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Murder in the Gallowgate

(The first book in the Detective Lola Harris Mystery series)
A novel by


Detective Lola Harris returns from a miserable solo holiday — an effort to get over her useless ex — only to find herself in charge of a high-stakes investigation.

She rushes to a crime scene in the historic Gallowgate neighbourhood. The smell in the basement is thick and sweet, even through Lola’s forensic mask.

The old wooden chair and the rope hanging from its arms are stained red. The earth below is saturated with blood. Six candleholders, their lights burned out, lend the scene an air of a completed ritual.

And yet there is no sign of a body.

A smashed-up phone in the corner puts the investigators on the trail of a local politician who has vanished without trace and a controversial artist who died thirty years ago on a remote Hebridean island.

Lola will have to work with the most obnoxious detective in Glasgow if she’s going to stop the killer from striking again.

Fans of Matt Brolly, Nadine Matheson, Alex Gray, Ian Rankin, Caro Ramsay and Denise Mina will devour this page-turning crime thriller.

Lola Harris, a former hairdresser, is able to get people to trust her at their most vulnerable. She can pierce the toughest facade, asking questions that get to the heart of the matter. But she knows she can play it “mumsy” when she needs to. She drinks too much coffee, and likes a Bacardi and Coke, though she tries not to drink because it makes her maudlin about her useless ex, Joe.

Lola’s main rival in the force is Detective Sergeant Aidan Pierce, who seems hell-bent on sabotaging the case — and her career with it. He thinks he’s the next big thing, and is intensely frustrated that
she got ‘his’ promotion. Carefully dressed in expensive Italian suits, he’s a snob, very good looking and vain with it. He’s his own worst enemy, and his manipulative and toxic behaviour has been getting worse. At some point, Lola will have to confront him.

Luckily, Lola has Detective Constable Kirstie Campbell to back her up. Kirstie is committed, focused (too focused?) and feels most secure when playing things by the book.

Glasgow is a city of many different faces, from gritty and unsettling, to modern and slick. It rains a lot: clouds make a lid over the city, and citizens hunch as they hurry about their business. Still, people are very friendly and like a good time.

Genre: Mystery

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