Not Over Our Dead Bodies

Not Over Our Dead Bodies

Not Over Our Dead Bodies introduces Detective Sergeant Kelly Ross. She is acerbic, strident, sarcastic, and feisty. And that’s on her better days. Her work partner, Detective Constable Jordan Sparrow tolerates her caustic tongue, He puts up with the fact that she’s ornery and abrasive, because he also knows she’s courageous and honest, and very good at what she does.

When Reverend Malcolm ‘Deep Pockets’ Cockburn goes missing, Kelly and Jordan are tasked with finding out what’s happened to him. His daughter tries to convince Kelly that she’s distraught, but Kelly has her suspicions that many of her tears have come from a crocodile.

Meanwhile, ten miles away, on Snettisham beach, James Smith is concerned about late-night activity for which he has no explanation. Kelly and Jordan go to investigate and Kelly finds herself attracted to the man. But despite her best endeavours, she discovers no answers to the mysterious behaviour of a large, white van.

Inside the former Snettisham vicarage, Henry Barnard, Mrs Seagram, and Rebecca Thorpe are summonsed by Lavinia Woods to an emergency meeting. Lavinia, who has had the vicarage to herself for many years, is forced to witness scenes of debauchery beyond her wildest imagination. But what can they do about it?

Puzzled? You won’t be once you’ve finished reading Not Over Our Dead Bodies.

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“No. Stop. Whatever you see, it’s just your mind.” James said. He seemed to be struggling with his own fears as he forced his hand in. Then, a moment later, he withdrew a metal canister. “These are everywhere,” he said. “Whoever is here has set this up as either a trap or a defence mechanism. I guess it’s to deter people like us from investigating the place. These gas canisters are in all the heating vents that I’ve looked in. All it takes is a simple motion-activated switch and some know-how. Whatever the contents are, it’s been drugging us the whole time.”

“But who’s set all this up?” Kelly asked. She could see tentacles reaching out and trying to grab James’ hand, but now that she knew they weren’t real, it was easier to control the fear that surged through her.

“I don’t know,” James said. “But it has to be someone, right? I mean, these canisters were put here by humans. Demons don’t need to disperse some form of gas to terrify us. Come on, we need to move on and ignore whatever we see. We need to get to the bottom of this crap. Someone doesn’t want us finding them or anything about them. But, of course, this makes me think they have something to hide. Just don’t let go of my hand, okay?”

Kelly didn’t need to be told twice. She grabbed his hand and vowed not to let go. Together, they started to look around. The shadows still followed them and, wherever Kelly looked, a new terrifying sight would be waiting for her. She suppressed her fear, fighting against it, reminding herself over and over that what she was seeing was just the effect of some drug.

“Kelly?” James called out after a minute. “The girl in front of us—”

Kelly looked ahead but saw nothing. She said, “There’s nothing there.”

“Okay, it’s just my mind then.”

They continued making their way around, looking for possible clues.

“James?” Kelly cried out after a few minutes. “Fire! The place is on fire. Fire everywhere—” “It’s just the gas getting to your head,” he said. Kelly swallowed the lump in her throat and moved on, walking through the burning flames unharmed.

After what seemed like an eternity of monsters, they found themselves back in the large room where they had arrived. Now, the plush furnishing had become snake’s heads and bloodied reptiles. The erotic paintings had become moving images of human bodies torn apart by wild animals.

“Let’s try through here,” James said, pushing open the door in front of him.

“Look out, there’s a man with a gun,” Kelly said.

“Damn, I see him too.”

“Which makes me pretty real,” the man said. “Shut the door behind you.”

Book cover design by Julia Ashby Smyth, Copyright © Julia Ashby Smyth 2022.
Image used and published according to the licence granted by the artist


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