#BlogTour – Fight Or Die by James Hilton – exclusive extract

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When the Gunn brothers Danny and Clay answer a call to help old friends, they are plunged into a volatile and deadly situation. Larry and Pamela Duke own one of the most popular nightclubs in the Spanish resort town of Ultima, but a local gang known as the Locos are determined to take it. Danny and Clay are hired to protect the club, but new adversaries enter the game. Against such odds there are only two choices: fight or die…

Ortega had spent two years in one of Spain’s toughest prisons, where he’d been in the company of many vicious men. He’d also been in enough street fights to recognise a dangerous prospect when he saw one. He studied the big American with practised eyes, made subtle calculations behind his unwavering façade. The man was about six-five, maybe more. His accent unmistakable. Powerful-looking with enough scars on his face to give him a sinister edge. Well over two hundred pounds. Big arms and shoulders. But he wasn’t slow: two experienced Locos had gone down in a few seconds. This Clay could be real trouble.
Got to take him out!
Ortega set himself.
Do it now!
But then the big man did something unexpected. He started to walk away. “You know what? This is none of my business; go ahead and do what you were gonna do. I’m going for a beer further down the road.”
Ortega looked at the big man’s back as he stalked away. No way was this American pig leaving here in one piece. He snatched at his knife and lurched after Clay. With deadly intent, he aimed for the kidney and slammed his blade forward—but all he hit was air.
The big man wasn’t there. He’d turned in a subtle pivot and now had Ortega’s arm caught at the wrist and wrapped up at the elbow. Ortega had been in a few arm-locks in his time but this was unlike anything he’d experienced before. When a cop had you in a hold they were trying to restrain you. This was very different.
Pain erupted in his arm, a sudden heat like boiling water in the joint of his elbow. The two men locked eyes in a battle of wills. Ortega strained against the hold.
The big man braced his arms and chest in one severe movement and Ortega felt his elbow joint first hyper-extend and then dislocate fully in a mind-numbing separation of bone and sinew. Ortega felt his legs begin to give way beneath him as his knife clattered to the floor.
“Well I guess you won’t be signing any deeds after all,” said Clay.
Ortega found his voice, but all he could emit was a high-pitched series of gasping curses.
The woman’s—Pamela’s—voice rang out from behind the bar. “You know you’re right, Mr Vincenzo Ortega. My husband isn’t a match for you anymore, but you’ll find that good men have good friends and Clay here is one of the best. Tell your boss that we’re not interested and won’t be railroaded. Any more shit like today and he’ll be the one out of business. For good.”
“You piece of shi—” Ortega’s response was cut short by an elbow to his face. A quick spin by Clay coupled with a few running steps and Ortega found himself crashing out into the street.
Seconds later Donal and Aspanu were dumped unceremoniously by his side. Clay glowered down at the fallen gangsters. “You’d better listen to the lady. If you come back again, I’ll be mighty upset. These are decent people. Bring crap like this here again and you’ll pay dearly; unlike the easy ride you got today.”
Ortega began to vow retribution but discovered that his mouth didn’t work. That fucker had broken his jaw! He struggled to his feet, both dislocated arm and shattered jaw sending a barrage of pain through his nervous system.
The big man pointed to the knife embedded in Donal’s blood-soaked thigh. “Hey, you might want to get that looked at.”
Aspanu had regained consciousness and was looking around, blinking rapidly, clearly trying to make sense of the situation. A fierce grunt and head nodding from Ortega sent him scurrying towards a black Mercedes parked kerbside. Aspanu unlocked the car and then helped Ortega into the passenger seat. Donal, still bleeding profusely and glassy-eyed, was hauled up and pushed without ceremony onto the back seats. The Mercedes then sped away, causing an oncoming car to swerve out of its path.

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CrimeFest 2016 – The Photos.

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David Mark, the man behind DS Aector McAvoy, does the zombie.

Paul Finch, one writer who truly has it in for his lead DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg

 Lucy Cameron, who’s debut novel Night is Watching is out later this year.

Two of *the* most amazing authors out there, check out Sarah Pinborough’s 13 Minutes & The Death House, and look out for Kevin Wignall’s A Death In Sweden & The Traitor’s Story

 Pretty in purple, Leigh Russell, one of the hardest working women in crime fiction.  I don’t think she ever stops…

Aspiring author Andrew Hill who talked to LifeOfCri.me about CrimeFest back in 2014, and pulling faces in the corner, Chris Simms, the man behind DI Jon Spicer


Quentin Bates, writer of the fantastic Detective Gunnhildur of the Reykjavik police force, and translator of Ragnar Jonasson’s Dark Iceland series.

The Icelandic Queen of crime Yrsa Sigurdardottir (you have no idea how many attempts it took to spell that right!)

Howard Linskey

James Hilton sees the release of his debut Gunn Brothers novel, Search and Destroy, this month.

Julia Crouch

The fount of all knowledge when it comes to Brit Noir and Nordic Noir, the formidable Barry Forshaw

Mark Billingham.

Everyone’s favourite cheeky chap and the man behind the excellent Tom Thorne novels, as well as his current stand alone Die Of Shame

William Sutton, creator of Victorian Policeman Campbell Lawless

Craig Robertson

Steve Mosby, this man knows how to mess with your head, prepare for a book hangover. Black Flowers and The Nightmare Place, are my particular favourites.

Winner of the 2015 Theakston’s Old peculier Crime Novel of the Year, DI Marnie Rome’s creator, Sarah Hilary

Zoe Sharp, the woman behind Charlie Fox, looking far too gleeful at the opportunity to strangle my fiance.

A grinch-esqe Tom Wood, not sure what Victor the Assassin would make of that!

Mr Crime Fiction Festival himself, Ali Karim, Assistant Editor at Shots e-zine. Simply all shades of awesome.  If you get the chance to sit and chat with him, do,

Ragnar Jonasson, his Dark Iceland series is gripping, and claustrophobic.  Perfect for being snuggled up on the sofa with coffee/wine/gin, on a wet and grey Sunday afternoon.


Martin Edwards

Chris Ewan, The man behind The Good Thief’s Guides, along with a series of standalone novels, including his latest release Long Time Lost

imageWho would have thought he’d spent all weekend drinking?! – The Final Minute (did you see what I did there?) Sunday morning shot of race against time thriller writer Simon Kernick