The Rock. Gibraltar. 1966.
In a fading colonial house overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar, the dead body of a beautiful woman lays dripping in blood. The steel handle of a knife protrudes from her chest, its sharpened tip buried deep within her heart.
The Rock. Present day.
Detective Sergeant Tamara Sullivan arrives on The Rock on a three-month secondment from the London Metropolitan Police Service. Her reasons for being here are not happy ones and she braces herself for a tedious and wasteful twelve weeks in the sun.
After all, murders are rare on the small, prosperous and sun-kissed sovereignty of Gibraltar and catching murderers is what Sullivan does best.
It is a talent she shares with her new boss, Chief Inspector Gus Broderick of the Royal Gibraltar Police Force. He’s an old-fashioned cop who regards his new colleague with mild disdain.
But when a young police constable is found hanging from the ceiling of his apartment, Sullivan and Broderick begin to unravel a dark and dangerous secret that will test their skills and working relationship to the limit.
|THE POISONED ROCK
Hotel Mandrago, Gibraltar Town, November 1942
The couple lay naked on the bed, the young woman’s right arm and leg wrapped around the man’s waist and thigh. Lovers at rest, a perfect post-coital scene.
The flash of a camera bulb made the woman start, her eyes opening wide. The man’s eyes remained closed. From the shadows of the shabbily furnished hotel room, the photographer’s stern voice ordered her to close them again. This she did. She had so little to do and was going to be paid so much that she would do whatever she was told. At first she’d thought the man on the bed was dead. But then she heard him breathing.
As if dressing the room for the camera, the photographer had laid out the man’s uniform along the bottom of the bed. It was an officer’s tunic, Polish from its markings. Not that the young woman cared. She wanted the wretched business over and done with as quickly as possible.
If it was supposed to be a joke, it would be an expensive one. Or was it supposed to be some form of artistic expression? She didn’t care. She wasn’t asking questions and the photographer wasn’t offering any answers. Another camera flash. The job was done.
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