A Shroud of Leaves by Rebecca Alexander (Sage Westfield #2)
English | 2019 | Mystery/Thriller | ePUB | 1.2 Mb
A Shroud of Leaves : “The victim had been buried in a carved hollow in the grass and shrouded in fallen leaves…”Archaeologist Sage Westfield has her first forensics case: investigating the murder of a teenage girl. Hidden by holly leaves, the girl’s body has been discovered on the grounds of a stately home, where another teenage girl went missing twenty years ago – but her body was never found. The police suspect the reclusive owner, Alistair Chorleigh, who was questioned but never charged. But when Sage investigates a nearby burial mound – and uncovers rumours of an ancient curse – she discovers the story of another mysterious disappearance over a hundred years ago. Sage will need both her modern forensics skills and her archaeological knowledge to unearth the devastating truth.
“‘Livor mortis.’ Sage had to swallow hard again as she caught another whiff of something from the body. Maybe it was just the mouldering leaves. The girl looked as if she was emerging from the forest floor like some sort of tree spirit. ‘Hypostasis,’ she managed, looking down at the plastic sheeting, trying to get her emotions back under control. ‘Where the blood has pooled and stained the skin.’
‘Exactly. Here it’s on the left side of her face.’ The pathologist gently lifted a few more layers of covering and shone her torch underneath.
‘She does appear to be naked,’ Sage said, concentrating on keeping her voice steady as she lifted another pile of leaves. ‘Does that mean a sexual motive?’
‘Possibly but it might also be a forensic countermeasure. Even criminals know about transferred trace evidence and DNA now. Look here, on the left side of the torso. Why is there no post-mortem staining on her shoulder?’
‘Pressure stopped the blood concentrating there,’ Sage said through rising panic from flashbacks of a face in the black water of a well. ‘Maybe she was lying on a hard surface on her side? The blood would have collected in the lowest tissues, except where the blood vessels were compressed.’ She counted the flashbacks away.”