Hello, Book Dragons! Today I would like to welcome you all on my stop of the Blog Tour for The Coral Bride By Roxanne Bouchard and I would like to share an extract from the book, with all of you. Thank you very much to Anne from Random Things Tours for the invitation. Please do show some love to all the wonderful book bloggers on this blog tour by following and sharing their work. 🙂
Publisher: Orenda Books
Genre: Erotic Mystery Fiction
Release date: 12 11 2020
Price*: Kindle £3.79 (GBP)/ Paperback £7.91 (GBP)
Kindle $7.99 (USD)/ Paperback $15.95 (USD)
Pages: ~ 300
You can get this book here:
Description of the book: When an abandoned lobster trawler is found adrift off the coast of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, DS Joaquin Moralès begins a straightforward search for the boat’s missing captain, Angel Roberts a rare female in a male-dominated world. But Moralès finds himself blocked at every turn by his police colleagues, by fisheries bureaucrats, and by his grown-up son, who has turned up at his door with a host of his own personal problems.
When Angel’s body is finally discovered, it’s clear something very sinister is afoot, and Moralès and son are pulled into murky, dangerous waters, where old resentments run deep.
As Simone drove them back around the quayside to the Close Call II, Lefebvre gave Moralès the address of Corine’s auberge, where he had booked a room for him, and promised he would drop by that evening. When the truck pulled up to the wharf, he made his way to his own unmarked car, keen to drive back to the police station in Gaspé.
The onlookers must have grown tired of waiting in the cold wind for information and gossip that failed to materialise, because the wharf was now empty. The lobster trawler had now been sealed off with yellow crime-scene tape. Simone Lord strode purposefully towards the forensic technicians as they were taking off their gloves. Moralès felt his phone vibrate in his pocket again, but he didn’t bother to look at the screen. He didn’t want to let the fisheries officer take the lead in this investigation.
‘Did you find anything?’ he asked the technicians.
‘Nothing in the wheelhouse or at the bow. We lifted some prints, but they were probably from the guys earlier. Those two clowns touched everything, by the looks of it.’
No surprise there, Moralès thought.
‘Nothing in the bilge or around the engine compartment.’
Moralès looked across at the area of the deck behind the wheelhouse. ‘It seems the tailgate was open when the men found the boat.’
‘Why do you say that?’ The forensic technicians put their gloves back on, walked to the stern, one to either side, and opened the tailgate. The younger of the two then explained what they had found, but without making eye contact with the detective or the fisheries officer. ‘She must have been sitting there.’
‘Hmm,’ said his colleague.
Moralès frowned and walked over for a closer look. ‘Where, exactly?’
‘With one hand behind her back.’
‘What do you mean, one hand behind her back?’
The young forensic technician looked down his nose at Moralès, as if he’d interrupted a groundbreaking lecture about the survival of the human race. He was hesitant to bother gracing Moralès’s question with an answer but, after a silent debate with himself, decided he probably should. ‘She was slumped on the deck with her back against the wheelhouse, right there, with her right hand behind her back, palm facing down.’
‘Hmm,’ the other guy confirmed.
‘There are clear prints of a female’s fingertips here. But the rest of the print is weird. It’s like the hand had flipped itself over somehow.’
The young guy turned away from Moralès and twisted his arm behind his back, palm facing out.
He let his hand fall, but kept his back to Moralès.
‘Then, it’s as if she was pulled downwards.’
‘Hmm. Towards the sea.’
The young guy whirled around and glared at Moralès. ‘It’s hard to explain when you keep getting interrupted.’
The other guy nodded.
The detective ignored the comment. ‘Are you saying someone dragged her towards the stern?’
‘Towards the water.’
‘Is there anything else that would confirm this theory?’
‘Hmm. Something white and frilly.’
‘Caught on the hold-hatch bolt, there.’
‘Here?’ Moralès pointed to the hold hatches.
‘Hmm. Hair, as well.’
‘In both bolt heads. The angle suggests she slid towards the stern, not the other way.’
‘And we found more in the tailgate hinge.’
‘As if she’d been dragged towards the sea and the hair had got caught there along the way?’ ‘Hmm.’
‘Any evidence there was some kind of struggle?’
‘She was attached.’
‘Attached? To what?’
‘To the line that was spliced to the anchor chain. But the anchor itself is still in its well, up front.’
‘What was at the end of the chain?’
Both forensics technicians shrugged in unison, as if they were practising a synchronised-swimming routine. ‘We don’t know.’ Then the younger one turned to his colleague. ‘Can you summarise?’
‘Hmm. Let me summarise. So the woman was lying there, slumped against the wheelhouse, dressed in her white frilly whatnot with one hand behind her back. She was attached to a line, and that line was attached to an anchor chain, both of which had first been taken out of the anchor well up front. We don’t know what was on the end of the chain. The tailgate was open. The woman was dragged off the boat in a reclined position. There are fibres from the line and marks where the chain slid over the tailgate. The tailgate itself was closed later, presumably when the two deckhands came aboard.’
The young guy raised an admiring eyebrow to his colleague, who nodded in return, as if to say ‘that’s the way you deliver a brief summary of the chain of events at a crime scene’.
Moralès interrupted their silent exchange. ‘So she came aboard without putting up a fight, laid down on the deck in her frilly dress, put one hand behind her back and let herself get dragged overboard without blinking an eye?’
‘She must have been unconscious,’ Simone said.
‘Or already dead,’ Moralès countered.
‘The murderer must have dived into the water after he tied her up to the chain.’
‘Or jumped onto another boat,’ the young forensic technician suggested.
‘Did you notice any marks on the side of the hull?’
‘There are some traces of red paint.’ The technician pointed to a part of the hull near the stern on the starboard side.
‘We’re going to analyse the paint to see what kind of vessel it might have come from. We’re also going to pay her deckhands a visit and examine the woman’s house. Take some hair samples and fingerprints. Not just hers, the people close to her too. We’re going to need permissions for that.’
‘Constable Lefebvre is back at the station. He’ll arrange all that for you. Let him know when you’ve got the results of your analysis.’
The forensics technicians nodded. Moralès turned to Simone Lord, but she was already halfway back to her truck. He watched her walk away. In spite of her temperament, he couldn’t help but think about that intriguing little vertebra at the nape of her neck. Moralès skirted around the coast-guard building and walked back to his car. Then he drove away from the wharf.
About the author: Ten years or so ago, Roxanne Bouchard decided it was time she found her sea legs. So she learned to sail, first on the St Lawrence River, before taking to the open waters off the Gaspé Peninsula. The local fishermen soon invited her aboard to reel in their lobster nets, and Roxanne saw for herself that the sunrise over Bonaventure never lies. We Were the Salt of the Sea is her fifth novel, and her first to be translated into English. She lives in Quebec.
Website: roxannebouchard.com / Twitter: @RBouchard72
*-the price was taken from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com on the current date. The price might change at the time of your purchase. The links used in this post for book purchases are affiliates.