Sacrifice of An Angel
Tasha Duncan (Natasha Duncan-Drake)
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[Amazon.co.uk £1.71 ]
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|Series: Haward Mysteries #1|
|Date Pub: June 1st 2011|
|Genre: crime, contemporary fantasy|
The body of a beautiful girl dressed in a ceremonial robe is found on a playground roundabout. Her throat has been ripped out and the roundabout has a bad case of perpetual motion. Is it a ritualistic, magical murder or a setup to distract from the real killer?
That is the question that faces twins, Theo and Remy Haward, detectives in the Sorcerous Crimes Task Force (SeCT), when they are called to the scene in the middle of the night. That and who could commit such an act. They must find the answers to these and other questions, all the while ensuring the general public finds out nothing about the magical world that co-exists with their own.
Armed with their experience, their natural magical abilities and their complimentary instincts, Remy and Theo must identify the victim, follow the evidence and find the killer before anyone else dies.
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"You didn't say there were two of you," he or she kept going anyway, winking at Remy and then looking Theo up and down in a way that suggested he or she did not care about style
Remy laughed at the intimation, wrapping an arm round Theo as he did so and hauling him close. Theo sighed patiently, loud enough for Remy to hear, and rolled his eyes, but did not try to pull away as Remy told his companions, "I do try and influence my big brother, but he can be such a prude."
"Only because you don't have the sense you were born with," Theo quipped back, which amused the androgynous pair.
However, Theo didn't have time for games, so he reached into his trouser pocket, pulled out his wallet and flashed his warrant card at the couple.
"Sorry, Sir, Miss," he informed them, not looking in any particular direction as he addressed them both, "police business."
Remy snorted as Theo slipped out of the hold, caught him under the arm and pulled him back the way he had come, but did not resist as they headed back to the dark corner.
"I'm going to have to start calling you 'cock-blocker'," Remy complained, practically yelling in his ear and plastering himself up close to Theo as they forced their way through the oblivious crowd.
Theo liked to think of himself as a calm individual, but he was in no mood to put up with his brother's digs.
He came to a halt, turned, glared at Remy and yelled right back into his twin's face, "We have a case."
The grin dropped off Remy's face immediately and Theo knew his nerves were showing more than they should have. He wanted to confess everything then, nightmare and all, but there was no time. The snarl did grab the attention of some in their immediate vicinity though, so, his point made, Theo turned and kept on moving, this time trusting that Remy would follow. Remy stuck just as close as if Theo had been dragging him still and Theo's fit of pique dissipated as quickly as it had started.
As they moved, Theo put his wallet away and took out his mobile, which, now with signal, was blinking the new message from the office at him. A couple of swipes on the touch-screen and it was full of a dimly lit picture of trees and a sign saying, 'Trowton Children's Play Area'. Theo's mood descended even lower.
As they reached the dark corner, Theo held up the phone to Remy, who fixed on it for a second and then nodded at him. A second later, he flexed his magical muscles again and he watched Remy's evaporating against the background of the club as his own body grew lighter.
Remy came out the other side of the Fade feeling sober; he had been more interested in dancing and letting off a little steam than alcohol. Being in court all day waiting to testify on a gangland drive-by, magic style, had got to him and he had needed to let out some of his pent up energy. Testifying was definitely a downside of being a police officer. However, the fact they had a case was better for getting over the day than anything he had been up to at the club.
Looking around, he could see the children's play area where everyone was gathered, lights and screens already up to shut it off from the public. Even at such an ungodly hour there were press on the scene. It definitely had to be a nasty one to drag that many people out of bed. They had arrived in a quiet spot under some trees a good two hundred yards away from the crime scene.
"Shall we?" he asked, slipping into investigative mode without really thinking about it.
Theo just nodded and they began to walk, but as they went, his brother handed him a fistful of things.
"Hair, eyeliner, alcohol," was all Theo said and Remy looked at the things he had been given.
The first was a comb, the second a makeup wipe and the third a small packet of breath mints.
"We need to look like professionals."
It was something Theo often felt the need to tell him and Remy usually agreed, but this time he really wasn't taking any notice of what his twin was saying. It was more the way Theo was saying it that was important. Theo always looked out for him and thought of everything when it came to making sure he didn't make a right prat of himself, but something was off.
He used the wipe first, giving it a little magical boost to make sure he didn't end up with smudged eyeliner instead of 'gone' eyeliner, but he barely took his eyes off Theo. Theo was his big brother by all of thirteen minutes, but it still defined them and Theo took looking after him very seriously. However, it wasn't one sided and Remy always kept an eye on Theo as well, he just had to be more circumspect about it. At that moment, Remy's instincts were telling him all was not right with Theo, his twin wasn't usually this uptight even when the case was going to be a nasty one. Although Theo took life in general more seriously than he did, mostly his twin was relaxed and cheerful, or at least relaxed and efficient. From that observation, it didn't take him long to come to a conclusion.
"You had 'The Dream' again," he said quietly.
"No time now," was the resolute reply and Remy just inclined his head slightly.
'The Dream', which had long since received capital letters in Remy's head, always rattled Theo and sooner or later his twin would want to talk about it.Until then Remy knew to just keep his eyes on his brother and wait. Dragging the comb through his hair so that it wasn't quite as wild as he liked it when clubbing, he asked, "What do we know about the case?"
"The victim is a teenage girl and, given where she was dumped, it's going to be a circus, that's all I have," Theo replied as they began to walk again. "Debbie is already on scene and will brief us."
Remy nodded and popped a breath mint into his mouth before passing the little tin back to Theo.
"Thanks," he said just as they reached the police line.
"DI and DS Haward, Serious Crimes Taskforce," Theo said as they both flashed their warrant cards at the constable who was holding the sightseers back.
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