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Dark Side: A Gillard and Langley British Police Procedural

Dark Side: A Gillard and Langley British Police Procedural

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by Margaret Duffy

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When several shots are fired into the bistro where husband and wife crime-fighting duo Patrick Gillard and Ingrid Langley, both of whom work for the Serious Organised Crime Agency, are meeting their boss, they discuss the shooting with their friend, Detective Chief Inspector James Carrick. Carrick was also personally attacked, several years previously, by Benny


When several shots are fired into the bistro where husband and wife crime-fighting duo Patrick Gillard and Ingrid Langley, both of whom work for the Serious Organised Crime Agency, are meeting their boss, they discuss the shooting with their friend, Detective Chief Inspector James Carrick. Carrick was also personally attacked, several years previously, by Benny Cooper, who was eventually convicted of involvement in child pornography.

Benny and his accomplice are now out of prison, and soon the intimidation of Carrick and his family returns. When Cooper is found murdered, Carrick's bloodstained clothing, when he is found unconscious at the murder scene, makes him a prime suspect. Ingrid and Patrick take up the case, plunging themselves and their careers into grave danger. But how far is Patrick prepared to go in order to prove James’ innocence?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Duffy’s uneven 18th Patrick Galliard and Ingrid Langley mystery (after 2012’s Stealth), the intrepid married couple, who work for England’s Serious Organized Crime Agency, search for an extremely violent criminal with a powerful organization. When Det. Chief Insp. James Carrick, a friend of theirs, is framed for murder, Patrick goes off the grid to find the ringleader. In his absence, Ingrid leaves their five children with the nanny and grandparents to pursue a few lines of inquiry herself, though, as a successful novelist, she tends to worry a lot about how she can’t focus on her writing. There are plenty of gruesome details and dead ends (literally and figuratively) as the story barrels along at a good clip. Thorough and convincing police procedural details help compensate for the thinly developed main characters. (Mar.)
“This is a popular series, and it’s easy to see why. Patrick and Ingrid are an excellent team, their relationship a nice mixture of personal and professional, and the stories are dramatic and exciting.”
Library Journal
Patrick and Ingrid, a married couple who are both former MI5, now help out the Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA). Things are messed up again in Bath, and the couple's friend, DCI James Carrick, is set up to take the fall for a criminal's death. The victim, Benny Cooper, has been knifed to death and suspiciously, Carrick is found unconscious, near Benny's body. Carrick had taken on organized crime bosses in an earlier episode, and it looks like he's being targeted. Patrick and Ingrid move into action, Patrick working undercover, while Ingrid aliases more visibly with her female colleagues on the force. The big fish they all want is mobster Nick Hamsworth. VERDICT Despite a dramatic opening scene, the 17th entry in this spy series (after Stealth) suffers from a slow warm-up, as a multitude of characters need to be introduced before the resulting action makes any sense. Once it becomes clear which character needs support, then Gillard and Langley showcase their superspy routine well, exhibiting a bit of humor and palpable tension.
Kirkus Reviews
A married crime-fighting team does what it takes to clear a friend of murder charges. Former spook Patrick Gillard and his author wife, Ingrid Langley, both now work for the Serious Organised Crime Agency. While lunching with their boss, Michael Greenway, in a London cafe, it appears one of them may have been targeted for death in a drive-by shooting. Back home near Bath, they talk things over with their friend DCI James Carrick, who is worried and furious that Benny Cooper, a criminal James put away, is back on the streets. Cooper was instrumental in a vicious attack on James' wife, a former cop now at home with their baby; Cooper's partner in crime, Paul Mallory, is also back on the streets, and it is possible they are both involved with a clever group of gangsters who have pulled some major jobs and so far gotten away clean. When Cooper is found with his throat cut and Carrick is found unconscious and bloodied nearby, the officious DI David Campbell arrests Carrick for the murder. Although their boss wants them to stay on the case he is working, the duo are not about to desert a friend, and they do some dangerous snooping in a club reported to belong to the head gangster, who likes to be known as the Raptor. When Ingrid is attacked and nearly raped by some of his minions, she is afraid that Patrick, who has had to kill in the past, will go to the dark side and use any methods to track the gang down. An exciting combination of police procedural and thriller, Duffy again (Stealth, 2012, etc.) provides the daring duo with plenty of cerebral and physical challenges.

Product Details

Severn House Publishers
Publication date:
A Gillard and Langley Mystery Series , #17
Edition description:
First World Publication
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Dark Side

By Margaret Duffy

Severn House Publishers Ltd.

