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Death in the Sunshine

Death in the Sunshine Summary

Death in the Sunshine (The Retired Detectives Club Book 1) After a long career as a police officer, Moira hopes a move to a luxury retirement community will mean she can finally leave the detective work to the youngsters and focus on a quieter life. But it turns out The Homestead is far from paradise.

When she discovers the body of a young woman floating in one of the pools, surrounded by thousands of dollar bills, her crime-fighting instinct kicks back in and she joins up with fellow ex-cops―and new neighbours―Philip, Lizzie and Rick to investigate the murder.

With the case officers dropping ball after ball, Moira and the gang take matters into their own hands, turning into undercover homicide investigators. But the killer is desperate to destroy all the evidence and Moira, Philip, Lizzie and Rick soon find themselves getting in the way―of the murderer and the police.

Just when they think they can finally relax, they discover that someone has infiltrated their ‘safe’ community. Can they hunt down the murderer and get back to retiring in peace? And after all the excitement, will they want to?

About the Author

Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. A prolific reader, she adored crime fiction from the moment she first read Sherlock Holmes as a child. She’s worked in the UK and the US, has an MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction), and trained as a bounty hunter in California.

Her other novels include the Lori Anderson bounty-hunter series and the Starke/Bell psychological police-procedural books (writing as Stephanie Marland). Her books have been shortlisted for the eDunnit eBook of the Year Award, the ITW Best First Novel Award, the Dead Good Reader Awards for Fearless Female Character and Most Exceptional Debut, and the Guardian Not The Booker Prize.

Death in the Sunshine Introduction

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

st before sunrise is Moira’s favorite time. Dawn is when the day has most promise; it’s still a blank slate – a tabula rasa. It gives her another opportunity to try and forget what happened and focus on making something new. Again.

Closing the gate to the backyard, she checks the coast is clear and steps out on to the white gravel path. She’s happy no one’s around. She doesn’t like to be watched; prefers to blend into the background, hidden in plain sight, but it’s proving much harder here on The Homestead than she’d imagined.

She follows the circular walking track as it snakes around the perimeter of the Ocean Mist district towards Manatee Recreation Park. There’s a chill to the air and it’s a twenty-minute walk. Zipping up her hoodie, Moira ups her pace. She’ll try to do the walk in eighteen minutes today. She always likes to have a goal.

As she walks, Moira hums to herself. The sun is starting to rise and the path ahead is free of people for as far as she can see. Good. It isn’t that she dislikes people exactly, but since moving to The Homestead retirement community a month ago she’s come to realise just how much the people here like to talk. It’s a relief to start the day not having to be cordial with anyone. She’s never been very good at being cordial.

Everyone here in this purpose-built community for people over fifty-five years old is just so damn friendly. There’s no anonymity like you have in a big city. She hopes she’ll get used to it, because at this time of day, with the sun starting to burn the dew from the grass, and the silence broken only by the morning call of the birds, the place is so peaceful. And she really needs some peace.

She checks her watch: it’s 6.49 a.m. She’s on track; in the groove she’s got into since moving – rise at 6 a.m., have a protein shake, head to the park for a swim as the sun finishes coming up, then back to the house to walk the dogs. It’s the end of week four and she’s got the timings down pat. If she’s free and clear of the pool by eight thirty she should have the place to herself and avoid any chance of small talk.

It’s a good motivator. The gravel crunches beneath her trainers as she powers up an incline. Before moving here she’d always thought of Florida as flat, but she was wrong. This part of central Florida is pretty undulating and that’s fine; she’s glad of the added cardio workout.

Slowing her pace as she reaches the top of the ridge, Moira takes a sip from her water bottle and looks at the view. On her left are the backyards of the uniformly cream stucco houses that border the path; lawns of the coarse Florida grass that’s much better in the heat than its more delicate British counterpart; screened-in stone patios, huge gas-powered grills; and the occasional plunge pool or hot tub. All of them neat and ordered, and manicured to within an inch of their lives as stipulated in the rules of residency.

She keeps walking and takes another sip. To her right she can see straight across the open grasslands of Misty Plains all the way to the distant line of trees that stand sentry along the border between Ocean Mist district and the as yet unconstructed and unnamed district eleven. Moira doesn’t know how many acres lie between her and the trees, but it has to be a hell of a lot. Until just over a month ago she’d only ever lived and worked in London. The wide, open space here still seems alien.

But even though it’s alien, she’s glad of it. The space is one of the main reasons she picked this place to retire. She’s had enough of urban, enough of London, enough of the ever-increasing bureaucracy and paperwork that being an undercover detective had come to involve. She wanted a total change and that’s what The Homestead sells itself on – a new home for a new chapter of your life. Moira grimaces. She needs that fresh start. Given everything that happened earlier this year, leaving was the right thing, and the safest thing, to do.

She just hadn’t anticipated it would be so damn hard.

