End of the Line (Inspector McLevy)
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'David Ashton's writing is excellent, his characters thoroughly convincing, and his narrative grabs you - I was going to say, by the throat - and doesn't let you go' - The Sherlock Holmes Society of London
'McLevy is a sort of Victorian Morse with a heart, prowling the mean wynds and tenements of the endless fascinating city. David Ashton impeccably evokes Edinburgh so vividly that you can feel the cold in your bones and the menace of the Old Town's steep cobbles and dark corners' - Financial Times
'Dripping with melodrama and derring-do' - The Herald
'Ashton's McLevy ... is a man obsessed with meting out justice, and with demons of his own' - The Scotsman
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When the body of a handsome, fleshy man is found on the Newcastle to Edinburgh train with the livid mark of a garotte round his throat like a lethal necklace, naturally the first port of call is Leith Police Station and Inspector James McLevy. The corpse is discovered to be one 'Count Borromeo', a ruthless seducer and amoral bigamist; it soon emerges that Jean Brash's coachman, the ginger-haired giant Angus Dalrymple, was also aboard the train and is the number one suspect, a fact that sets Jean and the inspector once more at daggers drawn. When McLevy and Constable Mulholland finally unravel this case, the murderer is confronted in a deadly encounter on the girders and high gantries above Waverley Station.
This is an adaptation of an episode of the BBC series based around the Victorian detective James McLevy, developed for Radio 4 by David Ashton.
off these weird imaginings just as a sharp crack followed by a high-pitched shriek cut through the sepulchral silence. After a moment, Mulholland emerged looking a little shaken. ‘It was a big black rat. Went straight for my ankles,’ he reported. ‘It would be trying to escape,’ the inspector muttered. ‘I couldn’t take the chance—’ The constable stopped. His eyes fixed upon something he had seen high up beyond McLevy’s abiding presence. ‘Turn round sir,’ he said softly. ‘Slow does it. Lift
David Ashton was born in Greenock in 1941. He studied at Central Drama School in London from 1964 to 1967, starring in The Voyage of Charles Darwin, Brass, Hamish Macbeth and Waking the Dead. His most recent performance was in The Last King of Scotland. David started writing for film, television, theatre and radio in 1984 and has seen many of his plays and TV adaptations broadcast; he wrote early episodes of EastEnders, Casualty, Dalziel and Pascoe, a film for Channel 4 starring Minnie Driver
delighted her it was to watch Jean Brash and James McLevy at each other’s throats. Jean’s hair was also red but it was a deep auburn that brought out the green of her eyes – eyes that were glinting with controlled fury as they speared into the inspector’s impassive face. Porcelain skin betrayed no trace of the life she had led as a street girl and whore in various low-slung brothels before clawing her way up the greasy pole to a divine consummation, as she now owned the finest bawdy-hoose in
round your head like a plague of wasps!’ The inspector knew when his bluff had been called, dropped the bank note back into the wallet and near threw it at the hulking coachman. ‘Here are your ill-gotten gains, but mark this, my mannnie!’ The inspector stuck his face close to Angus and spoke softly, as if the words might worm a hole in the coachman’s mind through which the truth would shine. ‘I have you in my sights,’ he whispered. ‘Wherever you go, I’ll be watching, waiting, every time you
his size-twelve boots within the station. Senga had left happily enough, only pausing to inform Roach that the first book for the society’s perusal would be Wuthering Heights, a tale of tragic love, which she felt resonate to her very bones. Most of this Roach reported, omitting the reading society references, and Mulholland had left for MacDonald Street with his large ears burning red, the cause of much simple-minded amusement to both his superiors as they contemplated his looming predicament.