Copyright © 2013 Margaret Duffy
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7278-8340-7


There were several loud bangs and the ornate partition that separated the café-style front of the establishment from the wine bar at the rear where I was sitting, and through which the sun had been shining so beguilingly, plunged down in a waterfall of thousands of glittering shards of glass. It seemed as if I stared at this, fascinated, for quite some time but actually it must have been only for a second or so. In the next moment I was thrown over sideways on to the floor, my head colliding heavily with the leg of another chair. Everything became very confused, women screaming, men shouting, the pounding feet of panicking people. Then, the weight that had knocked me over lifted off and I found myself looking into someone's eyes, green like mine, only a matter of inches away.

'You OK, Ingrid?' he asked.

'I think so,' I said.

Somewhere outside, a motorbike roared away.

'Police!' another man's voice called, penetrating the hubbub. 'Everyone please calm down. Is anyone badly hurt?'

My very near, and also prone, companion, Commander Michael Greenway, formerly of the Metropolitan Police and now Patrick's boss at the Serious Organised Crime Agency, got to his feet, extended a hand and yanked me briskly to mine. It immediately became apparent that several people had been cut by flying glass, which was everywhere as a side window appeared to have been smashed as well. I grabbed a waiter, who was rigid with shock – I already knew his command of English to be limited – and managed to convey to him that we needed a first aid kit. Slightly to my surprise the bar possessed one and Greenway and I got to work, leaving the third member of our party, my husband Patrick, to police the incident.

'They got away – far too many people for me to risk a shot,' Patrick said a little later, speaking to me over the heads of several people we had seated while they recovered from the shock and had small cuts dealt with. One woman who had been sitting quite close to the window was bleeding heavily from a gash to her face and Greenway was with her, trying to stem the flow with a dressing. Miraculously, no one had actually been hit by the bullets fired seemingly at random into the premises.

Rapidly approaching sirens blared and very shortly afterwards professional medics arrived and took over, followed, five minutes later, by the Metropolitan Police. The detective sergeant in charge went pale when confronted by a furious Greenway, brandishing his Serious Organised Crime Agency ID and demanding to know, with lavish use of expletives, what had kept them.

Patrick had been questioning bystanders and now returned to report that the driver, a man, or perhaps woman, had been wearing a crash helmet, its tinted visor making identification impossible, as had the gunman, riding pillion on the bike, a black Kawasaki with no number plates.

Greenway introduced the pair of us to the DS as 'Patrick Gillard and Ingrid Langley,' adding that we were 'colleagues' and leaving it at that.

We made brief statements and then left. It was then that I noticed the commander had a small piece of glass sticking out of his neck, blood trickling down and soaking into the collar of his shirt. Patrick and I steered him, protesting, back inside to have it removed and the wound treated.

All this while we were on leave, too.

I am an author by trade for most of the time. My exlieutenant-colonel husband's job description is that of 'adviser' to SOCA, soon to be merged into the National Crime Agency, and my own part-time role that of 'consultant'. To him, that is. He sometimes jokingly refers to me as his 'oracle'. Patrick's experience after serving in special forces, followed by a period working for D12, a department of MI5 – we both did – seemed to be the desirable assets when he was offered this job. Also in mind, no doubt, was his ability to have an immediate affinity with any weapon handed to him, a talent for adopting all kinds of personas, and being able to get right inside the criminal mind.

On reflection, he would have made a very good, and uncatchable, crime lord, there being a dark side to his character that even John, his father, has recognized in him. I sometimes wonder, had he not been offered this position, whether he would have stayed on the straight and narrow or turned himself into some kind of maverick law-enforcer.

This went through my mind now as we sat at a table outside a coffee bar some fifty yards from the scene of the incident, not involved in the investigation for once, waiting for Greenway. Flocks of London pigeons which had been put to flight by the shots were still wheeling around the tops, and reflected in the many glass windows of the buildings. Patrick was seated at my side, his gaze ostensibly on the police personnel who were cordoning off the area with incident tape and shepherding away gawpers. Scenes of crime people were arriving. But in reality I knew he was in a world of his own. A serious face – grim now after what had just occurred, but transformed when he smiles into the boy I fell in love with at school – is a little careworn now, the thick black wavy hair greying. No, not a maverick – not now.

As if sensing that I was looking at him he turned, seeming to try to read my thoughts.

'You wouldn't though, would you?' I said, speaking them aloud.

'Wouldn't what?'

'Ever work independently to the police to, say, bring mobsters to court that the conventional forces don't seem to be able to touch.'

A smile twitched at the corners of his mouth. 'Life gets quite stimulating enough working as I am, thank you. Besides, I've done all that.'

I was aware that while a serving soldier in Northern Ireland he had been sent after wanted terrorists, bombers and murderers. And, sometimes, been under orders to 'remove' them.

I said, 'But if you were asked to?'

'It could happen.'

I didn't feel that he had quite answered the question. Perhaps I shouldn't have asked. 'Do you have any theories about this shooting – other than the obvious ones?'

'Yes, I do, actually.'

