I’ve been fascinated with this concept ever since dabbling into photography and reading Believing Is Seeing by Errol Morris (my review).

About Darkroom:

After scattering her mother’s ashes in Vietnam, photojournalist Xandra Carrick comes home to New York to rebuild her life and career. When she experiences supernatural visions that reveal atrocities perpetrated by American soldiers during the Vietnam War, she finds herself entangled in a forty-year-old conspiracy that could bring the nation into political turmoil. Launching headlong into a quest to learn the truth from her father, Peter Carrick, a Pulitzer Prize Laureate who served as an embedded photographer during the war, Xandra confronts him about a dark secret he has kept–one that has devastated their family.

Her investigations lead her to her departed mother’s journal, which tell of love, spiritual awakening, and surviving the fall of Saigon.

Pursued across the continent, Xandra comes face-to-face with powerful forces that will stop at nothing to prevent her from revealing the truth. But not before government agencies arrest her for murder, domestic terrorism and an assassination attempt on the newly elected president of the United States.

Darkroom is a riveting tale of suspense that tears the covers off the human struggle for truth in a world imprisoned by lies.

Doesn’t this book sound awesome?! Without further ado, please give Joshua Graham a warm welcome and stay tuned for my review later in the month.

This photo and the photographer’s commentary inspired the epitaph in the opening pages of my novel, Darkroom.

“I won a Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for a photograph of one man shooting another. Two people died in that photograph: the recipient of the bullet and GENERAL NGUYEN NGOC LOAN. The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them, but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths.” –Eddie Adams, Photographer

Read more here at TIME Magazine.

Adams, who believed Brig. Gen. Loan’s contention that the man he shot had just murdered a friend of his, a South Vietnamese army colonel, as well as the colonel’s wife and six children. “How do you know you wouldn’t have pulled the trigger yourself?” Adams would later write in a commentary on the image.

Often the media puts things together in ways that have little to do with the truth. Impressions are fabricated for various agendas, and unfortunately most are created to boost the ratings with sensationalism. But what happens when the truth is distorted or even buried completely? And what happens if the contained truth is uncovered?

This is not just a global concern, but a personal one as well. Do we try to cover up our weaknesses and failures at the expense of authenticity or integrity? We cry foul when politicians and elected officials are caught doing this, but do we ever ask how we are doing the very same thing, in our own personal lives?

Constantly looking over your shoulder, trying to contain a secret that no one must ever know has got to be one of the worst prisons anyone can face, especially because it is self-imposed. There’s a reason why the scriptures say, “The truth shall set you free.” And this is what Darkroom is all about.

Take a moment to examine yourself and see if you’re sitting in a self-imposed cell. And consider the freedom you’ll enjoy because of the truth.

Thanks, Joshua, for sharing your thoughts on truth and fiction.

About the Author:

Joshua Graham is the award winning author of the #1 Amazon and Barnes & Noble legal thriller Beyond Justice. His latest book, Darkroom, won a First Prize award in the Forward National Literature award and was an award-winner in the USA Book News “Bests Books 2011” awards. Connect with Josh at his Website, Facebook, and on Twitter.