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 workforce up with Arthur Conan Doyle to pursue a ruthless killer. it truly is 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 cash? in the meantime, a stunning younger American spiritualist, Sophia Adler, is the toast of upper-class Edinburgh together with her dramatic seances. notwithstanding, she might but turn out to be the deadliest girl McLevy and Conan Doyle will ever come across.

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Another mystery was the small leather suitcase she carried by herself everywhere they travelled. That case Sophia kept in the side room as well and when he had made the mistake one day of trying to spring the catch in a London hotel lobby, the Langham no less, while she was powdering her pudenda, the damned woman somehow knew and in a white fury warned him that if he wanted to keep his procreative means intact, he’d best contain his curiosity. Or his testicles would pay the price. She hadn’t exactly phrased it in such blunt fashion but Magnus had got the message.

As the grateful Ballantyne quit the scene, the lieutenant reflected, not for the first time, how his obstreperous, noisy subordinate had the ability to ghost up out of nowhere. At the most inopportune moments. McLevy shot the shamefaced Mulholland a look to blister tarmacadam, and then turned to gaze enquiringly at Roach. The lieutenant found he had an obscure need to defend his actions, but why should he? He was the superior and he had no need to vindicate his conduct. ‘I caught Ballantyne in the act of gazing wilfully into his own personal likeness,’ he vindicated, nevertheless.

Sinclair spoke softly and dragged the boy close by to muffle the exchange, only too aware that more dangerous foes might lurk in the shadows. ‘Where I sleep,’ replied the other with muted indignation. ’ This pallid show of gumption brought a brief smile to Sinclair’s lips. He chose his words carefully. The Scots valued consonants more than vowels at times and he had mitigated his accent accordingly. Light and clear. Keep it so. ’ he asked with a bitter smile, reminded of the Union General who was a thorn in the flesh of the South and had driven the Johnny Rebs from Tennessee to open a route through Atlanta into the heart of the Confederacy.

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