In The Shadow of the Tower by David Menon

‘Lethal. Deadly. Dangerous. Fear and Loathing. Murder. This is what the streets of Britain’s premier holiday resort mean to Layla Khan. On the other side of where cheap booze, cheap clothes, slot machines and fast food reign supreme, Layla, who’s recently been promoted to DCI, has to try and sort out the Blackpool that all…

‘Lethal. Deadly. Dangerous. Fear and Loathing. Murder. This is what the streets of Britain’s premier holiday resort mean to Layla Khan. On the other side of where cheap booze, cheap clothes, slot machines and fast food reign supreme, Layla, who’s recently been promoted to DCI, has to try and sort out the Blackpool that all the tourists don’t see.

A teenage prostitute is found murdered. A sample of her blood was taken by the killer. Then a second one is discovered with the same MO. Why is the killer taking their blood? Both girls turn out to have been HIV positive. Did the killer know this? Were they deliberately targeted?

Taking on the investigation, DCI Layla Khan has to contend with a DI who displays thinly veiled racism towards her, and a superior officer who needs her to get a result quickly because he championed her promotion. A prominent local family at war with itself, corruption on the local council, plus a threatening hand from Layla’s past all make it difficult for her to get to a result.

But what will happen if she doesn’t?

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About the Author

My first love was Stevie Nicks … I heard the opening bars of ‘Sara’ from the 1979 Fleetwood Mac ‘Tusk’ album and fell in love that instant with the poetry and melody of this high priestess of rock from Phoenix … she is the voice of my inner world … she sings me through my joy and gets me through my pain … I play her music every single day and the love is forever …

I was born and brought up in Derby, England, and I’ve lived all over the UK but I now divide my time between Paris and the northwest of England … My favourite city in the world after Paris is Sydney, Australia and if I couldn’t live in Europe then Australia is where I’d head to … or maybe somewhere in southeast Asia … I love my home county of Derbyshire but I also like the Lake district and I think that Northumberland is a beautiful part of England …

My first career was in the airline industry, first on the ground selling tickets and then in the air as cabin crew for BA where I stayed for 24 years and gathered many stories some of which people would never believe were true. I couldn’t tell them anyway because of the need to protect the innocent … I’m currently working for a friendly low fares airline which is a lot of fun … in between I’ve worked for the Labour party organising shadow cabinet visits and I teach English, mainly to Russian students at activities camps in Finland.

My father came from Kerala in India but sadly I never met him or had any contact with him and that remains a huge sadness in my life…

I’ve always taken a big interest in international politics and my political values and principles are broadly on the progressive left … I believe in fairness, equality, social justice … I lose socks all the time … I’m very untidy and I’d love to have a dog but with all the travelling I do it would be impossible just now … maybe sometime in the near future.

I’m rather partial to a gin and tonic, heavy on the ‘g’, light on the ‘t’ , followed by a glass or three of red wine and that doesn’t make me a bad person … I love French food but my favourite is Indian … I’m into all the arts of theatre, music, TV and film … I think that ABBA should reunite for one last concert as a thank you to all the fans who’ve made them so very rich … I have a phobia about snakes and I think that the most horrific way to die would be to be eaten by a crocodile … I’ve been to Iceland and I’ve been to New Zealand but I’ve never been to Wales … I love to meet interesting people who’ve got something to say and who take an interest in the wider world around them … I love to laugh.

I’m turning into a bit of a grumpy old git though in that I cannot stand small-minded people with limited horizons and a narrow perspective on life. Neurotic control freaks annoy me intensely because it’s all about them and their insecurities and they make those around them suffer for them.

I like to write about ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary situations and I like to write about people getting revenge on those who’ve done them wrong …

I love to write in the crime genre because I can cover all different social classes, gender, race, sexuality, history, contemporary … it really is a wide brush and my motivation to write comes from a desire to entertain people with a good story.

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