Dying of the Light: An Alice Rice Mystery (Alice Rice Mystery series)
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Midwinter, a freezing night in Leith, near Edinburgh's red light district. A policewoman's flashlight stabs the darkness in a snow-covered cemetery. The circle of light stops on a colourless, dead face. So begins the hunt for a serial murderer of prostitutes in Gillian Galbraith's third Alice Rice mystery, Dying of the Light. Partly inspired by the real-life killings of prostitutes in Ipswich, this novel explores a hidden world where sex is bartered for money and drugs. Off-duty, Alice's home life continues its uneven course. Her romance with the artist Ian Melville offers the prospect of happiness, but is plagued by insecurity. Her demented but determined neighbour, Miss Spinnell, offers a new challenge to Alice's patience at every meeting. This atmospheric thriller builds on the success of the first two Alice Rice mysteries, Blood in the Water and Where the Shadow Falls, and it is Gillian Galbraith's most accomplished novel yet.
the QC replied smoothly, brushing imaginary dirt off her fall. ‘Mr McNiece will maintain that after the sexual intercourse had finished you demanded money from him. He declined to pay you, no question of payment ever having been discussed between you beforehand, and you physically attacked him. In the course of defending himself he lashed out, accidentally hitting you on the face.’ ‘Rubbish! That’s rubbish!’ The witness shook her head and then said, plaintively, ‘Miss, if it wisnae rape then why
had forgotten to mention in the heat of the moment. ‘And one more thing, Chief Inspector. The plan’s changed, so you’ll be fronting the press conference. Is that understood? Charlie says it’ll be packed out, they all think this may turn out to be another Ipswich. It’s been fixed for 4.00 p.m. on Thursday, but I dare say, by then, you’ll have found some titbits to feed to the hounds. By the way, I’ve arranged for McPherson to speak to your squad.’ ‘I thought he’d retired, sir. He must be eighty
it, that she had hardly considered his excuse, feeling solidarity with him when both of them were under attack. But recreating the scene in her mind’s eye now, she saw snow and dying undergrowth, felt again the pain in her shins from her falls in the freezing weather, but recalled neither prickles nor thorns. Guy Bayley looked disappointed when he opened his front door in Disraeli Place to find the police sergeant standing on his doorstep, but, recovering quickly, he waved for her to come
his mouth. ‘Yes, I do fucking say. So where the hell were you?’ ‘I thought ye might be back. Been wasting yer time, eh, ploddin’ up an’ doon the stairs an’ all, jist when ye’d hae better things tae dae?’ ‘Aha. But I’ll not be wasting any more of it here, I’ll just take you off to the station this minute, you wee bastard.’ Coolly taking a sip of his beer, McNeice replied, ‘Then ye’ll get promotion, eh? Takin’ in the Leith Killer…’ and he raised his hands and clawed them like a grizzly bear, a
no brambles. Twice more she forced herself to walk through the bed, vigilant for their looped barbs or any other prickly vegetation, but found nothing capable of inflicting a cut or scratch on anyone. And she was not wearing trousers. ‘Alice… Alice!’ It was DC Littlewood again, his voice louder than before, desperate to be heard above the roar of the wind. ‘Yes? Hang on a sec, I’m just coming.’ ‘That was the boss on the phone. They’ve found her. A uniform’s with the body. It’s past the