I’m delighted to be taking part in the blogtour for Kevin McManus’ book Death Rains Down published by Spellbound on 8th April 2021 and available to buy NOW
About the book:
Introducing Detective Ray Logue. A renegade, hard living & damaged cop. Full of Irish charm & the best detective in Port Ard.
Detective Ray Logue has become something of a maverick in Jim Mulcahy’s police department, having never quite got over the death of his wife 12 years earlier.
Now a hard-drinking loner and occasional loose cannon, Logue is a thorn in Mulcahy’s side, who occasionally crosses the fine line of taking the law into his own hands to see justice served.
As the body count starts to rise, Logue suspects he may have stumbled into a dangerous web of lies and cover-ups, stretching from his own department all the way to the very top of the political spectrum.
From the law-enforcers to the law-makers, from respectable businessmen to Russian mobsters – a sinister hand is exercising an iron grip across the whole social order and it will destroy anyone who dares get in its way.
About the author:
Kevin McManus is an Irish author. He primarily writes Crime Fiction novels but also delves into writing poetry and short stories. He lives in County Leitrim in Western Ireland with his wife Mary and their dog Jack. He works by day as a secondary school teacher. Kevin has produced a series of novels featuring an Irish Detective called Ray Logue and a series based around a New York Detective called John Morrigan. His debut novel published in 2016 was “The Whole of the Moon”. In a previous incarnation, Kevin was a bass guitarist in several rock bands for over twenty year. Kevin is a supporter of Aston Villa FC which has caused him to age prematurely.
A Shadow of the Day
Saturday 20th October 2007: 12:15 PM
Abbey Street, Port Ard,
Co Mayo, Ireland
The early afternoon sun shone through the large window as Anna Pawalowski stared out at the slow moving cars on Abbey Street. She sipped a cup of coffee and conjured up images in her mind of better days back home in Poland with her mother and sister. As she was sliding into her daydream the vision was shattered by the shrill, piercing ringing of the phone on the desk in front of her. She responded with a shudder, dropping her coffee cup and soaking the papers strewn across the desk.
“Oh shit, that bloody ring-tone always scares the crap out of me!” she roared in a near perfect Mayo accent.
Anna had been living in Port Ard for six years and she had adapted to the Irish fondness for colourful language with great vigour and gusto. She believed that it helped to fit in with her co-workers and also helped with banter with customers.
The phone continued to ring and she hovered over it, vacillating between answering it and cleaning up the mess. Professionalism won out and she decided to answer it. The dripping mess on her desk would have to wait.
“Good afternoon, Mark Fitzgerald’s Estate Agents, Port Ard. Anna speaking. How can I help?” she recited with complete professionalism, despite the fact that the hot coffee was now dripping down on to her trousers and scalding her thighs as she spoke.
“Hi Anna, I was browsing your website and I came across a property that I could be interested in. It’s in a new development called Bay View near Shannveagh. I think it’s number twenty-six,” the man’s voice on the phone replied.
“Oh yes, twenty-six Bay View. That is a lovely house. It’s in a great location, sitting up on a beautiful bank overlooking the sea. It’s a very popular new development. We sold three houses out there only yesterday. There is quite a demand for them, sir,” Anna said sweetly. Her boss, Mark Fitzgerald, had taught her well.
“Would it be possible to arrange to view the property today?”
Anna hesitated – she was due to finish work at 12:30. While the office closed early on Saturdays, the girls took turns making themselves available for viewings on Saturday afternoons. Today it was Anna’s turn to show potential customers around. She had hoped that she might have avoided the inconvenience and get away early but maybe this might lead to a sale. Who knew, and the commission would be good.
“Yes, that’s no problem, sir. Could I just get your name and contact number, sir?”
There was an awkward pause on the other end of the phone and a deep breath. “It’s, it’s… John… John Greene. My mobile number is … 087 55431277.”
Anna wrote down the name and number on the back of a coffee stained envelope.
“That’s great Mr Greene, and what time do you want to view the property at, sir?” Anna said, hoping that it wouldn’t be too late.
“Two o’clock, okay?” Mr Greene said.
“Two o’clock is perfect, sir. I will see you then, goodbye,” Anna said as she put down the phone.
“Bloody fuck. Shit. Crap. Bollocks,” Anna roared as she pulled at her long blond hair in mock craziness.
“That’s quite a mouthful, Anna,” replied Patricia, a colleague at the desk opposite. “A viewing is it?”
“Yea, a bloody viewing.”
“Ah well, think of the money you could make!” Patricia smiled. “Come on. I’ll buy you lunch in Cassidy’s to cheer you up.”
“Thanks, Patricia. But I have to clean up this mess at the desk first. I spilled my coffee.”
“I’ll give you a hand, Anna.”
After Anna and Patricia had tidied up, Anna wrote the viewing details into the official appointments book. The two colleagues then grabbed their coats and handbags and along with the two other girls in the office they finished up for the weekend. Patricia Woods was the senior member of staff in the boss’s absence and she took charge of locking up and setting the alarm.
