Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Gordonston Ladies - Dog Walking Club by @DuncanWhitehead #Mystery, #ASMSG






 

St Patrick’s Day is fast approaching, the largest and most popular event in Savannah, but for the members of Gordonston’s dog walking club their priority is recruiting a glamorous new member and defending their beloved park from encroachers and a rival dog walking club. 

Meanwhile, a hitman is headed to town with orders to kill. But just who is his target? 

For the last time we return to Gordonston, where secrets are finally revealed, lies and untruths exposed, and once again, as the plot thickens, the residents of Gordonston find themselves entangled in a web of deeply hidden agendas, deception, and vengeance. Forget what you thought you knew....nothing was ever what it seemed. 

Filled with twists and turns, the Gordonston Trilogy, a series of revenge, retribution and dog walking, that has gripped readers worldwide comes to a fitting end. Prepare for the ultimate sucker punch ending and a conclusion so shocking and unexpected, it will leave you breathless. 

 

EXTRACT

 

From his vantage point on the roof of the Union Bank Building, he could see the parade turning onto Bay Street. The procession, led by four officers of the Savannah Police Department motorcycle division, who sped in front of the crawling parade, lights flashing and their sirens blaring, was the signal to the excited crowd that the parade was approaching. The long stream of floats, cars, marching bands and representatives of police, firefighting departments, military units, schools and colleges; many dressed in kilts of assorted tartans, led by bagpipers and drummers, was now only minutes away. He could sense the crowd’s anticipation and excitement, and he had never seen so much green in his entire life.

Both sides of the procession route were filled with revelers; many dressed in green hats, green jackets, green t-shirts, or a combination of all three. It was as if a sea of green had flooded the city streets. Everyone, it seemed, dressed in the color associated with the Irish and Ireland. He estimated that there must be over one hundred thousand people on this part of the parade route alone, and his estimation was probably low.

He had read that Savannah’s celebration was the second largest Saint Patrick’s Day gathering in the United States, something he had found to be odd considering that the city itself had no real Irish feel about it. From what he had seen and heard so far, the event reminded of him Mardi Gras in New Orleans, an excuse for a party, and, of course, a drink and a reason to get drunk. He had also read that the festivities lasted several days, with Irish themed celebrations and events dominating the historic city for a week. The parade itself would be shown live on local television channels. Many of the visitors and parade watchers would have arrived a few days before the actual procession, drinking, partying, and enjoying life and all things Irish well into the early hours.

Reaching into his duffel bag, he retrieved a pair of binoculars. Through them, he could now clearly see the procession approaching. The open-topped car, which he could see was a Mustang, carried the mayor and his wife. It would be the third car in line that would be heading the parade. The car following the mayor’s vehicle would be that of the city’s police chief. Again, that would be an opened topped vehicle, and the car behind his would carry the previous chief of police who had retired last year.

Apart from the officers on motorcycles, who now ensured that the road ahead was clear of encroaching spectators, the parade was led by the St. Patrick’s Day Grand Marshall. He would walk the route on foot, followed closely by the preceding year’s marshal.

He had accessed the roof of the unoccupied bank building three hours previously. As he had been told it would be, the door was unlocked and the building deserted. It was the perfect position; if his only reason to be in Savannah that day were to just watch the parade, he would have had the best seat in the house. No one had seen him enter the building and he was more than confident he could not be spotted from the streets below, or from any of the other buildings that lined the route along Bay Street.

Numerous food trucks and stalls had invaded Savannah to cater to the million or so people who would witness the parade. The smell of barbecued pork, deep-fried turkey legs, and other fast food filled the air, causing a rumbling in his stomach. However, he did not allow his hunger to distract him.

After placing the binoculars on the ground, he raised his rifle to his shoulder and lay prone on the building’s roof. He adjusted the telescopic sight of his weapon and scanned the crowd; he focused his sights on an attractive girl, dressed in shorts and a tight green tee shirt and wearing a collection of green beads around her neck. She was cheering and was obviously enjoying herself. His gaze lingered on her before he shifted the weapon and set his sights on the third vehicle, which was now within shooting range of his high-powered .308 sniper rifle, fitted with an ACC sound suppressor.

He could see that his target was smiling and waving at the excited crowds that lined both sides of the sidewalk. He did not feel any sadness, remorse, or pity for his victim. It was purely business and nothing personal.

