Detective Kieran Temple is woken by a 4am phone call. Not unusual, except that this call is from his ex-partner, Mia Burrows. And she’s just killed her boyfriend.
As Temple is compelled to investigate the death, he must do so behind the backs of his superiors and his wife. All evidence supports Mia’s claims, that she was defending herself against a maniac. But as he delves deeper, Temple learns of a complex and dysfunctional relationship, one that’s been manipulated from the start.
While carrying out this unsanctioned and disturbing investigation, Temple’s renewed contact with Mia also forces old feelings to resurface, feelings that once nearly cost him his marriage and his career. And with his gut telling him that Mia’s boyfriend was not the brute he’s being made out to be, Temple is determined to get answers while everyone – including Mia herself – just want it left alone.
Targeted Age Group:: 30-65
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Matchmaking is where a well-wishing person introducing two friends, hoping that the result will be a happy relationship.
The idea of BURNING MATCHING came about with the question – 'What if a person introduces two friends, hoping that the result will be a miserable and destructive relationship?'
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Alice was the first character I developed, as a complex and damaged woman who, miserable in her own relationship, decides to engineer and manipulate relationship, to make others as unhappy as she is.
Mia is Alice's best friend, and victim of her matchmaking scheme. But she comes with her own demons and hardwired complexes that mean the outcome of her relationship was inevitable. Mia is also a police detective.
Daniel is a man with a volatile relationship history and the last person who should ever have been matched with Mia.
Detective Kieran Temple is Mia's ex-partner and the person she calls to tell she has just killed Daniel. As well as trying to get justice for a imperfect but essentially innocent victim, he also has to deal with less-than-professional feelings for Mia. Feelings he must hide from his wife.
Lou didn’t bother talking. Left to his own devices, he could never think of anything to say to the boss. It was rare that he was in this situation – he had always been told what to say, when to say it, how to say it. That was the arrangement and it suited him just fine.
The boss was nervous, even more than usual. They walked in silence, Lou more conscious than ever of his own shuffling.
Fuck, this guy has good posture.
The boss caught him staring and Lou looked away. He sniffed and tried to appear chilled, relaxed, like he did this 3am-walk-along-the-river thing all the time. He patted his pocket for his smokes, not because he wanted one, just to know they were there. His gaze was drawn across to the Four Courts, casting its ominous reflection on to the river. He'd never actually been inside that building. Still, it always left him uneasy.
They crossed the deserted Church Street Bridge, picking up pace to clear the road and the bin-truck heading towards them. A few steps onto the footpath, Lou glanced over as his companion took a deep breath. He took another, which turned into a gasp. He wheezed and coughed as he put his hand to his chest.
“Eh, you okay there, bud?” Lou asked, forcing a grin, even though it wasn't really the guy's style to mess around.
The boss wheezed again and dropped down on to one knee.
Lou could no longer deny that something was wrong. “Jesus, what’s wrong with you? You having a heart attack or some –”
Whatever remained of his slurred concern was lost as Lou suddenly felt a tight grip on both his ankles. He tried to shake it off but he was already being lifted off the ground.
“What the fuck –” His body cleared the wall between footpath and river and he was falling backwards. He reached out for anything to grab but there was nothing. Passing that point of no return, he felt the grip released.
What started as a cry of anger became a terrified scream as Lou fell away and down towards the river, desperately clutching the air as his speed increased. He hit the water and the impact pushed the air out of his lungs. Opening his mouth to breathe only meant he swallowed and inhaled the filthy grey water. He surfaced just long enough to emit a retching cough before being dragged back down by the river's current and his own heavy clothes.
This fucking coat.
As he swallowed another mouthful of river, Lou spasmed as his vocal cords constricted, sealing his airway. He looked up through the murky water and could see the stars glimmering in the clear sky. He thought of Aileen and the boys, that life he had forced himself to forget. When he got out of here, he'd give her a call.
He knew then that he’d be okay in a second, as soon as he resurfaced.
Just a second now.
He felt his eyes closing and he let them, knowing that, whatever happened now, he would be okay.
And then nothing.
Paul FitzSimons is a novelist, screenwriter and film producer.
Paul's debut novel BURNING MATCHES is out now.
His debut feature film THE GIFT (OC Productions, 15A), came out in 2017 and is available on Amazon Prime. Paul previously worked as a TV Drama story-writer.
He is currently writing the sequel to BURNING MATCHES and developing the first in his new crime novel series. He is also working on his next feature film.
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