He got to his feet and walked off, back in the direction of the café bar. I watched as he showed his ID and ducked under the incident tape, then stood in the road opposite the entrance and walked up and down a few times, having to go around a couple of ambulances, three police cars and a paramedic's motorbike, his gaze fixed on the inside of the building, perhaps working out the exact line of fire. Back on the pavement he crouched quickly, arms extended as if holding a weapon and aiming it. After standing still for a few seconds he went back inside the café bar, again showing his warrant card. They weren't taking any chances. When he reappeared a minute or so later he was with the commander.

'Considering that you're on leave and this was supposed to be just a bit of socializing on our part, it was quite exciting,' Greenway said. There was an adhesive dressing larger than one might have thought necessary on his neck, which he now touched.

'Coffee?' Patrick asked.

'Why not? We can sit here in the sun and criticize what they're doing.'

'I suggest the place in the arcade over the road. They do very good tea as well.'

Greenway looked a bit surprised but then shrugged and said, 'Whatever you fancy.'

It was actually an Indian tea house, cool and peaceful after the summer heat, noise and traffic fumes outside. Patrick led the way, glanced around and made for a somewhat dim corner. We placed our order.

'How often do you use that café bar?' Patrick asked his boss.

'Quite frequently. As you're well aware, it's near the office and they also serve coffee in the rear bar where it's a bit quieter. I sometimes meet Erin here if she's up in town shopping as she likes the ambience of the place. But I'm careful not to stick to any kind of routine, if that's what you're asking.'

Erin, a one-time DS with the Met, is his wife.

'You've already said you didn't see the gunman.'

'No, I must have been looking the other way.'

'Logic tells us that there are two or perhaps three possible reasons for the shooting. The first one is the most obvious, that it was a gangland attack against, say, a rival drug dealer who was in the building. I don't actually go for that as surely they'd have gone in looking for him, not just shot through the open doorway. The gunman had got off the bike, by the way. Or, second, that the proprietors hadn't paid protection money. The third is that you were the intended target.'

'So that's why you wanted to come in here away from the street. It's far more likely that you were the target.' This was a reasonable comment given that the pair of us are known to be on several terrorists' hit lists and it is why Patrick is permitted to carry, at all times, a Glock 17 in a shoulder holster. Needless to say, it never makes an appearance while we are at home but is rarely far away from him.

'I don't normally sit opposite doorways. Think.'

He nominally only has the rank of constable to enable him to arrest people, too.

The commander did not mind. 'There's always the risk,' he acknowledged, not thinking.

'I'm speaking from memory but I'm fairly sure that there were several areas on that Art Nouveau-style screen that were clear of pattern. I reckon you were sitting on a line just about opposite the doorway and would have been clearly visible to someone standing just outside through one of them. I think the first shot smashed the screen, the second and third went through the window behind, all on roughly the same trajectory. And, forgive me, you're a good target.'

He meant from the point of view that the commander is a tall man, taller than Patrick, who is six foot two and, as a former rugby player, broad-shouldered and well-built.

Greenway laughed. Then he said, 'You're on leave until next Monday, which is five days away. If we've time from other work then we can find out if the Met's turned anything up and go from there.' Unconsciously, perhaps, he again touched the dressing on his neck. 'What I don't want is for word to get around that there's a theory I might have been in the firing line.'

'Damn, I was just about to call the Sun,' Patrick said, but he wasn't smiling.

We had come to London for an exhibition of Chinese art at the Victoria and Albert Museum and also to enable me to walk round Soho, during the day and after dark, to soak up the atmosphere for my new novel, Death Asks No Questions. I'm not a particularly nervous person and have explored parts of London on my own in the past, but having a meaningful escort did have the advantage of being able to visit, as Patrick put it, 'the more interesting places', meaning pubs with low-life customers.

'Please don't start playing poker,' I had pleaded when this idea was first mooted. 'You nearly always win, and/or spot the in-house professional cheats and it hardly ever fails to lead to some kind of fracas. You even got involved in a brawl last time and were arrested!'

'But I was undercover on the job!' Patrick had protested. 'Getting arrested was a damned good idea at the time. And I won almost two hundred quid.'

I had given him a look that showed I had definitely rested my case.

That afternoon there was a thunderstorm bringing rain of monsoon proportions. We went to the exhibition and, the deluge continuing into the evening, I had to content myself with a quick tour of Soho huddled inside an anorak. We then had a drink in a dingy subterranean bar followed by a meal in a Greek restaurant before scurrying, dripping, back to our hotel. I was fairly happy, though, having spent the evening people-watching. There had been the added entertainment provided by a lady, a real one of very senior years, who had had far too many G and Ts, trying to chat up my husband. In the face of promises of all the money he wanted and a stately home in Buckinghamshire that needed a real man to run it, he had told her that I had bagged him first.

