Title: The Rising
Series: Inspector Devlin #4
Author: Brian McGilloway
Genre: Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural
Imprint: Witness Impulse
On Sale: 03/17/2015
List Price: 2.99 USD
Pages: 320 print format
About the Book
From the New York Times bestselling author of Little Girl Lost comes a compelling new series …
Inspector Devlin is called to investigate a case of arson: a burning barn and, inside, the charred remains of a local drug dealer.
Suspicions quickly fall on a local vigilante group that calls itself "the Rising."
But Devlin stumbles onto a more pressing case when his old partner's teenage son goes missing. With quiet determination, he attempts to make sense of the boy's disappearance …
That is, until another drug dealer is killed and Devlin realizes that the case goes far deeper and darker than he ever imagined.
Gripping, heartbreaking, and always surprising, The Rising is a tour de force from one of Ireland's greatest crime writers.
Buy The Rising
I should have kissed Debbie and the kids goodbye before I left the house.
But the call-out came through at 4.30 a.m., while she lay sleeping, our youngest child, Shane, nestled behind her in our bed. I stumbled across the bedroom to answer my mobile, which rumbled dully as it vibrated against the dresser.
‘Inspector Devlin?’ The voice was young, eager.
I squinted at the display on the alarm clock beside our bed. Grey light leaked around the edges of the curtains, suffusing in stillness my wife and child where they lay.
‘Yes?’ I managed dryly.
‘We’ve had reports of gunfire on Jackson Road at Carrigans, sir. The Super said you’re to investigate.’
I pulled on my clothes and stepped silently down the stairs. Increasingly, following my supposed promotion, I’d been getting such call-outs at night, to the point that I no longer woke Debbie to tell her where I was going. Often the calls were for nothing, and I was back in our bed before she woke.
The drive to Carrigans took me five minutes, the roads being empty of traffic. As I neared the village, I could see an orange glow low on the horizon, which I initially took to be the aura of street lamps over Derry, the city just across the border. But Derry lay to the north: the illumination I could see was smaller and more localized, and lay to the west.
I cut down Jackson Road, heading towards the light. Within minutes I realized that it was coming from a farmhouse outbuilding, off the road to my left. At the foot of the laneway leading up to it, stood an old woman, her nightgown pulled tight around her, the lapels twisted in one hand, the other flailing to get my attention.
I stopped and got out. She was in her sixties I guessed, the thinness of her face accentuated by the shadows gathered around us.
‘My husband,’ she managed, pointing towards the outbuilding, an old barn, where already I could see thick flames through the shattered glass of a side window.
‘Is he in there?’
She nodded, her face twisted in terror. ‘The boy’s in there too. Sam went in for him.’
Despite the recent rain, the ground around the barn had already dried with the burgeoning heat. I could feel it radiating off the corrugated walls even as I approached, removing my jacket and wrapping it around the lower half of my face to protect against the smoke.
The door was slightly ajar and I pushed it further open. It was not hung properly and the bottom edge screeched against the cement floor.
Inside, the barn was bigger than I had expected. The fire was in full blaze along the back wall already and, glancing up through the smoke, I could see flames twisting around the rafters. The air was acrid with the smell of burning plastic and wood. As the smoke was densest at head level, I stooped to see beneath it. I scanned the floor quickly, trying to locate either the man or boy that the woman had mentioned. The floor space consisted of a number of stalls, empty but for a scattering of rotten straw smouldering on the floor.
To my immediate right something moved. I approached, squinting against the glare, my throat already burning with the heat of the smoke that had made it through the covering of my jacket. An old man, his nightshirt pulled over his mouth, lay against the wall of the second stall. His shirt was streaked with blackness, his back shuddering as he coughed onto the ground. He was struggling to make it to his feet, trying desperately to claw his way upright, his hands grappling for purchase against the smoothness of the wall.
I went to him quickly, reaching under his armpits and hoisting him to his feet, though in doing so I had to drop my jacket from my face. He flailed blindly, cuffing me on the side of the head with his arm. I grabbed him more roughly than I had intended and tried to pull him towards the door. I could sense his resistance as he tried to stumble towards the back of the barn.
He shouted something, though the roar of the flames moving towards us made it difficult to hear. My eyes stung with sweat and I twisted round to see a section of the rafters to our left collapsing.
Feeling as if the lump in my throat was about to burst, I took a quick breath, sucking in air through pursed lips. Immediately I regretted it. My lungs spasmed and I released my grip on the old man.
He tried to make his way into the barn again. Clasping my arms around his waist, I pulled him back towards the door, and out into the coldness of the night.
His wife stood, the whiteness of her clothes illuminated by the flames. My vision shifted and the ground seemed to slope beneath us as I fell, dragging the old man down with me. I coughed involuntarily until I began to retch, while the old woman thumped my back.
I wanted to shout at her to stop, but my mouth wouldn’t work properly. I managed to drag myself into a sitting position and became aware of a high-pitched keening. In the distance I saw a flickering blue light cutting through the trees and then I heard the wailing of sirens.
‘The boy’s still in there!’ the old woman shouted, pulling at my arm to get me onto my feet.
I struggled to do so, tugging off my shirt. I dipped it in a puddle of dirty water and, wrapping it around my face, went back towards the barn. The whole structure screeched and groaned like some ancient beast in its death throes as I went in through the doorway once more.
The fire had spread the length of the building, the roaring of the flames terrifying above the cracking of the wood and the screaming of metal. But the hole in the roof caused by the collapsing rafters had allowed some of the smoke an escape and it was a little easier to see, although the heat was now almost a solid presence and I had to exert all my strength to keep moving.
I made it halfway down the length of the barn, keeping an eye on the rafters above my head, when I saw the ‘boy’. In reality, he was more likely a young man, from what I could see – his upper half was obscured behind the partition of the final stall. Denim-clad legs and workman’s boots, badly scorched, lay just past the wall.
As I looked, I thought the legs moved, though I could not be sure that it wasn’t a trick of my vision, distorted by the superheated air round me.
I called out to him, looking for some sign of response, but my very words seemed to ignite the instant I uttered them. If he heard, he did not react.
I tried to push against the wall of heat in front of me. Just then I heard something crack, like gunfire inside my skull. I became aware of the heat on my back. Something rammed into me and I felt the ground shift suddenly sideways beneath me.
As I tried to catch my breath and steady myself, I sucked in more and more smoke. I thought of Debbie and our children, thought of Shane’s softness as he shifted in the bed beside her.
The cement floor rose to meet me as my vision dissolved into blackness.
About the AuthorBrian McGilloway is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Inspector Benedict Devlin and DS Lucy Black series. He was born in Derry, Northern Ireland. After studying English at Queen's University, Belfast, he took up a teaching position in St Columb's College in Derry, where he was Head of English.
His first novel, Borderlands, was shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger in 2007 and was hailed by The Times as "one of [2007's] most impressive debuts." The second novel in the series, Gallows Lane, was shortlisted for the 2009 Irish Book Awards/Ireland AM Crime Novel of the Year. The third, Bleed a River Deep, was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of their Best Books of 2010.He is the author of three Lucy Black novels, all to be published in the U.S. by Witness Impulse, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Brian lives near the Irish borderlands with his wife and their four children..
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