February 22, 2022

The Lake Templeton Murders

 


The Lake Templeton Murders

by HS Burney

GENRE:   Mystery / Thriller



A body washes up on the shores of Lake Templeton, a small town on the coast of Vancouver Island. Sharon Reese, the victim, was a dedicated government employee. Everyone liked her, but no one knew much about her. Was she hiding something? Maybe a questionable past riddled with scandal. And did it lead to her plunge to death, in a drunken stupor, off the dock outside her secluded lakefront lodge?

Was it an accident? A suicide? Or cold-blooded murder? Private Investigator, Fati Rizvi, is determined to find out.

Fati arrives in Lake Templeton to find secrets that run as deep as the City’s sewers. Everyone is hiding something and nothing is as it seems. A cult escapee. A corrupt politician. A struggling airline. A multi-million dollar public-private project to revitalize the Lake Templeton waterfront. How are they all connected?

As Fati valiantly unravels the knots, another body is found on the shore. Is it the same killer? And can Fati stop them before they strike again?



Excerpt:


It was these waves that carried Sharon once the water besieged her lungs and she stopped breathing. Maybe her killer was hoping that the body would descend to the depths of the ocean, swallowing its secrets. It must have been a rude shock to see the evidence of their crime splashed across the morning papers.


Sharon’s body was half-reposed face-down on the wet sand, deposited on the shore like plastic waste. Clumps of hair were caught in the jagged rocks that edge the receding land, one bloated arm flung over a large boulder, as if trying to find a grip. Her legs floated behind her like windsocks. Silk shirt ballooned over the surface of the water like a parachute. 


The crime scene has been cleared up. Culver Beach sparkles in the vestiges of the sinking sunlight, sand glinting like diamond dust. The only remnants of the morning’s tragic discovery - dried boot prints in the grassy sand, left behind by the police. 


The nearest house is walled off by a thicket of trees and is currently empty, owned by a businessman who only spends a few months here in the summers. The beach is quiet, with not even a dog walker in sight. I walk on the sand for a few minutes, shoes in hand, reveling in the quietude. I breathe in the fresh air, slightly briny, and crisp enough to open up my nasal pathways. 


No answers will be found here. Not for me.


Sergio’s house hibernates, squeezed in the warm hug of the thicket of trees that surround it. They’re evergreens so they hold on to their leaves, even in winter, until the whistling wind snatches them away and showers them on the lawn. Despite Sergio’s gallant efforts with the rake, his driveway is again covered in shrubs and branches. 


I pull up behind Sergio’s car, parked in its usual spot in the driveway, the mud cracked and crusting on its back tires, windows streaked with messy wet tracks made when rain intermingled with dust. The killer must have picked him up and driven him to Pebble Beach.


Detective Singh’s police cruiser is parked neatly angled to the side of the road. As I approach the house, I see a shattered window in the front. 


I haven’t seen young children living in the neighbourhood. Most houses in Sergio’s vicinity belong to empty-nester retirees and snowbirds. Was this an accident or something more sinister? Did someone smash Sergio’s window? 


At the foot of Sergio’s porch stands his city recycling box. It’s filled to the brim with plastic containers and folded up cardboard boxes, as if Sergio had just finished cleaning and decluttering. I move closer for a better look. An empty bottle of Tito’s vodka, several Amazon boxes, soup cans, and yogurt containers. A box for a Blackmagic Design pro camera that costs almost thirteen thousand dollars. A black rectangular tube that housed a Chanel snowboard. 


How much was the City paying Sergio?


Zed and I arrive after ten p.m. We park in an underground lot a few blocks away. Granville Street at night is a cornucopia of debauchery. Drunk girls totter on heels and too-tight skirts, giggling and holding each other. The heavy smell of sweat mixed with marijuana mixed with alcohol hangs in the air like a toxic thundercloud. The sidewalk is sticky with spilled drinks and other substances you don’t want to think about. Bedraggled bums cluster in dark corners, their life’s possessions gathered at their feet in duffel bags. They panhandle, lighting their pipes, smoking their cigarettes, and shooting their heroin without apology. 


The street is dotted with black-doored establishments that advertise their presence with glowing signs and glowering bouncers. At the most popular clubs, lines of partygoers stretch, smoking cigarettes while waiting for entry. Zed and I blend into the shadows, two travelers that don’t quite belong but don’t stick out either. 


This is Caleb’s world. In contrast, the clean-cut Sergio snowboarded on weekends and went running every morning. They had nothing in common besides their desire to sing. And it was this commonality that led their worlds to collide so painfully. 


At Legends, the thrum of the music wafting from behind heavy curtain and chain gives away the mayhem brewing inside. The roasting interior is awash in flashing lights. The smell of stale beer and rank sweat overpowers me. I choke back my gag reflex.


Caleb is not hard to find. He is huddled with other youth, all misty eyes and lost faces, in a chemical-induced otherworld. 



About The Author:



HS Burney writes fast-moving, action-packed mysteries set against the backdrop of majestic mountains and crystalline ocean in West Coast Canada. She loves creating characters that keep you on your toes. A corporate executive by day and a novelist by night, HS Burney received her Bachelors’ in Creative Writing from Lafayette College. A proud Canadian immigrant, she takes her readers into worlds populated by diverse characters with unique cultural backgrounds. When not writing, she is out hiking, waiting for the next story idea to strike, and pull her into a new world.


Website:

www.hsburney.com

Email List Sign-up:

https://mailchi.mp/d6b48197e368/hsburneyemaillist

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HS-Burney-Author-113028981189771

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hsburneyauthor

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Book Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lake-Templeton-Murders-Private-Investigator-ebook/dp/B09KMDQBQ1/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1639608371&sr=8-1

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-lake-templeton-murders


The book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.



GIVEAWAY:


HS Burney will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.



a Rafflecopter giveaway



9 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the excerpt, thank you.

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  2. Lovely cover. I really enjoyed reading the excerpt.

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  3. The book cover is perfect and I love it! The synopsis and excerpt have intrigued me, this sounds like an excellent mystery read and I am looking forward to it

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  4. I love a good thriller and this sounds great.

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  5. The book sounds exciting. I love the broody cover.

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  6. The book sounds very interesting.

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  7. Really neat theme to this book, I like mysteries.

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  8. Thank so much for sharing! Sounds like such a wonderful read!

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