Today, I am happy to introduce you to a thrilling new crime novel “The Dog Walker” by Leslie Thomson. Check out more info, and excerpt of this suspenseful novel below!
Title: The Dog Walker
Author: Lesley Thomson
Publication Date: April 6th, 2016
Publisher: Head of Zeus
A haunted house, a broken family and a body that has never been found. Stella and Jack must reawaken the secrets of the past in order to solve the mysteries of the present.
In the depths of winter, only joggers and dog walkers brave the Thames towpath after dark. Helen Honeysett, a young newlywed, sets off for an evening run from her riverside cottage. Only her dog returns.
Twenty-nine years later, her husband has asked Stella Darnell, a private detective, and her side-kick Jack Harmon, to find out what happened all those years ago.
But when the five households on that desolate stretch of towpath refuse to give up their secrets, Stella and Jack find themselves hunting a killer whose trail has long gone cold…
Enjoy this excerpt of The Dog Walker!
On a hot summer’s day the Thames towpath between Kew Bridge and Mortlake Crematorium is stippled with sunlight spilling through willow fronds and shading oaks. Birdsong twitters above the rumble of a District line train crossing Kew Railway Bridge. Although in London, the leafy towpath resembles a pastoral idyll. Cyclists weave around strolling couples and families straggling with scooters and pushchairs.
In deepest darkest winter, lamplight from the north bank is absorbed in the black waters and only joggers and dog walkers brave the towpath.
On this night, a figure walked briskly beside the Thames. The sweeping arc of a torch picked out puddles in the mud. A dog nosing along the bank cocked its ears. The person – a man or a woman in baggy waterproofs – paused. There was the thud of footsteps. Emerging out of the gloom came a jogger accompanied by a dog. The dog walker moved to the river’s edge to make way.
‘Good evening!’ the dog walker hailed the receding figure. No reply. The jogger’s dog was circling on the path; he pooed and, kicking his back legs in triumph or relief, raced away.
Clear of trees, the path was stained by the orange of the light polluted sky. The dog walker strode on along the path, seemingly unfazed by the slap of the river against the bank and rustling in bushes that might suggest a creeping assailant.
The arch of Chiswick Bridge was a tomb in which ice cracking beneath the dog walker’s step was amplified.
It’s the dog walker with their inquisitive pet straying off the beaten track who’s likely to come upon the body of a murder victim. Bent on their daily routine rarely does it occur to them that they themselves could be a victim. ‘Oh, it’s you!’ The words hung in the wintry air.
About the Author
Lesley Thomson is a Londoner. Her first crime novel A Kind of Vanishing won The People’s Book Prize in 2010. The Detective’s Daughter is a number one bestseller and Sainsbury’s ebook for 2014. Ghost Girl, the second in the The Detective’s Daughter series (2014) went to number one in Sainsbury’s e-chart and is another bestseller. The Detective’s Secret was published in 2015. The Runaway, an ebook short about Stella Darnell (the detective’s daughter) came out in July 2015 and the fourth in the series, The House with No Rooms in 2016. The Dogwalker, another case for Stella and Jack, comes out in April 2017.
Lesley lives in Sussex with her partner and her dog and is working on The Detective Daughter sixth in the series featuring Stella Darnell.