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Dig Two Graves

An Evan Buckley Thriller

James Harper

James Harper Books


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Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

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‘I’ve got to take this call,’ Kate Guillory said. She took a quick gulp of her beer, slipped off the bar stool, headed for the door to get away from the noise. ‘Don’t let anybody sit in my seat.’

Evan Buckley mumbled something under his breath that she didn’t hear. She didn’t ask him to repeat it as she moved away, clamping her phone tightly to her ear. Kieran the bartender caught it.

Depends how good-looking she is.

He raised an eyebrow at Evan. Evan shrugged, you got me. They both knew he wasn’t that brave. Or stupid.

The door had barely banged shut behind Guillory when the woman sat on her stool. Kieran asked her what she wanted to drink then went to pour it. He had a hard time keeping the grin off his face as he caught Evan’s eye.

Evan glanced at the woman in the backbar mirror. Way too old for him. But she’d have passed the good-looking test when she was younger. He cleared his throat.

‘That seat’s taken, I’m afraid.’

She looked at him as if one of the beer pumps had suddenly spoken. Then stated an obvious fact.

‘It is now.’


He considered his options, none of them good. Say it again more forcefully, maybe start a fight. She looked as if she’d been in a few in her time. Her hands were large for a woman, the fingers strong, no polish on her nails. He could offer her money to move. Or wait to see what happened when Guillory got back. Maybe sell some tickets for ringside seats while he waited.

His decision was postponed by Kieran’s arrival with the woman’s beer. He placed it in front of her, did his best to help Evan out. That, or he was worried about his furniture. He pointed across the room.

‘There’s a table free over there.’

The woman didn’t look around.

‘I like it here, thanks.’

Kieran gave Evan a small shrug—I tried—then moved away to serve a less-awkward customer. Evan took a swallow of his beer, glanced in the mirror again, a quick flick of his eyes at her. From the angle of her head, the focus of her eyes, it looked as if she was watching the door. Surely not for Guillory’s return? In desperation he tried the only thing that came to mind.

‘I haven’t seen you in here before.’

She stopped watching the door in the mirror, looked at him.

‘That’s because I’ve never been in here before.’

He nodded, can’t say fairer than that.

‘That would explain it.’

There was the hint of a smile on her lips now.

‘If that was a pickup line, you need to go on a refresher course. Unless you’re saving your best lines for the young ones.’

He shook his head.

‘No, that’s the only one I’ve got and it never worked. Not even back in the day. Besides, I’m with the woman whose seat you’re keeping warm.’

‘It’s that sort of a place, is it?’

‘What sort?’

She shrugged, stuck out her bottom lip.

‘You know. Everybody’s got their own seat. Like a pack of dogs marking their territory.’

‘I’ve never thought of it like that, but, yeah, I suppose so.’

She looked around the bar, nodded appreciatively.

‘It’s a nice place. Good music too.’

They both spent a minute listening to the Stones’ You Can’t Always Get What You Want coming from the jukebox.

‘I put that on,’ Evan said, sounding like he’d written it and played all the instruments.

‘You’ve got good taste. You come here a lot, do you?’

‘Is that one of the better pickup lines I’d learn if I went on that refresher course?’

She laughed out loud at that. Then glanced at the door in the mirror again as if she was worried that her time chatting to him was drawing to a close. There was mischief in her eyes when she looked at him again.

‘So what’s . . . I don’t know her name.’

‘Kate. I’m Evan.’

‘What’s Kate going to do to you when she comes back and finds me sitting on her stool?’

He didn’t miss the fact that she hadn’t offered her name in response to him giving his. He made a big deal of swallowing hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing.

‘I don’t want to think about it. But she’ll probably start a fight with you. She’s like that. Always getting us into trouble.’

She leaned away from him to get a better look at him, eyes moving up and down his body.

‘I’ve only known you two minutes, but something tells me you’ve got that the wrong way around. How about I ask the bartender, and you buy me a beer if I’m right?’

He worked an incredulous look onto his face.

‘You don’t think I’m in enough trouble already just letting you sit there? Besides, I don’t buy anyone a beer if I don’t know their name.’

She gave him a look like he’d just failed the exam at the end of the Better Pickup Lines course with the lowest mark ever.

‘Bella. Bella Carling. Does that get me two beers?’

Had he been unattached and Bella younger, he would have thought that this was all going very well indeed. After a potentially disastrous start they were now laughing together and he was about to buy her a drink. Unfortunately, neither of those things were true. He bought her a beer anyway and they clinked glasses. He came out with the only toast that would work.

‘Here’s to cheesy pickup lines.’

‘You bet.’ She took a long

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