Death at Eden’s End by Jo Allen
Publication Date: 12th December 2019
A brand new DCI Jude Satterthwaite crime mystery from the bestselling Jo Allen.
When one-hundred-year-old Violet Ross is found dead at Eden’s End, a luxury care home hidden in a secluded nook of the Lake District’s Eden Valley it’s tragic, of course, but not unexpected. Except for the instantly recognisable look in her lifeless eyes… that of pure terror.
DCI Jude Satterthwaite heads up the investigation, but as the deaths start to mount up it’s clear that he, and DS Ashleigh O’Halloran need to uncover a long-buried secret before the killer strikes again…
About Jo Allen
Jo Allen was born in Wolverhampton and is a graduate of Edinburgh, Strathclyde and the Open University. After a career in economic consultancy she took up writing and was first published under the name Jennifer Young in genres of short stories, romance and romantic suspense. In 2017 she took the plunge and began writing the genre she most likes to read – crime. Now living in Edinburgh, she spends as much time as possible in the English Lakes. In common with all her favourite characters, she loves football (she’s a season ticket holder with her beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers) and cats.
Twitter: @JoAllenAuthor | Facebook: @JoAllenAuthor
Death at Eden’s End Extract
Violet Ross was a hundred years old and lived in a nursing home, so Klemmie really shouldn’t have been surprised. That said, the old woman had always given the impression of someone who would, if it were possible, live for ever because she couldn’t bear to miss a tiny piece of someone else’s business by dying. If for no other reason, Becca herself was astonished to find it was this particularly durable old lady rather than any one of half a dozen more fragile candidates who had passed so quietly away in her chair.
She crossed the room in a few swift steps and lifted Violet’s thin wrist. The delicate skin under her fingers had acquired a strange, translucent quality and there wasn’t so much as a flutter of movement in the veins. To judge by the faint flush of warmth that lingered about her, Violet’s lifeblood had only recently stilled. ‘Run and fetch one of the nurses. I think Ellie’s in the canteen.’
The woman bolted past her, barging into the tea trolley so the crockery rattled like an alarm.
‘Klemmie!’ Mrs Hodgson’s plaintive voice drifted out into the corridor. ‘Klemmie, what about my tea?’
Becca laid Violet’s hand down where she’d found it, resting on the arm of the wing-backed chair in the window bay. In her experience the dead so often looked peaceful, but Violet managed to look outraged, as if she’d fought death all the way and he’d only defeated her by foul means. Her perfectly set white hair was slightly disarranged, as if she’d woken before dying, knowing what was happening to her but powerless to prevent it, and her finely featured face bore an expression of resistance, mouth slack and open, a faint shadow lingering beneath her open, staring eyes.
A hundred, Becca said to herself, with a measure of awe. Violet had been a force of nature. Not many people at Eden’s End had warmed to her, though Becca had and her affection had been repaid. She, along with Klemmie and a few honoured others, had been instructed to address the old lady by her Christian name whereas so many others had been kept at a distance by the rigorous formality of ‘Dr Ross’. Violet had lived to a venerable age and been blessed by good health and spirit with which to bear her increasing frailty, remaining in complete control of all her senses until the day of her painless departure. Passing away in her chair as she stared out towards the damp softness of the Eden Valley, grey and green and brown, was surely the way she would have chosen to die. Quite what she had to look so disgusted about was something of a mystery.
‘What’s going on?’ Ellie, the head nurse at Eden’s End, bustled in, her thin frame bristling with indignation, Klemmie trailing behind her. Ellie hated being disturbed on her break. ‘What’s Klemmie talking about? I can’t make sense of her when she rattles on like that. Sometimes I think she forgets how to speak English. Is Violet ill?’
Used to being patronised by Ellie, Becca stepped back. The head nurse was younger than she was and considerably less experienced, but seemed to think a mere district nurse was in her job because she wasn’t good enough to do any other, rather than through choice. ‘Not ill. I’m afraid she’s passed away. Klemmie found her just now.’
‘She should have come to find me straight away, not called you. This really isn’t your job, Becca. Haven’t you got something else to be doing? You district nurses always claim to be so busy.’