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Hello and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Paul Finch’s latest thriller to feature the legendary DS Heckenburg.  I am so excited to be able to share an extract from “Ashes to Ashes” with you, and at this point I will forewarn you that there is some ‘colourful’ language used in the dialogue between characters so if this is likely to cause you offence please feel free to skim over it.

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John Sagan is a forgettable man. You could pass him in the street and not realise he’s there. But then, that’s why he’s so dangerous.

A torturer for hire, Sagan has terrorised – and mutilated – countless victims. And now he’s on the move. DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg must chase the trail, even when it leads him to his hometown of Bradburn – a place he never thought he’d set foot in again.

But Sagan isn’t the only problem. Bradburn is being terrorised by a lone killer who burns his victims to death. And with the victims chosen at random, no-one knows who will be next. Least of all Heck…

 

You can buy a copy of “Ashes to Ashes” via Amazon here or via Wordery here

 


Extract from Ashes to Ashes:

Calum and Dean did all these things because they could.

There was no other reason. It gained them nothing except perhaps more notoriety.

But that didn’t matter where Calum and Dean were concerned. It was a very personal thing for these two lads. It was about being who they were – exactly who they were. Expressing themselves in precisely the way they wanted to, with no one else doing anything to stop it.

But eventually even they had to draw the line somewhere. They’d been drinking since lunchtime after all, and were completely sozzled even by their normal standards.

They ambled away from club-land, the Saturday night hubbub fading behind them, the jaunty music gradually losing all definition, dwindling into a dull, distant, repetitive cater­waul.

In the Parish Church yard, they took a minute out.

This was a cut-through between shops and offices during the day, but now it lay quiet under the phosphorescent glow of a single streetlamp, which glimmered eerily on the flag­stones where so many epitaphs had once been engraved and yet now were almost indiscernible through age. Bradburn Parish Church dominated the peaceful scene, its innumerable gargoyles jutting out overhead. To the right of it, the so-called Bank Chambers, a row of counting houses, brokerages and solicitors’ offices, led away down an arched passage, the entrance to which was opaque with night-mist.

The sight of that reminded them both, even if only inter­nally, that their bodies were rapidly cooling. Unconsciously, Calum scratched his itchy blubber before pulling his sweater back on. Together, they slumped down onto the War Memorial steps in the middle of the yard, Calum licking at the fresh but stinging notches on his knuckles. Before long, a soft snore issued from Dean’s puckered, spittle-slathered mouth. Dead to the world, he’d tilted back against the orderly lists of heroic names inscribed on brass plaques around the base of the Memorial’s obelisk.

‘Dean! . . . fuck’s sake!’ Calum nudged him with his elbow. ‘Gi’ us a fucking smoke!’

Dean muttered in response, and slapped at his right hip pocket.

Calum rummaged in there and found a single crooked joint. It was half-smoked already and bent at a right angle. He straightened it out, stuck it between his lips and dug deeper into his friend’s pocket, finding and discarding all kinds of crumby, sticky, manky crap, before retrieving a lighter.

And only then did he become aware that someone was standing in front of him.

Calum glanced up, vision blurring as his eyes tried to focus through the late-night gloom. The newcomer blotted out all light from the single lamp, casting a deep shadow over the lads. But he wasn’t completely in silhouette. Calum could distinguish dark clothing and the bland, bespectacled features of someone he thought he’d spotted a couple of times in the bars earlier.

‘Good evening,’ the newcomer said.

‘Who the fuck are you supposed to be?’ Calum sniggered. ‘Clark fucking Kent?’

‘I’ve got a message for your boss.’

‘Who the fuck are you?’

‘Here are my credentials.’ The newcomer jammed a black-gloved hand into his overcoat pocket, but when he brought it out again, it held a wadded rag, which, as he leaned down, he squashed against Calum’s face, using his other hand to clamp the back of Calum’s head, allowing no room at all for manoeuvre.

The young hoodlum tried to struggle, but what remained of his strength and awareness deserted him remarkably quickly.

‘Now, don’t breathe too deeply,’ the man said, lowering him to the ground. ‘I need you conscious again very soon. And you –’ He turned to Dean, who, more through some basic animal instinct than anything else, was trying to shake himself awake. The newcomer reached for something he’d laid against the steps. It was half a pool cue, the slimmer end neatly sawn off. ‘You can have a longer snooze.’


Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour for reviews, guest posts and extracts!

Blog tour(4)

HOOKEDONHECK

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