Hello and welcome to our stop on the Siren Song blog tour! Please scroll down for an excerpt.
A man who glimpses other people’s inner worlds, and a woman who can foresee death. Can they trace a missing girl before the worst happens?
Harrison Jones is a university lecturer with a secret: he moonlights as a psychic detective. Amy Bell is a paramedic who has the uncanny knack of knowing things are going to happen before they do. From their first accidental meeting on an Edinburgh bridge, both of their lives are destined to change.
Harrison invites Amy to help him investigate the disappearance of a beautiful young singer. The search will lead them into the murky world of human trafficking, from Edinburgh to the streets of Athens, and into the darkest corners of the human mind…
By the time Harrison Jones got to Sandy Bell’s Bar, he realised he didn’t want to be there.
He was tired and crowds could be overwhelming. More than once, he had stumbled out of a busy pub with other peoples’ emotions threatening to split his head wide open. Nevertheless, he had promised to meet his friends, and at the time it had seemed preferable to another long evening by himself.
Harrison was, as his grandmother used to say, sensitive in a very particular way. It ran in the family, she told him before she died, although that didn’t make the condition any easier to bear. It was worse when he spent too much time on his own. He was less able to close out other people’s thoughts, other people’s conflicts, other people’s pain. People who didn’t have to live with it described it as a gift, but most of the time Harrison wished he could switch it off. His inner life was complicated enough without the constant interference from other people, most of whom were strangers.
Before going inside, he closed his eyes, breathed in and out deeply and brought himself as firmly as he could into the physical present.
He turned his face up into the rain.
It had taken him a long time to learn how to close it all out, and his techniques weren’t always fool proof. Background music helped, especially the wordless, repetitive jigs and reels on offer in Bell’s. He pushed into the warm, steamy pub, swept his hair back from his face, took off his glasses, dried them on his jumper and put them back on again. They steamed up immediately so he repeated the performance, wishing he could trade his sixth sense for better eyesight.
Rebecca McKinney is a writer, therapist and community development practitioner, living and working in Midlothian, Scotland. She shares her home with her husband, two teenagers, three cats, and a growing collection of musical instruments.
The Angel in the Stone: shortlisted for the Highland Book Prize, 2017: Sandstone Press
Blast Radius: 2015: Sandstone Press
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