The driver of the mayor’s car, probably a local government employee or an eager volunteer, remained focused on his task, ensuring that the car did not exceed ten miles per hour. He did not appear to be distracted by the crowd, which was a good thing. The last thing he needed was the driver, once the shot had been fired, to careen into the sidewalk and innocent bystanders. He had one target only, no one else needed to die today.

The target was now in perfect range. He could press the trigger at any time, confident that the bullet would enter his victim’s forehead, resulting in immediate death. He once again shifted the weapon, this time his sights trained on the mayor’s wife. She was attractive, there was no disputing it. Stunning even, and she seemed to be reveling in the attention she was receiving. Like her husband, she was smiling and waving to the crowd, as well as dispensing green beads from a bag placed in her lap. The crowd seemed desperate to catch the cheap plastic trinkets.

He moved his weapon again, this time his sights trained on the chief of police. He looked odd in his uniform, out of place. He appeared to be uncomfortable being in the spotlight, as if the whole parade was an enormous chore for him and if he could, he would be anywhere else than sitting in front of hundreds of thousands of cheering people. It also appeared that he was preoccupied and maybe even a little nervous.

Again, shifting the weapon, he took aim at the former police chief. He was sitting alone, as was the current chief, in his open topped car. It seemed that only the mayor had the privilege of having his wife accompany him in the parade. The former chief looked far more comfortable with the proceedings than his successor. He appeared how a police chief should look--confident, authoritative, and relaxed.

He took a deep breath and retrained the telescopic sight of the rifle onto the mayor. He could now hear the music of a marching band in the distance, probably a few places behind the politician and further back in the procession. He steadied himself and exhaled.

He had planned his escape earlier. By the time anyone realized what had happened, he would be long gone. Even if the police were able to work out where the kill shot had come from, he would already be half way to Miami.

What a crowd, he thought, an amazing sight, and this was just a small part of the parade route. Visitors just for the day, both locals and tourists who just happened to have planned their vacation on Savannah’s busiest day of the year. No matter, this would be one Saint Patrick’s Day none of them would forget.

Once again, he scanned the crowd with the telescopic lens of his rifle. He paused as he spotted a couple he estimated to be in their fifties; the man was dressed in a blue business suit, not the popular green that others wore, while the woman wore a blue, flowered-patterned dress. Moving the sights once more, he rested his view on an older looking woman on the opposite side of the street. She appeared to be alone, and unlike others in the crowd, did not seem to be enjoying the parade. It seemed that she was scowling at the procession as it passed by, seething with apparent anger. He couldn’t help but notice that her anger seemed to be directed at the mayor’s vehicle.

Scanning the crowd one last time through the sights of his weapon, he spotted a middle-aged couple holding hands. Both men were laughing and dressed entirely in green, including matching green trousers. They appeared to be enjoying the parade and it looked as though they were trying to get the attention of the police chief as he drove by. The chief, however, continued to seem uncomfortable with the proceedings and the attention he was receiving.

He rubbed his right eye, adjusted his baseball cap, and tucked the butt of the rifle into his shoulder. Maybe he would grab a turkey leg before he left the city, they smelled delicious. Finding his target, he took a deep breath before he gently pressed on the trigger… and fired.




Award Winning Writer, Duncan Whitehead, was born in England and is the author of the best-selling and award-winning GORDONSTON LADIES DOG WALKING CLUB Trilogy. The series, inspired by the quirky characters and eeriness in the real life Savannah neighborhood in which he once lived is a humorous mystery, which boasts an assortment of characters and plot twists.  

He has also written over 2,000 spoof and comedy news articles, under various aliases, for a variety of websites both in the US and the UK.  

He has written further novels; a comedy set in Manhattan, THE RELUCTANT JESUS, published in April 2014 and republished in July 2015 & three short stories.

Duncan is well known for his charity work, kindness to animals, children and old people; and, of course, his short-lived bullfighting career and his hideous hunchback.

In February 2045, he invented time travel and now spends much of his time in either the future (where he has won the lottery an astonishing 117 times) and the present day.


 


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Other Books -  


The Reluctant Jesus


Murder At The Fourth


The Best Man


An Actor's Life


Home For The Weekend


You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato, She Says Murder




Thanks for sharing,


Tina

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