Each Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea shares the first part of a book that she is reading or thinking about reading. This week I'm sharing the first few paragraphs of Crossbones Yard by Kate Rhodes. This is the first book in a series starring Alice Quentin - a psychologist who sometimes works with the police in London. See what you think:
I peered into the metal box without stepping inside. It had the familiar smell of all hospital lifts, handwash and antiseptic, an undertone of urine and fear. I had only managed the twenty-four-storey journey to the psychology department once, with my eyes closed, holding my breath. It wasn't the speed that got me, just the space itself. Tiny and airless, no windows to escape through. I forced myself over the threshold, keeping the door open with my hand, but panic kicked in immediately, a surge of adrenalin just under my ribcage. My reflection stared at me from the mirrored back wall. My face was white and pinched, eyes glittering with anxiety. I looked like a small blonde child dressed up in her mother's smartest clothes. I backed out of the lift and the doors snapped shut, almost catching my fingers. My only option was to take the stairs, all two hundred and seventy-eight of them. By now the signs on every landing were imprinted on my memory: oncology, urology, orthopaedics, X-ray. But at least the daily climb was keeping me fit--at a steady pace the ascent took less than six minutes.
Alice Quentin is a psychologist with some painful family secrets, but she has a good job, a good-looking boyfriend, and excellent coping skills, even when that job includes evaluating a convicted killer who's about to be released from prison. One of the highlights of her day is going for a nice, long run around her beloved London--it's impossible to fret or feel guilty about your mother or brother when you're concentrating on your breathing--until she stumbles upon a dead body at a former graveyard for prostitutes, Crossbones Yard.
The dead woman's wounds are alarmingly similar to the signature style of Ray and Marie Benson, who tortured and killed thirteen women before they were caught and sent to jail. Five of their victims were never found. That was six years ago, and the last thing Alice wants to do is to enter the sordid world of the Bensons or anyone like them. But when the police ask for her help in building a psychological profile of the new murderer, she finds that the killer--and the danger to her and the people she cares about--may already be closer than she ever imagined.
Are you interested? Would you keep reading? There are three books published in this series and the fourth has just come out in the UK. I'm looking forward to meeting Alice.