The River Runs Red by Ally Rose (Hanne Drais #3)
Published by Fahrenheit Press
Available in ebook and paperback (24 July 2018)
My thanks to Emma of damppebbles Blog Tours for the tour invitation and for providing the extract. Unfortunately the post is a couple of days late due to illness.
| About the Book |
Berlin is in the midst of its worst winter in decades.
Against the backdrop of freezing temperatures, blizzards and snowstorms, the city refuses to grind to a halt. Lurking within the shadows is a Stasi victim, out for revenge against the former East German informants known as ‘The Ears’. Their dark secrets are about to be exposed.
A mix of ice and water and a single gunshot, provides the ultimate payback.
With the Millennium approaching, Hanne Drais, the criminal psychologist working within the Berlin Mitte Police team led by the irascible Oskar Kruger and his laid-back sidekick, Stefan Glockner, are seeking the perpetrator of these violent crimes.
Who is the man they’ve nicknamed Snowflake?
Who is turning the river red?
This extract is from Chapter 59
Before midnight, his alter ego, Anders Juhl, crept out of his home in Eberswalde, and checking the coast was clear, disappeared unnoticed, into the night. No one seemed to be following him. Having wrestled with his conscience whether a sixth murder was feasible and moreover, truly worth the risk, the arrival of the police in Eberswalde on their Spitzel-style surveillance operation, had unwittingly, forced his hand.
Believing he was safely tucked-up in bed, Kruger’s team would discover the following day that another murder had taken place in Berlin in the middle of the night, with a body found in similar circumstances by the River Spree. Before sunrise, Juhl would be back at home, safely tucked up in bed. No one would doubt his alibi; not with a police surveillance outside in the street and he was certain this final act of revenge would precipitate the end of the case; in exoneration.
Travelling to his destination in a dark-glassed car, he recalled how Ebner and Raskob, the youngest and fittest of his victims, had wasted vital energy pleading for their lives when they should’ve had a natural rush of adrenalin to fight him off before their mouths were covered with chloroform. Instead, Ebner and Raskob succumbed to their fate with feeble whimpers, blubbing like babies. At least, the older generation of Steiger, Groth and Taegner had put up a verbal fight, even if they couldn’t physically overcome him- their abductor. He believed his last victim would be a source of contention; nevertheless, the die was cast.
Das Lartzander Blau docked on the Oder-Havel Kanal, close to the Niederfinow Boat Lift in the state of Brandenburg. It was a significant and important landmark where the two rivers met between Sczecin on the Polish border and the Havel, a tributary of the Elbe. The steel structure inaugurated in 1934, was 60 metres high; a staircase lock- consisting of four chambers that took five minutes for the trough to move any cargo the elevation difference. 11,000 boats passed through the lock annually bringing in over 500,000 tourists to the area, and was the chosen venue to ring-in the Millennium on the Das Lartzander Blau.
Heinz secured a lucrative deal with the Brandenburg Shipping Authorities on the Havel to close the lock for 48 hours from midnight on the 30th of December, 1999. The Millennium party on Heinz’s boat would include music, dancing, fine dining and spectacular fireworks. Tickets prices were reasonable and sales had gone well- some local dignitaries would also be attending; the boat would be the party to attend and it was eagerly anticipated.
Das Lartzander Blau docked later than planned. A long row of people-carrier taxis were waiting on dry land and one by one, taxied the crew homewards. The last taxi- meant for Heinz, was sent way by the Lock keeper, who informed the taxi-driver that the captain would be sleeping overnight on the ship.
Unaware he was being watched, Heinz was the last to leave the ship, descending to a docking bay, illuminated with street lanterns, and now bereft of people, wondering where his taxi was. The night sky was clear and snow on the river path had frozen hard, with the temperature below zero. Suddenly, a parked vehicle flashed its headlights. The driver’s face was hidden from view behind the windscreen’s darkened glass, and Heinz beckoned the taxi over. The car did not move, and flashed again, Heinz cursed the driver sotto voce, stomping a short distance over to the vehicle.
The driver was not whom Heinz was expecting; it caught him by surprise. ‘You?’
‘Get in,’ ventured Juhl. ‘Beggars can’t be choosers.’
| About the Author |
Ally Rose writes –
“I’ve always been interested in writing crime stories and with the Cold War era, there is such a rich tapestry to draw from; especially the notorious and quelling Stasi reign in East Germany. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain, gives a contrast between the different worlds and any past crimes are held to account in a unified Germany.
Berlin is one of my favourite cities, and I’ve spent time living and discovering this diverse city and its surrounding areas. Seeing my characters in familiar places, they seem to come to life.
Hope you enjoy my Hanne Drais books.”