Moira checks her watch again and increases her pace. She doesn’t have time to mess about if she’s going to stay on track. Striding along the path she crosses the ridge and starts the descent down to the park. Every time her mind wanders back to her old team, and the last case they’d worked, she forces herself to move faster. But the memories keep coming. In her mind’s eye she sees the group of them getting ready for the takedown on the last job – Riley, Pang, Kress and McCord. The memory freeze-frames on McCord; he’s smiling, his fist bumping hers before they get into the vehicle to ride out.

She bites her lip. Forces down the wave of emotion. Clenching her fists, she lets her nails pinch into her palms, hoping the pain will be a distraction.

She can’t think about McCord right now. She just can’t.

Instead she focuses on the white archway entrance of Manatee Recreation Park and strides towards it. She knows she shouldn’t block her emotions this way; was told enough times by the police doc that she needed to face things, but it’s just too hard. If she’s honest, she feels kind of shell-shocked, like it hasn’t sunk in.

She feels like that about the retirement too.

It seems as if in one misjudged split second, everything she loved and had worked for turned to dust. It happened so fast. She used to say she was good with change, but now she knows that isn’t true.

Moira shakes her head to rid herself of the memories. Stopping under the archway, she checks her watch. She’s made the walk in seventeen minutes, fifty-three seconds. It should feel like a small triumph – a good start to chalk up on the tabula rasa – but she doesn’t feel anything but empty.

Live in the moment, she tells herself, repeating the bullshit psychobabble the police doc said to her when she’d asked for their advice on retirement. Be the change.

She takes a deep breath. Says out loud, ‘Okay then.’

Walking under the archway into the park, she follows the stone pathway past the pickleball courts and the bocce area, and heads past the splash-zone fun pools and hot tubs to the largest lap pool. Everything’s quiet. There’s no one else here, just as she’d hoped.

Focus on the positive, on every win no matter how small. That’s what the police doc had said. Maybe she should stop being so damn cynical and give it a try. Push herself more to feel something. She supposes it couldn’t hurt.

Moira forces a smile. ‘This. Is. Going. To. Be a good day.

She feels an idiot saying it out loud.

The police doc said that she shouldn’t expect to be okay right away. Stay present, they’d said, don’t beat yourself up if things aren’t perfect.

Yeah right. She shakes her head again. One thing she’s sure as dammit learned in her fifty-eight years is that nothing is ever perfect.

She keeps walking. Up ahead there’s a blue jay sitting on the gate to the last pickleball court. Smiling at him, Moira tries again. ‘This is going to be a good day.

It’s easier second time around; almost feels like it could be true.

Taking it as a small win, she pushes open the white gate beside the high hedge that screens the pool and fixes the latch behind her. She follows the path around the end of the hedge. The pool comes into view.

Oh Jesus.’ Her breath catches in her throat.

Heart pounding, she rushes forward. At the last minute she sees the blood splattered across the stone patio, and just manages to stop before she treads in it.

She takes a breath, feeling her training kicking in and her brain click into work mode. As if on autopilot, she tugs the phone from the pocket of her hoodie and dials. As the call connects she scans the scene, taking in all the details.

911. State your emergency.’ The female voice sounds tinny and distant.

There’s been a death at Manatee Recreation Park, Ocean Mist district, at The Homestead. The body is in one of the swimming pools and it looks like—’

Wait, what? A death in a pool at The Homestead?

Yes, that’s what I said.’ Moira doesn’t know why the despatcher isn’t listening properly – that’s their job, after all. Despatchers are trained to stay on-script; work through their questions and stay calm. This one has deviated off-script from the start and sounds rattled. Moira frowns. It’s not professional. She needs them to do their job. ‘The victim is a young woman. There’s evidence this was a violent death. At first look I’d say that the victim was—

Homicide? At the seniors’ retirement community?’ There’s shock in the despatcher’s voice. ‘But that’s never—’

You need to get first responders out to me now,’ says Moira. ‘I need police and medical. Can you do that?’

Yes, I . . . for sure.’ The girl on the emergency line sounds like she’s found some of her composure again; there’s just the slight hint of a tremble in her voice now. Moira hears the sound of typing, then the girl says, ‘Okay, I’ve despatched medics and police to you at Manatee Park. Their ETA is twelve minutes.

Good.’ Moira checks the time and works out when the blue lights will arrive. She scans the pool area, and then looks out across the lawn. There’s no sign of anyone or anything else here. She looks back towards the woman in the pool as she speaks. ‘Before you ask me, I don’t think I’m in danger. I’d say whatever happened took place a number of hours ago. I’m happy to stay here and wait for the first responders to arrive.

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Death in the Sunshine

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Product details:

EditionInternational Edition
ISBN1542029805, 978-1542029803
Posted onMarch 1, 2022
Page Count319 pages
AuthorSteph Broadribb

Death in the Sunshine By Steph Broadribb PDF Free Download - HUB PDF

Death in the Sunshine (The Retired Detectives Club Book 1) After a long career as a police officer, Moira hopes a move to a luxury retirement community will mean she can finally leave the detective work to the youngsters and focus on a quieter life. But it turns out The Homestead is far from paradise.


Author: Steph Broadribb

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