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As a new century approaches, Edinburgh is a city divided. The wealthy residents of New Town live in comfort, while Old Town’s cobblestone streets are clotted with criminals, prostitution, and poverty.
Detective Inspector Ian Hamilton is no stranger to Edinburgh’s darkest crimes. Scarred by the mysterious fire that killed his parents, he faces his toughest case yet when a young man is found strangled in Holyrood Park.
With little evidence aside from a strange playing card found on the body, Hamilton engages the help of his aunt, a gifted photographer, and George Pearson, a librarian with a shared interest in the criminal mind. But the body count is rising. As newspapers spin tales of the “Holyrood Strangler,” panic sets in across the city. And with each victim, the murderer is getting closer to Hamilton, the one man who dares to stop him.
446 pages, Kindle Edition
First published September 5, 2017
Dawn slunk timidly through the streets of the city the next morning, as if afraid of what it might find.
The sky was slinging down sleet in thick long shafts that caught the light from gas-lamps, shinning like the tails of tiny comets hurtling from the night sky.
They had their own rules, regulations, and rituals known only to them. Secrecy was their constant companion, silence their motto. They were the lamplighters and night watchmen, thieves and brigands, pickpockets and prostitutes. And they lived in the spaces between waking and sleeping, their existence's deep and still as a held breath.
Happyland was filthy, unsafe, and unsanitary. It stank of sin, sorrow, and surrender. Behind its crumbling walls lived a collection of thieves, rogues and whores as well as a few murderers. Sprinkled in among them were unlucky, impoverished souls doing their best to make a living on the right side of the law.
Nobody likes a showoff, Hamilton