A Trick of the Light by David Ashton

By David Ashton

The 3rd in David Ashton's sequence of McLevy thrillers, A Trick of the sunshine sees McLevy group up with Arthur Conan Doyle to pursue a ruthless killer. it's 1860 and a accomplice officer, Jonathen Sinclair, arrives in Edinburgh with a sheaf of cash to buy a blockade-runner from Clydeside shipbuilders. he's betrayed to the Union forces and is shot lifeless by means of their mystery brokers. who're they and the place is Sinclair's funds? in the meantime, a gorgeous younger American spiritualist, Sophia Adler, is the toast of upper-class Edinburgh along with her dramatic seances. besides the fact that, she may but end up to be the deadliest lady McLevy and Conan Doyle will ever come across.

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A crocodile in uniform. He was half a head taller than his inspector who, despite the mild late-October weather, was muffled up in his heavy coat looking like some bad-tempered winter animal newly emerged from its lair. Just leave it, Mulholland begged silently of McLevy. While you’re still at the races. But no. Too much to hope. ’ For a moment McLevy’s voice thickened and Mulholland guessed the cause to be either bile or sentiment. He hoped sincerely it was bile; the idea of his inspector having finer feelings was an alarming one.

A cricket ball,’ he declared. ’ asked McLevy, as if it was a sign of anarchist leanings. ‘I play cricket, football, hockey, swimming and rugby,’ was the proud response. ’ queried Roach. ’ Roach nodded approvingly but McLevy was not yet finished with his line of enquiry. ’ A look of surprise flashed into the stranger’s eyes. ’ The young man hesitated but curiosity got the better of him as the inspector knew it would. ’ ‘The skin on the knuckles of your right hand is somewhat abraded,’ McLevy remarked.

Hilarious. Anyhow, it was a bitter residue. And not his fault. ’ Mulholland had drifted away on the tide and so missed the previous part of Roach’s diatribe but he had enough on hand to take refuge in ancestral wisdom. ‘Terrible, terrible, sir,’ he avowed. ’ muttered Roach, who considered Mulholland’s Aunt Katie an Irish myth whose effect was not unlike the sea haar that descended on a clearly defined golf course and fogged up a perfectly decent approach. He turned his baleful gaze back onto Ballantyne who, in truth, was a harmless, innocent soul and totally unfitted to be a policeman.

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