Sunday, August 05, 2012

The Skeletons of Birkbury by Diana J. Febry

Mystery/Crime, 364 pages, ebook & print
Cover art by Pat Evans
Purchase link for The Skeletons of Birkbury

Twenty years ago no connection was made between the disappearance of a girl from Cheltenham and a fatal car accident in the small village of Birkbury. But that changes when the body is found buried in Birkbury and there are two further car accidents and a local girl goes missing.

Frank could think of nothing useful to say and felt uncomfortable alone with Graham in the confined space of the old Land Rover. The vehicle's suspension thudded their spines as they sped back across the fields towards his discovery. Graham was clearly not best pleased at having been disturbed and made no attempt to hide his irritation.

Graham fidgeted, becoming increasingly annoyed by the vehicle struggling to get friction on the greasy layer of mud on the steep incline. He eventually broke the heavy silence and said, "I will telephone the police after I have seen this body myself. I'm not making a fool of myself on the basis of what you think you've seen, Frank." He added irritably, "Just how many did you have last night?"

Frank merely shrugged. He had known Graham since he was a child. There was no point even trying to discuss anything with him when he was in one of his moods. When things weren't going his way, Graham always oscillated between shouting unreasonable accusations and feigning partial deafness to show his complete contempt for anything anybody else may have to say. Instead of responding, Frank looked out of the passenger window and counted silently to ten.

"Get the gate, Frank."

Frank waited at the gate and let Graham go on ahead to the base of the tree. He had seen enough already. This was nothing to do with him. There was nothing he could do or say to improve things, so it was best to stay out of the way for the rest of the day. He tried to avoid eye contact when Graham returned looking shaken and pale from what he'd seen.

"Frank, this spot can't be seen from the road. I want you to go back to the main gates so you can show the police where we are when they arrive," he said as he pulled his phone from his pocket. "I'll ring them now. And Frank, no wandering off anywhere; just wait at the gate until they arrive." He added "If you see Gillian, don't tell her anything yet. Leave it to me."

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