Adrian Harvey, London wine merchant, has lost the Christmas spirit. Someone is stalking him, stealing his post and vandalising his shop. When the police question him after an anonymous tip-off, he’s more than anxious. He’s scared. And who is that nun?
When long time neighbour and friend, DI Beatrice Stubbs is dispatched to Germany to investigate a series of apparently related art thefts, Adrian seizes the chance to flee the city. He follows her to Hamburg to do some Christmas shopping and visit his ex. Yet that stalker is still on his heels.
While Beatrice is on the trail of a violent gang of mercenary thieves, Adrian runs from danger to the remote island of Sylt. But when danger catches up, he has run too far. From the icy streets of Hamburg, to the canals of Amsterdam, and the snowswept beaches of Sylt, Beatrice and Adrian discover how a virtue taken to extremes can lead to deadly sin.
“Enthralling! The menace of Du Maurier meets the darkness and intrigue of Nordic Noir. Keep the lights on and your wits about you.” – Anne Stormont, author of Displacement
“Human Rites has got it all: organised crime, Beatrice Stubbs, nuns, Stollen, wine, Adrian and Expressionist art, with the added delights of a German Christmas, gay men's choirs and a farty Husky. She’s back and she’s brilliant!” – The Crime Addict
Sorry to hear about the break-up. But I’m sure you won’t be single for long. Plenty more fish in the Superstore. You’d love it here. Very bike-friendly place and pavements completely free of chewing-gum. I’m sitting on a bench by the lake, gnawing on a sausage and throwing bits of bread to the ducks. Unspeakably beautiful but I do miss home.
Lots of love
The Porsche thundered through the trees. Belanov steered with his left hand, allowing his right, complete with TAG Heuer, to rest on the gearstick. Her colour was high and he could sense her exhilaration. He allowed the vehicle a four-wheel slide as they arrived at the cabin.
“OK, Ms McKendrick. I’ll be five minutes. Would you like me to leave the music on for you?”
“You know what? I think I might be safe enough to come in while you get your stuff. Apart from anything else, I could use the bathroom.”
Belanov repressed a grin and bowed like a gentleman as he opened the passenger door and offered his arm. He ran through his list. White wine and snacks in fridge, vodka in freezer. Fire laid, clean sheets, camera charged. And in the bedside drawer, a high-quality twist of cocaine. Czech.
Appellation: DOQ Rioja
Blend: 50% Tempranillo, 40% Garnacha. 10% Mazuelo
Ageing: 16 months in 100% French Allier oak
Age of vines: 50-60 years
Very dark garnet colour, almost purple. Intense early nose of boot polish lifting to potent blend of incense, lavender and smoked meat. Initial dark fruits in the mouth give way to toasty round tannins in the middle and a high-toned black plum finish. Drink now, or cellar several cases to enjoy over the next decade. (Score: 92/100)