DI Frank Lyle is about to confront the depths of human depravity and despair.
It’s autumn 1991 and a horde of Anglican clergy has just descended on Ashbeck for an ecumenical conference at St Luke’s church.
DI Lyle and his team are called in to investigate when the mutilated body of curate Martin Hayes is found in the churchyard. They are assisted by Canon Thomas Rice, a former police officer, who is able to see both sides of the coin. But who was Martin Hayes, and did aspects of his troubled past lead to his brutal demise?
As the team get closer to the truth they begin to understand Hayes. But will too much knowledge prove a dangerous thing?
Hi. I’m Juliet B Madison & I’m the author of the DI Frank Lyle Mystery series. It’s a British based police procedural thriller series set in the imaginary town of Ashbeck, which is loosely based on my hometown.
I read a lot of British crime fiction. My favourite British crime authors include Agatha Christie, Peter Robinson, Peter James, P D James, Ruth Rendell, Peter Lovesey, Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride and Colin Dexter. I’m not so keen on American crime fiction because I have no real idea how American police work, but I like Jonathan Kellerman, Tess Gerritsen and Michael Connelly & Linwood Barclay.
I have joined a few FB crime writer groups and made a few new friends. I love Indie crime books especially by my good friends, John Holt, Alfie Robins and Babs Morton.
I am single with no kids and have a mind-numbing crap paid office cleaning job. While I’m at work I always think about my books and attempt to resolve plot problems as anything is more interesting than cleaning, apart from cricket which always sends me to sleep.
I hope that you will like my hero Detective Inspector Frank Lyle as he is thorough, dedicated, humane and compassionate, not to mention being gorgeous to look at.
Here is an excerpt from Unholy Alliance chapter 1 where DI Frank Lyle realises just what kind of brutality he is dealing with…
I drove downtown to St Luke’s church. I was not a churchgoer; in fact I wasn’t even sure I believed in God. Certainly what I saw on a daily basis did rather challenge the idea of a benevolent loving deity.
I parked close by. I saw the blue and white police tape fluttering in the breeze. The cordon was guarded by two uniforms and in the distance I could see two small tents which indicated that Dr Bradley and SOCO were already in attendance. With DI Redfern headed for two weeks of honeymoon bliss in Crete, I was the only murder squad DI available, but one of the DSs could be made up in his absence.
“Evening DI Lyle Sir.” The PC at the cordon said.
“I hope you haven’t just eaten Sir, it’s not, well not a pleasant sight, DI Ward could not have handled it.”
DI Simon Ward had been dismissed earlier in the year for leaking details of the Kenyon investigation to the Ashbeck Courier. He had been of a somewhat squeamish disposition. Inspector Morse seemed to get away with an inherent dislike of such things, but I preferred my officers to be made of stronger stuff.
“Evening Guv,” A familiar voice. DS Mark Slade came towards me. He had been promoted, along with Redfern, following the satisfactory resolution of the Kenyon business.
“It’s not a pretty sight, Guv,” he said. “They got some big league church conference on this week, so they got bishops and everything around the place. I’m on my way to have a chat with the vicar. He found him. I’ll catch you in the rectory later.”
I put on a sterile gown and overshoes before taking the regulation extra strong mint offered by Dr Bradley’s assistant, Kieran.
I then ventured into the next tent. I swear I will never forget what I saw for as long as I live.
Dr Bradley was bending over the naked inert torso of what I presumed had once been a young man. His face was a bloodied pulp and his body was soaked with blood. On his chest bleeding marks spelt out the message “I have sinned.” and the man’s genitals had been cut off and thrust into his mouth, halfway down his throat. There was a clerical collar wrapped around the shaft of his penis. I felt acrid bile rise into my throat. I took a few deep breaths.
“What have we got Doc?” My voice did not sound like mine.
“Reverend Martin Hayes, curate.” Bradley said. “I hate to tell you this, Frank, but none of these wounds or the castration was done post-mortem. He was still alive.”
“My God!” I gasped.
“I’ve taken blood samples to see if he was anaesthetised in any way, to make it more bearable, but I don’t hold out much hope. There are defence wounds to his hands, so at least he put up some sort of fight, which means we may get some DNA from under the fingernails. He’s been dead between four and six hours, so I put the time of death no earlier than 6pm and no later than 8 pm,”
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