When Laurence Harford, a prominent businessman and philanthropist is found murdered in the historic Rocks area of Sydney, Detective Chief Inspector Fitzjohn is asked to solve the crime quickly and discreetly.  After barely starting his investigation, uncovering a discarded mistress and disgruntled employees, a second killing occurs.

Meanwhile, Laurence's nephew, Nicholas Harford, has his certainties in life shaken when he becomes a suspect in his uncle's death, and receives a mysterious gold locket that starts a chain of events unravelling his family's dark truths.



PROLOGUE : Alex looked beyond the light thrown by the lamp on his desk, to the window and darkness outside. He crossed the room to pull the blinds against the penetrating cold but stopped before he did so and looked at his reflection in the glass.
His life, to many, would look ideal. A successful career spanning three decades, world interest in more than one of his archaeological excavations and acclaim and acknowledgment by his peers. This evening had recognised all this, at a dinner given in his honour.
Alex had listened to the accolades of his peers and then responded, his charismatic personality capturing and inspiring those around him. Only toward the end of the evening, when the note arrived at his table, did he falter, his gratification marred. His brow had broken out in a sweat as he read it and realised he could no longer hide the truth.
Weary, Alex turned from the window, the stillness and quiet of the building magnified in the early hours of the morning. He looked around the familiar room, meticulous in its order, its walls lined with books that lent warmth to the atmosphere and a smell of age. He knew his years of deception were over when the door opened and a figure entered.
"I've been expecting you." A chill went through him as he looked into the expressionless eyes. "I need to explain." Alex turned to his desk and in the moment that followed, he felt a blow to his back. He faltered and slumped to his knees before a pain seared through him. He grabbed for his chair and tried to stand, unaware of the second blow to his neck. The chair slid away and he fell to the floor.

 



Jill Paterson grew up in Adelaide before spending 11 years in Ontario, Canada.
After returning to Australia, she settled in Canberra where she now lives with her husband, John. Jill has three adult children.
After doing an arts degree at the Australian National University, she worked at the Australian National University's School of Law before spending the next 10 years with the Business Council of Australia and the University of NSW, ADFA Campus in the school of Electrical Engineering. The Celtic Dagger is her first published novel. Visit Jill's Blog