Hingston's Box - crime mystery by Decima Blake
Hingston's Box is in many ways typical of a Golden Age murder mystery, with a touch of spookiness, whilst remaining true to present day policing. Hingston's Box was published on 29 September 2016 by Pegasus Publishers.
The novel begins with Detective Sergeant Hingston giving a talk at his Metropolitan Police History Society evening. All appears well until he is found alone within the small museum at the police station, slumped against a display cabinet, traumatised, his eyes focused on nothing distinguishable.
Hingston is next seen leaving his office, having been signed off work. It transpires that he has been suffering from night terrors for almost a month, since fifteen-year-old twins, Daniel and Nathan Clarke, went missing. They remain unfound and there are no leads. As Hingston hands his investigation file over to his Detective Inspector, he feels something hit his foot. He looks down and a small brass key has fallen out of the file. With no explanation for its appearance, he takes it with him. Escaping to Devon, Hingston finds an old wooden box in a bric-a-brac shop which the key fits. He is led into another investigation involving a murder that took place in 1866 which he believes has bearing on the missing twins' case.
Victorian policing, suspicions of witchcraft, a peculiar elderly woman and a circus over brimming with debauchery and villainy await Hingston who, on opening the box, realises his investigative race is about to begin.
Shortly after the Clarke twins’ disappearance, Hingston began to experience a series of night terrors or Pavor Nocturnus as Occupational Health advised. In under an hour from falling asleep the innocent opening scenes would play out. Every night it was the same:
Muted rays of light illuminated a vast, summer meadow. The meadow glowed with warmth. It was saturated with life. There was no place for imagination.
Tall grasses and fluffy seed heads nodded. A distant songbird beautified the scene with its music, amplified from oak trees that towered over fields that rolled into the golden horizon.
The air was silky and perfumed by heady honeysuckle that hypnotised. It carried the sound of rapid footfalls and trouser legs pushing through grasses. A curly haired boy ran tirelessly into the meadow. His white shirt billowed between his braces, his slender body was silhouetted beneath its drapes and his blond hair bounced with each stride.
The pace was set; the energy infectious; the freedom inspiring. The promise of adventure increased with every breath. Thus the dream grasped Hingston so tightly that it was impossible for the boy to continue to run alone.
Only when the boy splashed through the clear, shimmering brook, did the sickening ache of death seep into Hingston’s bones.
The boy ran on, cloaked by a December night and his laboured breath condensed, emitting swathes of tiny silver stars that mirrored those above. The damp grasses chilled and his knees ached, yet he refused to falter. Claret blood oozed and dripped. It clung like a suffocating mask and choked and stifled and tortured.
It mattered not how many times they began at the meadow. Hingston always ran with the boy. The agonising fear clung long after he awoke. But the memory of the brook and everything thereafter was always lost.
Where to buy Hingston's Box
Amazon US: (paperback and Kindle): https://www.amazon.com/Hingstons-Box-Decima-Blake/dp/1784651540/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1482227099&sr=8-1&keywords=hingston%27s+box
The UK National Archives (paperback): http://bookshop.nationalarchives.gov.uk/9781784651541/Hingston's-Box/
Waterstones (paperback): https://www.waterstones.com/book/hingstons-box/decima-blake/9781784651541
Pegasus Publishers (paperback): https://pegasuspublishers.com/books/all/hingston_s-box
Amazon Canada (paperback and Kindle): https://www.amazon.ca/Hingstons-Box-Decima-Blake/dp/1784651540/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1482226935&sr=8-1&keywords=hingston%27s+box
Amazon Australia (Kindle): https://www.amazon.com.au/Hingstons-Box-Decima-Blake-ebook/dp/B01MXPV7C0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1482227021&sr=8-1&keywords=hingston%27s+box
Loot South Africa (paperback) http://www.loot.co.za/product/decima-blake-hingston-s-box/rbwr-4326-g960
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