Today I am delighted to host an extract from Miriam Drori’s new crime novel, Style and the Solitary, published tomorrow (26 April) by Darkstroke.
In Style and the Solitary, the man accused of committing a murder in a Jerusalem office is unable to speak up for himself, or to speak at all to authority figures. But in this extract, the chief inspector doesn’t know that, yet. He’s hoping he can wrap this case up quickly, because… Well, you can read it for yourselves.
“Hello, love,” Chief Inspector Barak Elad said to the phone in his hand. “Look, I’m really sorry… Yeah, I know, but something came up… Shira, believe me, I wish I could. But this one’s serious. Look, if you can do all the packing, I’ll try to get back in time, but I can’t promise… Yeah, I’ll do my best.”
Barak returned the phone to its holder a little too hard and spoke to the woman at the other desk. Rachel Paran. “She’s fed up. I don’t blame her. I promise her a holiday and then I tell her I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it. And it’s not as if it’s the first time. Honestly, I don’t know why she stays with me, but she does.”
“You’re lucky. But she’s lucky, too. She knows you do what you can.”
“Haven’t you ever wanted to settle down with someone?”
“I’m married to my job. I don’t think I’m cut out for bigamy.”
Barak shrugged, scrutinising his colleague. Short hair, never painted her nails or dressed up – not even for parties. Always in straight trousers and flat shoes, even when that wasn’t uniform. Very good at her job, yes. But she missed that extra something, that umph that made a good detective excellent. Being married to the job was probably the reason. She didn’t easily take on other personas when necessary. Too much the professional police officer.
For Barak, there was room for both in his life – his wife and family, and his job. Emotionally, physically, neither could be fully satisfying without the other. But one part of family life was impossible: making plans. Everything he did with Shira had to be spontaneous. That’s what got her down. It wasn’t fair on her. He would make it up to her. Definitely, absolutely, no question about it. He loved his wife even more than his job.
“Eilat, wasn’t it?”
Barak nodded. “Sea, sun, beach, luxury hotel, vibrant nightlife. And snorkelling. We were both looking forward to that. We just wanted a week away from all the tension. Is that too much to ask?”
“Why don’t you let me handle the case?” asked Rachel.
“I don’t know. This is a murder. I’ll tell you what. If I can get him to admit it all now, it should go smoothly after that. Then I’ll leave it to you.”
“I hope it works out.”
A message buzzed through. “Prisoner ready and waiting.” Barak stood up. “Wish me luck.” He placed his lips around an imaginary snorkel and made swimming movements with his arms on his way to the door.
Miriam Drori is the author of several novels and short stories. Her latest novel, which launches on 26th April, 2021, is her first crime novel, set in her home town of Jerusalem.
When not writing, Miriam enjoys reading and (when permitted) hiking, travelling and folk dancing. Miriam is passionate about raising awareness of social anxiety.
Miriam can be found on her website and blog as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and elsewhere. Do follow her for news of events, including an exciting joint online book launch in early May. She’s also considering an online party on launch day.
Both paperback and ebook versions of Style and the Solitary can be ordered now from Amazon.