#blogtour Box of Bones by Peter Morfoot – Exclusive Extract

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Christian Malraux peered at what was left of the headstone and grinned. ‘Aw, that’s sad, isn’t it? Mummy died when he was only a kid.’ He straightened. ‘Can turn you into a complete arsehole, that.’

The crime-scene photographer lowered his camera. ‘Shift,’ he said. ‘And mind where you put your feet.’

The immediate area was still littered with flower debris.

‘Yeah, wouldn’t want to spoil them.’ Malraux trod with exaggerated care between the chewed-up blooms. ‘I don’t know, Marcel, I call in as a courtesy and this is all the thanks I get? I’m over in Cannes now, you know. Full lieutenant.’

‘We miss you terribly.’

The camera’s motor drive whirred away.

‘Our paths will still cross, my friend.’ Malraux winced, screwing up his eyes. ‘Ah, shit.’ He reached under his overalls and took out two small plastic vials. Tilting his head back, he emptied one of them into his pink, lashless left eye. ‘And he had his guitar nicked didn’t he? Talk about a bad week.’

The camera went silent once more. ‘You’re still in the way.’

Blinking like a faulty light bulb, Malraux repeated the procedure with the other eye. ‘Captain Fantastic having his arse nearly shot off… I tell you, if I was still around, it wouldn’t have happened. I’ve saved his life once already.’ His head still tilted back, Malraux shuddered, freezing cold, suddenly. Trying to force his eyes open, ghastly images started crowding into his head. He pictured the entombed body beneath him rising through the stone slab and coming for him. The skeletal hands of a woman reaching out and closing around his throat. Blinking blindly, Malraux staggered backwards, dropping the vials.

More camera whirrs. ‘Sting, do they?’ Marcel said. ‘The drops?’

Gulping in air, Malraux put his hands to his neck and felt all around it. His eyes clearing, he kept them on the grave as he retreated another couple of paces. ‘Just cold,’ he said at length. ‘The stuff does that.’

‘I never realised you were such a sensitive soul.’

Malraux’s vision settled. He began to calm down. Not that he would ever admit to anyone that he’d just suffered a panic attack. ‘Because that’s definitely what it was,’ he said aloud, still staring warily at the grave.

‘What was definitely what?’

Slowly, Malraux gathered himself. He looked at his watch. ‘Got to go. Hate hanging around these places anyway. Give me the fucking creeps.’

The whirring stopped. ‘Oy! Don’t leave your shit behind.’

‘You chuck them,’ Malraux said, not looking back.

It is carnival time in Nice, and for three weeks the boulevards are alive with dancers, jugglers and musicians. Amid the colour and pageantry, a man suffers a fatal fall the first in a series of suspicious deaths.
Captain Paul Darac of the Brigade Criminelle is sure the answer lies in the mystery surrounding a daring bank heist, supposedly resolved years ago. But the reopening of the case awakens powerful enemies, and soon the safety of his friends, his colleagues and his family is at stake.

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#Blogtour Tell No Lies by Lisa Hartley #ExclusiveExtract

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The sleeping bag was thin and threadbare, offering little warmth and less comfort. Ryan drew his knees towards his chest, wondering how long he’d been asleep. He raised his head, slid his arm out from beneath it. Tried to remember when he’d last slept in a proper bed with pillows and a duvet. Reaching down to his jeans pocket, he pulled out his phone, the smell of his unwashed body drifting up from inside the sleeping bag and making his nose wrinkle. Ten thirty. He’d had about three hours’ sleep. Not bad.

He sat up, rubbing his hands over his face, and leant back against the wall. He’d fallen asleep in a corner, out of the way at least. Who knew how many people had tramped through the room while he lay there, completely out of it. He had few belongings, but he always made sure they were pushed down inside the sleeping bag when he slept, with his body on top of them, not left out where anyone could see them. They wouldn’t be there when he woke otherwise.

There was a battered sofa on the other side of the room. A young man and woman, probably still in their teens, lay on it, their limbs entwined. Ryan recognised the dazed, unfocused eyes; saw the pipe, made from a whisky miniature bottle, in the girl’s hand. He felt the familiar tug of need and pushed himself to his feet.

In the kitchen, standing over the cooker and preparing the next batch, was Mulligan. The room was stuffy, hot, and Ryan licked his lips, sweat beginning to dampen his palms. Mulligan turned, threw him a smile. Ryan stuffed his hands in his pockets. What was he grinning about? The rumour was he’d killed his own cousin over a drug debt, and Ryan could believe it.

‘Morning, sunshine,’ said Mulligan. ‘Full English, or Continental?’

Ryan coughed, his chest rattling, pain thudding through it. ‘Not hungry.’

Mulligan smirked. ‘You want to lay off the smoking.’

‘Funny.’

‘Would if you could, I know.’

‘How would you pay your rent if I did?’ Was he slurring his words? Ryan couldn’t tell.

His stomach churned as he gazed at the frying pans on the cooker top. Crack. He hated it.

He loved it.

‘Looks like we’re boiling.’ Mulligan pointed to the nearest pan. ‘Looking good, boyo.’

‘Haven’t you got some that’s ready?’ Ryan heard the desperation in his own voice, and flinched.

Mulligan tilted his head. ‘Ah, pal. Is it bad? Need a helping hand this morning, is that it? You know, for a change?’

‘Come on, man…’

Laughing, Mulligan turned back to his pans. ‘I’ve only got a few rocks left, reserved for a special customer. Can’t let you have them, I’m afraid.’