Cassidy’s bar was quiet and there was no problem getting a table for lunch. Anna and Patricia ate their meal next to a comforting open fire.
“Well, what are your plans for tonight?” Patricia asked as she took a large swallow from a bottle of Heineken.
“It’s well for you being able to drink,” Anna said enviously.
“Go on, have one yourself.”
“I can’t go in stinking of drink if I am showing a client around. Anyway, I have to drive to Dublin afterwards. I am going up to stay with my sister for the night. We are going to see a band in the Olympia.”
“Lucky you, going out in Dublin. I’m stuck here in this shit hole. Christ I’m sick of this kip. I think I will have a quiet night in. Next weekend is a bank holiday weekend. Some of my mates are coming over from Sligo. I might save myself for then. I will be boozing enough with them,” Patricia said as she took another swallow from her bottle.
“What time is it? I think I left my watch back at work. I must have spilled coffee on it,” Anna said.
“It’s a quarter past one.”
“I’m going to go, Patricia. I will head out to Shannveagh. Hopefully the client is there early so I can get away early myself. Look, I will see you on Tuesday. I told Mark I was taking Monday off.”
“You got Monday off? You have Mark wrapped around your finger. How do you do it I wonder?” Patricia grinned.
“Feck off you and mind your business. I will see you Tuesday morning. Enjoy your quiet night in, you sad auld one,” Anna said as she smiled at Patricia and grabbed her handbag and coat.
Anna’s blue Honda Accord was parked across the street and she got in and headed up St Anne Street and left on to Hyde Street and out the Dock road for the twenty-mile journey to the seaside town of Shannveagh.
At 1:50 she arrived at her destination, twenty-six Bay View. She drove into the driveway and switched off the engine. In the rearview mirror, she could see a black Audi car slowing down and stopping. She went to open her car door thinking that this must be Mr Greene, the client, but as she opened her door the black Audi pulled off. At the same moment her mobile phone rang and she reached over to the passenger seat to answer it.
“Hello?” Anna said as she pushed the green answer button on her Nokia mobile.
“Hi, Anna, it’s Mark Fitzgerald.”
“Oh! Hi, Mark, your name never came up on my phone.”
“Yea, I lost my phone someplace in the hotel this morning. So I’m just using another backup phone I have in the car. How was the office this morning? Was it busy, any callers?”
“Yes busy enough. Patricia showed some people the new apartments on the Dock road. She thinks that there could be a sale on one of them early next week.”
“That’s great, and how about you? What were you doing? Did anybody call about number twenty-six Bay View in Shannveagh?”
“Yes, a Mr John Greene. I am at the house now. Were you expecting somebody to call?”
Mark hesitated for a moment. “Oh, I was talking to a guy last Thursday at lunch in the yacht club. I think he said his name was Greene. He told me that he was interested and that he might have a look at the house today. Well it’s good that he called you so. I better let you go so Anna, it’s almost two and I have to get back to a game of golf. Look, Anna, thanks. I’m sure you will do a good job showing the client around. You always have. You are one of the best, Anna. I don’t think I ever thanked you enough and I am sorry about what happened between us in the past. You deserved better. I’m sorry, Anna. I really am.”
Anna laughed awkwardly. “Eh, thanks Mark. I better go.”
Anna put the phone into her jacket pocket and grabbed brochures about the Bay View development that were lying on the back seat. She took out a brush from her handbag and brushed her long blonde hair. She fixed her lipstick and sprayed some perfume on her neck. Anna was a stunning looking woman. Her looks had helped to get sales with many clients over the years. She knew how to use her charm and attributes to get deals closed, whatever it took.
Anna got out of the car taking the brochures and the key to the house with her. She opened the front door and let herself in. As she opened the hall door she could feel a cold, strong breeze coming down the hall from the kitchen. She walked in the direction of the chill air and fully pushed open the kitchen door. The first thing she saw was that the window over the sink had been smashed. Bloody kids, she thought to herself. How was she going to carry out a viewing now? She opened the double doors into an adjoining living room and decided to have a look through her brochures for Bay View to see if any other house in the estate was available for a viewing. Perhaps she could show the client a different house. She walked towards the front bay window to get more light as she flicked quickly through her literature.
She never heard the footsteps coming up behind her, the first sensation was something being wrapped and twisted around her neck. Her hands instinctively shot upwards to pull at what was strangling her, to try to free herself but her strength did not match the force that was pulling it tight. Anna tried to wheel around, to scratch or kick at her attacker. But she was losing strength. She was choking, losing oxygen. As the attacker pulled and twisted the rope, her feet were lifted off the floor. Anna dug deep to find her last reserves of energy. Her final breaths were used trying to force her fingers under the rope to free her throat. But it was in vain.
She collapsed to the floor and her eyes gave one final turn towards the large bay window and the light of the early afternoon sun as she dreamt up images in her mind of happy days back home in Poland with her mother and sister.