Ingram, C David - 'The Stone Gallows'
THE STONE GALLOWS is the first book by Colin David Ingram (writing as C David Ingram) who introduces the reader to former Strathclyde Police DC Cameron Stone.
Cameron Stone left the police force after being involved in a car crash while chasing a local villain in which a young girl and her baby daughter died. After spending three months in hospital recovering from his injuries he finds his girlfriend Audrey has left him taking their son Mark with her. Audrey is now living with Arnold, a surgeon, and Stone, who is tormented by the memories of the accident and unable to face being a policeman, leaves the police to become a private detective (working with an ex-colleague, Joe Banks).
So Stone now finds himself living in a one bedroom flat in the worst part of Glasgow taking on any work he can get whilst trying to maintain contact with his son. His jobs include tracking down a runaway teenager and a surveillance job for a woman who thinks her husband is having an affair with her sister. He is also given jobs by the local police that they can't do, including frightening Jason Campbell, a newly released sex-offender, who is seen hanging around the local school in his soft-top Mercedes.
Cameron is busy working the cases and whilst his ex, Audrey, is making things difficult for him with contact arrangements (and talking of Arnold adopting their son Mark), things are looking up on the personal front with his growing friendship with Liz, the Irish nurse who lives in the same block of flats.
He finds his runaway and gets beaten up for his troubles (and the girl isn't even interested in returning home to her family). But with graffiti being daubed on his door, "Burn in Hell Baby Killer", and knife attacks, Stone is concerned that someone is out to get him – but who?
Following an attack on his flat with petrol poured through the letterbox and having his son taken by a stranger from outside the school, Stone has to find out who is behind the attacks and rescue his son.
In this first book by C David Ingram, we have a new detective who can operate outside the constraints the police force need to observe. Ingram has said in interviews and in the acknowledgements that he is writing further stories featuring Cameron Stone. This great first book makes me want to read the next instalment – Ingram having promised some interesting times ahead for Cameron Stone.
Paul Blackburn, Scotland
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