Excerpt from SOFI’S BRIDGE by Christine Lindsay
releasing May 1, 2016
Sofi had been so angry with Neil for his secrets. But Neil had given Trina nothing but compassion. He’d put himself at risk to save Gunnar’s life. The contradictions in him persisted. But murder? The man she’d kissed, who’d held her in his arms, a murderer?
The following excerpt is set in 1913, in a remote town in Washington State in the beautiful Cascade Mountains that bridge the US and Canada. In this scene Sofi is secretly listening in on a conversation between an English lawman and a Pinkerton detective who are discussing the man Sofi has come to love, an Irishman on the run for a murder in Ireland who is seeking freedom in the US.
Read this suspenseful excerpt from Sofi’s Bridge
Sofi pretended she studied the view through the window beyond the two detectives. The tailored suit of the younger lawman sported a gold watch chain looped in front of his waistcoat. His hat sat on the table. The English police inspector in brown tweed kept his bowler on his knee that jerked with nervous energy.
A quiet burst of laughter erupted from the Englishman. “I’ve spoken to a conductor who saw a man fitting Jimmy Galloway’s description getting off a train here on Saturday. The man’s sure Jimmy hitched a ride to Orchard. I’ve the younger brother to thank for leading us to this valley, and those daughters of Mrs. Andersson’s. A coincidence? Certainly not. Good police work. I’ll soon have Neil Galloway clapped in irons.”
Sofi’s insides turned over.
The younger man spoke in a dry tone. “Yes, with Dr. Galloway clapped in irons, that promotion you mentioned, Webley, will soon be yours.”
“About time too, Joel. I’ve worked too hard to be passed over again. Perhaps with the promotion I can get transferred out of Ireland and back to civilized England.”
The man called Joel looked over a sheath of papers. “I’m puzzled by your Scotland Yard autopsy report, though. There’s nothing to suggest what type of weapon the decedent was stabbed with.”
The Englishman clipped out, “Had to be a scalpel, didn’t it? Who better to take a life than a doctor?”
“A scalpel? I don’t think—”
“Of course it was a scalpel.” The Englishman, Webley, grew red in the face. “Besides, only days earlier Neil threatened to kill Crawford. He was seen standing over the body. That’s the thing you’ve got to understand about the Irish—they’re always fighting. This Neil Galloway, putting on airs, getting himself an education, thinking highly of himself, will always, only ever be…good-for-nothing Irish.”
Shaking began in Sofi’s inner core. Neil…accused of murder? Stabbing? She carefully set her cup on the saucer and stared blindly out at the Cascade Mountains that under the heavy cloud cover appeared a dull jade. From the corner of her eye she caught the man called Webley craning his neck as he looked over the restaurant.
“It’ll be a few hours before that train for Orchard arrives. It’s a sore trial waiting in this blighted place, the back of beyond.”
The younger man’s words slid out in a low tone. “I’m sorry you find our Washington State such a trial. Most continental visitors compare its pristine beauty to Switzerland.”
Inspector Webley sat back. “Have I trod on a nerve, Detective Harrison? Well, once you’ve escorted me and my quarry back to New York to catch our ship, our paths will part, and I’ll be leaving this charming frontier patch. As it is, I must send a telegram to my superiors in Ireland with my progress.” With that, Webley marched out of the restaurant.
Sofi rose stiffly as though she’d aged a hundred years. The waiter came with her order balanced on a tray, but she swept past him. Thankful she’d already paid her hotel bill, she ran out of the foyer and down the steps to her car. She’d been so angry with Neil for his secrets. But Neil had given Trina nothing but compassion. He’d put himself at risk to save Gunnar’s life. The contradictions in him persisted. But murder? The man she’d kissed, who’d held her in his arms, a murderer? What little faith she had in Neil slammed up against the Englishman’s accusations. Think Sofi, think. Don’t feel. Put him out of your mind. There was the bridge to think of. Yes, her bridge.
The train was supposed to slow before reaching the bridge. It would come to a stop to allow Charles to board before it steamed into Orchard. The only safe place to stop the train was the switching yard. The limousine’s top speed was only thirty miles an hour. On rough road, much slower.
She’d have to hurry to beat the train that would leave Skykomish in a few hours. Minutes later she banged on the front window of the mining store. The owner snapped his suspenders into place and opened the door to her with a mild grumble. Rummaging through the tools she found what she was looking for, a large sledge hammer, a variety of wrenches, a hacksaw, most importantly, a set of bolt cutters.
She paid, and ran to the car under a sky bruised with cloud. Her only clear thought—and may the Lord forgive her—she must break the law. Stop that train. And when she saw Neil, do what? Warn him? Or tell the sheriff?
SOFI’S BRIDGE, by Christine Lindsay
Seattle Debutant Sofi Andersson will do everything in her power to protect her sister who is suffering from shock over their father’s death. Charles, the family busy-body, threatens to lock Trina in a sanatorium—a whitewashed term for an insane asylum—so Sofi will rescue her little sister, even if it means running away to the Cascade Mountains with only the new gardener Neil Macpherson to protect them. But in a cabin high in the Cascades, Sofi begins to recognize that the handsome immigrant from Ireland harbors secrets of his own. Can she trust this man whose gentle manner brings such peace to her traumatized sister and such tumult to her own emotions? And can Neil, the gardener continue to hide from Sofi that he is really Dr. Neil Galloway, a man wanted for murder by the British police? Only an act of faith and love will bridge the distance that separates lies from truth and safety.
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Christine Lindsay is the author of multi-award-winning Christian fiction. Born in N. Ireland, it was tales of her ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India that inspired her historical trilogy, Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and the explosive finale Veiled at Midnight. Her Irish wit and joy in the use of setting as a character is evident in her contemporary romance Londonderry Dreaming and in Sofi’s Bridge coming May 2016.
Aside from being a busy writer and speaker, Christine is the happy wife of David of 35 years, a mom and a grandma. She makes her home on the west coast of Canada, and in Aug. 2016 she will see her long-awaited non-fiction book released, Finding Sarah, Finding Me: A Birth Mother’s Story.
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