Dark is the Day by Tana Collins
A crazed killer. Unsuspecting victims. A town gripped by terror.
DI Jim Carruthers has to put his personal feelings for newly- appointed DCI Sandra McTavish aside when a young student is brutally attacked and left for dead.
Meanwhile, when a university lecturer is stalked by one of her own students, Carruthers is horrified to discover that the academic is none other than his ex-wife, Mairi. Are the attacker and stalker one and the same, and if so, will Carruthers’ ex-wife be next?
When a second then a third victim is discovered, not only dead but mutilated, Carruthers and his team are tasked with searching for a murderer. A murderer who takes great pleasure from killing.
What is the victims’ connection to a cult in North America, which seems to be getting a stranglehold in a Scottish university? Why have these women been targeted? And who is doing the killing?
It looks like there might be a serial killer on the loose in Castletown but can DI Jim Carruthers stop this depraved murderer before they strike again?
The Inspiration by Tana Collins
Thirty years ago I met a young man called ‘Graham’. ‘Graham’ isn’t his real name. Thankfully for me he wasn’t a serial killer but he was many other things. While he was attractive, intelligent and eloquent he was also a deeply disturbed individual who was both manipulative and cruel.
It has taken me nearly 30 years to be able to tell this story, the seeds of which lie in some particularly unpleasant true events; some of which occurred while I was at university. This story is about many things: vulnerability; weakness; cruelty; obsession and love.
How vulnerable young people can be when they go off to college for the first time; how weakness and love can be seized upon by the cruel and obsessive; how a troubled past can drive a person to seek the security of a dangerous cult, although to this day it is still debated whether Objectivism, the movement started by Ayn Rand, is indeed a cult. As I said at the start ‘Graham’ wasn’t a serial killer. However, having spent time with ‘Graham’, it did get me wondering what it would take to push people like him into being one and how individuals actually do become serial killers – and at its core is the age old question of nature verses nurture.
Many, many years later, to my surprise, I became a crime writer. And this former student of thirty years ago must still be on my mind because ‘Dark is the Day,’ the 4th book in the Inspector Jim Carruthers series, was born and it was inspired, in part, by the ‘Grahams’ of this world.
Sneak Peek at Dark is the Day
The Prologue of ‘Dark is the Day’
Tuesday: about 3pm
Hearing footsteps behind her, she clutches her canvas bag tighter to her chest. As she picks up her pace she feels the moisture of sweat on her hands and tastes it on her top lip. A sudden sense of claustrophobia comes over her in this dark, cobbled, medieval alley with its high stone walls. The light barely penetrates here and everything is in shadow. Her heart hammers in her chest. It is almost painful.
Greyfriar’s Wynd is empty except for her and the person behind her. She is wearing red wedge sandals but can still hear the other person’s footfall, measured and deliberate. All her senses are on alert. Why did she take this short cut? She descends three worn steps quickly. She always takes this short cut from the library, that’s why, and nothing has ever happened before. But she’s never been followed before. And with the recent news of that girl being attacked, what is she thinking?
She doesn’t dare turn round. She can’t. She stops abruptly and the footsteps behind her stop. Hairs prick up on the back of her neck. She hears a strange tuneless whistling. She feels a sudden shiver. Panic threatens to overwhelm her. She tries to scream but can’t. She can’t turn back, there’s nowhere to hide, so the only option is to keep going forward. Thank God, she’s not wearing heels, although the wedge sandals are bad enough on cobbles.
A sudden noise behind her. The sound of heavy shoes. Oh my God. The man is running. She starts to run too, cursing as her tight denim skirt impedes her progress. Why does she think it’s a man? He’s getting closer. He’s closing the gap quickly. She can hear his breathing, smell his sweat. She’s a fast runner, but not in this skirt. Another couple of seconds and she knows she’s not going to be able to outrun him. A large hand grabs her shoulder, swings her round. Her shoulder bag slips to the ground, the contents spilling out.
It is then that she sees the mask and the knife.
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