Monday, September 01, 2014

An Excerpt from Spring Tide by Cilla and Rolf Börjlind

Omnimystery News: An Excerpt courtesy of Cilla and Rolf Börjlind
Spring Tide
by Cilla and Rolf Börjlind

We are delighted to welcome thriller writers Cilla and Rolf Börjlind to Omnimystery News today.

Veteran screenwriters for such film and television adaptations of Sjöwall and Wahlöö's "Martin Beck" and Henning Mankell's "Wallander" in Sweden, Cilla and Rolf's new crime novel is Spring Tide (Hesperus Press; September 2014 trade paperback and ebook formats) and we are pleased to introduce you to it with an excerpt, the preface.

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Spring Tide by Cilla and Rolf Börjlind

Late summer, 1987

IN HASSLEVIKARNA, THE COVES ON the island of Nordkoster on the west coast of Sweden, up near the border with Norway, the difference between high tide and low tide is usually between five and ten centimetres, except when there is a spring tide. That phenomenon that occurs when the Sun and the Moon are in line with the Earth. Then the difference is almost fifty centimetres. A human head is twenty-five centimetres in height, give or take.
  Tonight there would be a spring tide.

For the time being the tide was out.
  The full moon had sucked the reluctant sea back many hours before, and exposed an expanse of damp sand. Small, shiny crabs scuttled back and forth across the sand glowing in the steely-blue light. The limpets clung on particularly hard to the rocks, biding their time. All the life exposed on the shore knew that the tide would wash over them once again.
  Three figures on the beach knew too. They even knew exactly when it would happen — in a quarter of an hour. Then the first gentle waves would roll in and wet those parts that had dried out, and soon the pressure from the dark rumble out there would push up wave upon wave until the flood of the tide had reached its maximum.
  A spring tide; meaning that the beach would be covered with fifty centimetres of water.
  But they still had a little time. The hole they were digging was almost finished. It went straight down, almost one hundred and fifty centimetres, with a diameter of about sixty centimetres. A body would fit perfectly. Only the head would reach over the top.
  The head of a fourth figure.
  The head belonging to a woman who was standing some way away, quite still, with her hands tied.
  Her long dark hair fluttered gently in the intermittent breeze, her naked body shone, her face muted without any make-up. Her eyes revealed a strange lack of presence. She looked at the digging further down the shore. The man with the spade pulled the curved blade out of the hole, tipped the last of the sand onto the pile next to him and turned around.
  He was finished.

Seen from a distance, from the rocks where the boy had hidden, there was a weird stillness about the moonlit beach. Dark figures on the sand far away on the other side of the beach, what were they doing? He didn't know, but he heard the approaching roar of the sea and saw the naked woman led out across the wet sand, seemingly without offering any resistance, and saw her lowered into a hole.
  He bit his lower lip.

One of the men shovelled sand into the hole. The dripping sludge settled around the woman's body like wet cement. The hole was soon filled. When the first scattered waves rolled in towards land, only the woman's head stuck out. Her long hair became wet, slowly; and a little crab became caught in a dark strand. She herself was staring at the moon, without uttering a sound.
  The figures moved back a little, up amidst the dunes. Two of them were nervous, uncertain, the third was calm. They all watched the solitary moonlit head out on the sand.
  And waited.
  When the spring tide came at last, it came in rather fast. The height of the waves increased with every surge and washed over the woman's head, into her mouth and up her nose. Her throat was filled with water. Whenever she turned her head away, a new wave hit her face.
  One of the figures went back out to her and crouched down. Their eyes met.
  From his vantage point, the boy could see how the level of the water was rising. The head sticking out vanished and then reappeared and then vanished again. Two of the figures had now disappeared, the third was on its way up the beach again. Suddenly he heard a horrific scream. It was the woman in the hole who had screamed, hysterically. The scream echoed around the shallow cove and bounced against the boy's rock, before the next wave washed over the head and the scream was silenced.
  Then the boy started running.

The sea rose and became still, dark and shiny. Under the surface the woman shut her eyes. The last thing she felt was another kick, little and gentle, against the inside of her belly. Then her waters broke.

— ♦ —

Cilla and Rolf Börjlind
Photo provided courtesy of
Cilla and Rolf Börjlind

Cilla and Rolf Börjlind have written twenty-six Martin Beck films for cinema and television. Their books are characterized by charismatic protagonists and depictions of Sweden's social conflicts. Their scriptwriting expertise is reflected in their ability to create tension and twisted plots. Multiple storylines are elegantly and surprisingly linked and contain their trademark surrealistic humor.

— ♦ —

Spring Tide by Cilla and Rolf Börjlind

Spring Tide
Cilla and Rolf Börjlind
A Crime Thriller

The spring tides are the highest of the year in Nordkoster; the beach will be covered in particularly deep water tonight. Three men on the beach are digging a hole, covertly watched by a young boy. His intrigue turns to horror as he makes out the fourth figure of the woman for whom the hole is intended. Buried up to her neck in the sand, the high tide is rapidly approaching. Still screaming in terror, the victim takes her last breath as water fills her nose and mouth — in her stomach, she feels her baby kick. And her waters break.

The abhorrent crime remains unsolved 24 years later; but gruesome violence is still prevalent. A gang has been killing homeless people in parks, filming their attacks, and broadcasting them on the internet. The police have their work cut out trying to keep abreast of the crime wave.

Olivia Rönning hopes to follow in her father's footsteps and join their ranks in the next few months as she completes her training; she has only one last hurdle to overcome over the summer break, a challenge from her professor to pick a cold case and solve it. Should be simple, she thinks. Little does she know the world she is getting involved in, the danger she faces, and the ugly truths she risks uncovering.

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