That had happened very early in life when we were at school in Plymouth together. Before he had been made Head Boy he had merely been, to me and my female friends, that is, one of that sub-species into which we lumped together all boys. Then, when everyone had grown up rather a lot I suddenly noticed the tall, dark individual who, together with a girl of Nordic beauty who shone at just about everything, had been accorded the school's highest honours. Patrick, I knew, was the son of a clergyman, sang in the church choir and went fishing in the River Tamar with a boy called George. He was rumoured to regard all girls as an irrelevance. My contemporaries' reaction to this was acute disappointment amid worries that he might be gay. What a terrible waste, we thought, if he was!

Our fathers knew one another as there was a Parochial Church Council connection. John, Patrick's father, was utterly delighted that mine, upon being made treasurer, had discovered an old bequest to the church in a forgotten savings account – quite a lot of money – and had suggested that his eldest son could help me with my physics homework. It was the summer holidays and the physics was a project at which I had been staring in a kind of numbed horror on and off for days, proclaiming loudly to all who would listen that I did not understand one word of it. No internet in those days.

Patrick had duly arrived and sat opposite me at the kitchen table, simmering. I had gazed back in what I hoped was a cool and detached fashion, knowing that if I dropped my gaze and giggled I was finished. For here, the knowledge booting me into full womanhood in one split second, was the man I wanted for ever and ever.

He had thawed and explained the physics. No good – I was too busy looking into those grey eyes, the irises rimmed with black and flecked with gold ... Finally, he worked it all out for me to copy later but made a couple of small mistakes – deliberate ones, I discovered quite a while afterwards – so the teacher would not suspect I had had help.

Our friendship grew and for the rest of the holidays we walked the dogs and took picnics up on Dartmoor, Patrick producing a bottle of wine from his rucksack and putting it in a stream to cool. His main attraction, other than those wonderful eyes, was his ability to make me laugh. Then one day we laughed until we cried, hugging one another under the hot summer sun, and I had felt the way his wiry body moved under the material of his shirt. He had held me even closer and kissed me.

I can remember nothing of us removing clothes. Just friends one minute and then as close as two people can become the next, the pair of us shocked speechless by the pleasure our young bodies had just given us. Finally, after quite a few such picnics – that summer broke all sunshine records for Dartmoor but we might not have noticed had it poured – Patrick had a crisis of conscience and asked me to marry him. He had been, after all, very strictly brought up. My reply that I was only fifteen caused him to attain a shade of pale that up until then I had assumed to be humanly impossible. But he had repeated the offer right then, come hell, horsewhips and jail, and I accepted.

Oddly, we 'behaved ourselves' after that, which was just as well as we both had the notion that children – we still thought of ourselves as sort of kids for some strange reason, even though Patrick was eighteen by then – couldn't make babies. Naive wasn't the word for it – my mother refused to talk about such things. It was a miracle that I didn't get pregnant.

We married when we were both in our early twenties. But by then my new husband was in the army, a junior officer rising through the ranks like bread dough on a hot day. There was a whole world out there for him to explore, and he did not really want to be tied down. After a very stormy relationship there was one last terrible row which ended with me throwing his classical guitar down the stairs and then him out of my cottage – bought with my writing earnings and money left to me by my father – into the rain. We got divorced.

He served abroad, the second youngest major in the British Army, and was horribly injured in an accident – not his fault – with a hand grenade, finally having to have the lower part of his right leg amputated. Just before this, out of hospital and in agony as the pins in the repaired smashed limb were not holding, he had turned up on my doorstep to tell me that he had been offered a job with MI5. A stipulation was that he had to find a working partner, female, as socializing was involved and it was thought that lone men did not merge easily into a crowd. We had always got on famously in public, he had reminded me brightly – which was perfectly true – so did I want the job? It was well paid, and there would be lots of potential for ideas for future plots in my novels, he had wheedled.


Excerpted from Dark Side by Margaret Duffy. Copyright © 2013 Margaret Duffy. Excerpted by permission of Severn House Publishers Ltd..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Meet the Author

Margaret Duffy is the author of numerous best-selling books and has also worked for both the Inland Revenue and the Ministry of Defence. She now divides her time between writing and gardening.

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Dark Side: A Gillard and Langley British Police Procedural 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
BasingstoneBook More than 1 year ago
My status for this book is a lie, I have not read it, well not all of it, only three quarters and I reached my limit of frustration. A short format book was unfortunately not short enough. The writing style of Margaret Duffy I found, as another reviewer also suggested was challenging. The story was very difficult to follow and there was a total absence of hooks to keep your interest. This book would be a contender for a high score on the Hawking Index, for books that readers are most likely not to finish reading. The crime mystery is one in a series of featuring the Gillard and Langley partnership where one of their colleagues is the target of a drive by shooting in London. After the first chapter it becomes increasingly difficult to follow and understand who is who and where you are. It may be me and my expectations are set to high, but I don't think so.