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Meet Daniel and Miranda . . . in this extract from The Coffin Trail.

FORGET about the murder. It's history.

Daniel tightened his grip on the steering wheel as the Audi jolted over potholes in the winding lane, his palms sweating. Miranda thought he was so cool, so relaxed, but it was an illusion. Might a conjurer feel like this when walking on to the stage? Fearing that his magic wouldn't work, that when he whipped the cloak away, his audience wouldn't gasp, but merely yawn? The car eased over the top of the fell and Daniel held his breath. At last Brackdale revealed itself. Unfolding below them, luxuriating in the sunshine.

``A hidden valley!''

Miranda's delight made his shiver with relief. This was the moment he'd yearned for. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw her leaning forward in the passenger seat, craning her long neck so as to drink in the scene. Stone buildings squeezed around a spired church and its lush graveyard, and on the other side of the village, a jigsaw puzzle of fields and copses spread out across the hollow. Quarry workings, deserted and melancholy, pock-marked the far end of the valley, yet he wouldn't have loved Brackdale as much without its scars. Sleep surrounding crags closed in together beyond the dead industrial remains.

CAPTION(S):

Evocative: the Lake District
COPYRIGHT 2004 MGN Ltd.
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 9, 2004
Words:213
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