Welcome to my post for the Six Feet Under blog tour. I’m sharing an extract from Colin Garrow’s fourth Terry Bell mystery.
My thanks to the lovely Emma Welton of damppebbles blog tours for inviting me to join the blog tour
A murder victim, a deserted airfield, a sinister project. Can Terry untangle the mystery before someone else dies?
Asked to investigate the death of a building contractor, taxi-driver and amateur sleuth Terry Bell thinks the dead man’s widow may be wasting her money. But when the trail leads to an old airfield and a brace of brutal thugs, he begins to wonder what they’re trying to hide. Tracking down one of the builder’s former workmates, Terry finds him unwilling to answer questions. When the man is beaten up, the canny cabbie gets a visit from his favourite detective inspector. But DI Charis Brown and her latest sidekick seem determined not to get involved. Until the man is attacked again…
In this murder/mystery series set on England’s northeast coast, Six Feet Under is book #4 in the Terry Bell Mystery series.
Why do bad things always happen on a Friday?
As an old friend of mine used to say, the day had been a crock of crap from arsehole to breakfast time. Torrential rain and the promise of thunder on waking up that morning, left me in no doubt that a forty-mile-round-trip wasn’t a good idea. But time is money, as some boring fart once said, so I told myself to get on with it and stop complaining. In any case, the journey wouldn’t take much more than half an hour each way, and if the story turned out to be true, I needed to know for sure.
Thunder came and went, but the rain persisted. Standing by the window in the flat I shared with Carol, I congratulated myself for having the sense to take a day off from taxi driving—shitty weather’s bad enough, but shitty weather and whinging punters would tip the balance the wrong way. By late afternoon, it became obvious the dull grey clouds had no intention of moving on, so grabbing my keys and my old Parka, I headed downstairs.
Once I hit the A1, the traffic thinned out—sensible people were staying indoors. By the time I turned onto the last stretch of road that led to my destination, the sky had taken on a nice shade of murky with a touch of gloom. The narrow lane and overhanging trees made it difficult to see the entrance to the old airfield, forcing me to slow right down so as not to miss it completely.
Pulling into the entryway, I parked next to a wide metal gate. With my hood up, I climbed out of the car and splashed across to the fastening that held the gate shut, but a loop of chain and a hefty padlock told me I wouldn’t be getting through this way anytime soon.
With no option but to walk, I locked the car and checked up and down the lane. No-one around. Not that it mattered—wasn’t as if I intended doing anything illegal. My phone told me it had just gone four o’clock, though from the state of the sky, it could easily have been the middle of the night.
The five-bar gate blocked the road but left enough room on either side for a medium-sized amateur sleuth to slide through. On the other side, I stood gazing down the cracked concrete road that, years ago, had been the domain of bikers every weekend, as they raced each other down the quarter-mile stretch before the road veered off to the right. Before the bikers found it, the place had been used to train air gunners during World War Two. More recently, it had come into use as a site for car boot sales, the long runways perfect for lines of cars and hopeful sellers, with their displays of household goods, second-hand clothes and other shite.
Tranwell Woods bordered the site on one side, encroaching over the handful of old wartime buildings that still nestled here and there among the trees and along the fringes of the runways. From the main track I couldn’t see anything that resembled a recently-built structure, but according to the map Lennie had given me, the building I sought should be about a hundred yards down and over to the right, close to the trees.
The rain had finally let up a little, and pushing my hood back, I started towards the x-marks-the-spot point Lennie had marked on the map.
Reaching the bend in the weed-infested road, I stood for a moment staring through the trees, looking for any sign of a man-made structure. Thirty or so yards in, I could make out the corner of a long-forgotten shed, its remaining walls overgrown with weeds and ivy. According to Lennie, the place had been built close to the ruins of another. But he’d been adamant that its entrance stood next to the woods, on the edge of the old concrete road. And anyway, no-one in their right mind would consider building a house or anything else amongst the dense undergrowth. No. It had to be out here. Turning slowly around in a full circle, I surveyed the remains of the airfield, stretching out to the west.
Could Lennie be wrong? He wasn’t the brightest spark, but I’d taken him at his word. And why would he lie?
Facing the woods again, I forced my way through the brush, hands stretched out, pushing away spindly snake-like creepers. Ducking down to avoid an overhanging branch, I straightened up again. And that’s when something fist-shaped came out of left field and collided with the side of my head.
As I fell backwards, a patch of blue sky appeared high above me. The sight of it might’ve brought a smile to my face if the owner of the fist hadn’t chosen that moment to deliver a hefty kick to my ribs. A grunt from behind made me twist round as I hit the earth. The hooded figure loomed over me, muttering words that made no sense. As I opened my mouth to say something, the boot zoomed in for another go and everything went black.
Who Is Colin Garrow?
True-born Geordie Colin Garrow grew up in a former mining town in Northumberland and has worked in a plethora of professions including taxi driver, antiques dealer, drama facilitator, theatre director and fish processor, and has occasionally masqueraded as a pirate. Colin has published three stage plays, six adventures for middle grade readers, two books of short stories, the Watson Letters series and the Terry Bell Mysteries. His short stories have appeared in several literary mags, including: SN Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Grind, A3 Review, Inkapture and Scribble Magazine. These days he lives in a humble cottage in North East Scotland where he writes novels, stories. poems and the occasional song.
Website (adults): https://colingarrow.org/
Website (childrens): https://colingarrowbooks.com/
Website (The Watson Letters): https://thewatsonletters.com/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B014Z5DZD4