‘Who? Whatever they’re giving you, I’ll pay double.’ The words fell out of Ryan’s mouth before he knew what he was going to say. Did he even have the money? He was pathetic, he knew it, and he didn’t care. Mulligan held him and many others in the palm of his hand. They all danced to his tune, would get on their knees and beg if he asked them to. And while they were down there… Anything.

And Mulligan knew it. Played on it, as often as possible, for as long as he could.

‘Mulligan? I’ll give you double.’

‘What?’ Mulligan’s lip curled. ‘Twice fuck-all is still fuck-all. No can do. It’s business. You’ll have to wait until this lot’s ready.’ He nodded at his pans. ‘I’m starting to cool it now, it’ll only be a wee while.’

Ryan clenched his fists, knowing as he did so he was making a mistake. Sure enough, Mulligan turned, saw the movement. Cleared his throat. In a second, two heavyset men stood either side of Ryan. They didn’t speak, didn’t even look at him, but there was no mistaking their message. Shut the fuck up.

Now they’re coming after Caelan’s team…

A tortured body is found in a basement. Drug dealing and people smuggling is on the rise. Then police start going missing.

There seems to be no connection between the crimes, but Detective Caelan Small senses something isn’t right.

Plunged into a new investigation, lives are on the line. And in the web of gangs, brothels and nerve-shattering undercover work, Caelan must get to the truth – or be killed trying.

And then there’s Nicky…

Utterly gripping, written with searing tension and remarkable dexterity, Tell No Lies is a blistering crime novel for fans of Angela Marsons, Rebecca Bradley and Faith Martin.

Lisa Hartley lives with her partner, son, two dogs and several cats. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Studies, then had a variety of jobs but kept writing in her spare time. She is currently working on the next DS Catherine Bishop novel, as well as a new series with Canelo.

 

#BlogTour – One Bad Turn by Sinead Crowley

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Being held hostage at gunpoint by her childhood friend is not Dr Heather Gilmore’s idea of a good day at work. It only gets worse when she hears that her nineteen-year-old daughter Leah has been kidnapped.

Sergeant Claire Boyle wasn’t expecting to get caught up in a hostage situation during a doctor’s appointment. When it becomes apparent that the kidnapping is somehow linked to the hostage-taker, a woman called Eileen Delaney, she is put in charge of finding the missing girl.

What happened between Eileen and Heather to make Eileen so determined to ruin her old friend? Claire Boyle must dig up the secrets from their pasts to find out – and quickly, because Leah is still missing, and time is running out to save her.

One Bad Turn is the third book to feature Sergeant Claire Boyle and I have to say since I’ve absolutely adored the first two books, Can Anybody Help Me? and Are You Watching Me?, I was chuffed to bits to be invited onto the blog tour for this one.

Totally addictive, One Bad Turn was for me the perfect way to spend a wet May Bank Holiday. Nestled in a comfy sofa with the sound of rain against the window, kindle in hand with a fantastic new book. One Bad Turn is a real one sitting read that makes sure you don’t want to put it down until you know what’s happening next in the story.  I lost track of the amount of times I thought to myself “just one more chapter then I’ll go do…” because the go do never got done.

One Bad turn is the story of friendship turned sour, enhanced by the impact of the financial and political situation in Ireland on the lives of Heather and Eileen.  It switches regularly in its time frame between present day and flashbacks of the circumstances surrounding the polarisation of their friendship, ensuring the reader gets a fully rounded awareness of the characters and a true understanding of how the two have ended up where they are.

It’s a fascinating story and one that you can easily read without having read any of the previous novels, but as a true book geek I’d recommend reading them first in order to truly appreciate the amazing way the Crowley makes our protagonist so realistic, heart warmingly supportable and a force of nature to be reckoned with.

 

 

 

 

#BlogTour Body Breaker by Mike Craven

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Investigating a severed hand found on the 3rd green of a Cumbrian golf course was not how Detective Inspector Avison Fluke had planned to spend his Saturday. So when a secretive unit from London swoop in quoting national security, he’s secretly pleased.

But trouble is never far away. A young woman arrives at his lakeside cabin with a cryptic message: a code known to only a handful of people and it forces Fluke back into the investigation he’s just been barred from.

In a case that will change his life forever, Fluke immerses himself in a world of new age travellers, corrupt cops and domestic extremists. Before long he’s alienated his entire team, made a pact with the devil and been arrested under the terrorism act.

But Fluke is only getting started. A voice has called out to him from beyond the grave and he has no intention of ignoring it.

Guest Reviewer Ann B with Mike at the Body Breaker book launch

Body Breaker is the second full novel, but third book by Mike Craven to feature Detective Inspector Avison Fluke, and after previously reading the first two books I knew I was in for a treat and I wasn’t disappointed.

In this book, D.I. Fluke is investigating a dismembered body found at a golf course. The case is swiftly taken over by the Metropolitan Police Force, so when Fluke discovers that the victim is someone from his past he decides to work the case off the books to solve it. He also has to enlist the help of someone he’d rather never deal with again and Fluke knows this will come back to bite him but he feels that he doesn’t have a choice.

I was blown away by the high calibre of Mike’s writing, his attention to detail and the way he invests in his characters, which makes them all the more real. I could identify with each and every person, and felt that I was right there at Fluke’s elbow as he fought to see justice done. It’s a compelling read from start to finish, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Ann B x