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Raven Crime Reads

Criminally good reads…

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January 2015

Blog Tour- Paula Hawkins- The Girl On The Train-Extract

 

GOTT blog tourCiting Zoe Heller’s Notes On A Scandal and Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie series as influences on her own writing, Paula Hawkin’s debut psychological thriller, justifies a place besides both. It is an intelligent and unnerving story that cleverly manipulates our feeling towards the central narrator, Rachel who, struggling with her own mental and emotional turmoil, finds herself embroiled in a murder. As the story progresses and other connections with Rachel are made in the course of the investigation, Hawkins delights in wrong-footing the reader, with a slow and effective build-up of tension. As Hawkins says, the book is “about what happens when you peel back the veneer of everyday life and discover something dark and sinister underneath,” and The Girl On The Train delivers this on every level. An excellent addition to the British psychological crime stable, and the current trend for domestic noir. A welcome distraction from that dreary commute and here’s an extract to tempt you further…

RACHEL

Friday, 5 July 2013

Morning

THERE IS A PILE OF clothing on the side of the train tracks. Light-blue

cloth – a shirt, perhaps – jumbled up with something dirty white.

It’s probably rubbish, part of a load fly-tipped into the scrubby

little wood up the bank. It could have been left behind by the

engineers who work this part of the track, they’re here often

enough. Or it could be something else. My mother used to tell me

that I had an overactive imagination; Tom said that too. I can’t

help it, I catch sight of these discarded scraps, a dirty T-shirt or a

lonesome shoe, and all I can think of is the other shoe, and the

feet that fitted into them.

The train jolts and scrapes and screeches back into motion, the

little pile of clothes disappears from view and we trundle on towards

London, moving at a brisk jogger’s pace. Someone in the seat behind

me gives a sigh of helpless irritation; the 8.04 slow train from

Ashbury to Euston can test the patience of the most seasoned

commuter. The journey is supposed to take fifty-four minutes, but it

rarely does: this section of the track is ancient, decrepit, beset with

signalling problems and never-ending engineering works.

The train crawls along; it judders past warehouses and water

towers, bridges and sheds, past modest Victorian houses, their

backs turned squarely to the track.

CHAPTER

11

My head leaning against the carriage window, I watch these

houses roll past me like a tracking shot in a film. I see them as

others do not; even their owners probably don’t see them from

this perspective. Twice a day, I am offered a view into other lives,

just for a moment. There’s something comforting about the sight

of strangers safe at home.

Someone’s phone is ringing, an incongruously joyful and

upbeat song. They’re slow to answer, it jingles on and on around

me. I can feel my fellow commuters shift in their seats, rustle their

newspapers, tap at their computers. The train lurches and sways

around the bend, slowing as it approaches a red signal. I try not to

look up, I try to read the free newspaper I was handed on my way

into the station, but the words blur in front of my eyes, nothing

holds my interest. In my head I can still see that little pile of

clothes lying at the edge of the track, abandoned.

Evening

The pre-mixed gin and tonic fizzes up over the lip of the can as I

bring it to my mouth and sip. Tangy and cold, the taste of my first

ever holiday with Tom, a fishing village on the Basque coast in

2005. In the mornings we’d swim the half-mile to the little island

in the bay, make love on secret hidden beaches; in the afternoons

we’d sit at a bar drinking strong, bitter gin and tonics, watching

swarms of beach footballers playing chaotic 25-a-side games on

the low-tide sands.

I take another sip, and another; the can’s already half empty but

it’s OK, I have three more in the plastic bag at my feet. It’s Friday,

so I don’t have to feel guilty about drinking on the train. TGIF. The

fun starts here.

It’s going to be a lovely weekend, that’s what they’re telling us.

Beautiful sunshine, cloudless skies. In the old days we might have

driven to Corly Wood with a picnic and the papers, spent all

afternoon lying on a blanket in dappled sunlight, drinking wine…

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Tom Callaghan- A Killing Winter

tomIf, like me, you felt a sense of loss at the close of Tom Rob Smith’s trilogy (Child 44, The Secret Speech and Agent 6) I may have found something to ease our collective troubled souls. A Killing Winter is a hard-hitting and not to be missed thriller from debut crime novelist Tom Callaghan, that transports the reader to the harsh and unforgiving landscape Kyrgyzstan…

When Inspector Akyl Borubaev of the Bishkek Murder Squad is called to the brutal murder scene of a young woman, all the evidence points towards a sadistic serial killer on the hunt for more victims. But when the young woman’s father is revealed as a leading government minister, the pressure is on Borubaev to solve the case not only quickly but also quietly by any means possible. Until more bodies are found. Still in mourning after the recent death of his beloved wife, Chinara, Borubaev descends into Bishkek’s brutal underworld where violence is the only solution. And so begins a thriller that is by turns sordid, violent and yet powerfully emotive that I guarantee will keep you reading..and reading..and reading…

This book contains a number of stand-out features, most notably the author’s assured use of what to many is probably a relatively unknown location. Not only does he convey to the reader the inhospitable climate of this region, where the cold really seeps into your imagination when reading, but also the socio-economic make-up of this former Soviet enclave. It is populated by a cast of characters from both ends of the social spectrum, from the desperate day-to-day existence of the local prostitutes, to those inhabiting the higher echelons of power and the rewards this reaps. Somewhere in the middle stands our dogged detective Borubaev, a man of strong moral stature, manipulated by not only his police superior, but by the wider influence of the political sphere. As the story progresses, we gain valuable insight into the troubled history of this region, and the political machinations over the ownership of the country, and how Borubaev becomes firmly enmeshed in these warring factions.

Borubaev is an intriguing character, who pivots between an unerring toughness underscored by some emotive chinks in his armour, revealed by the references to his bereavement following the death of his wife. His emotional attachment to her memory is truly moving, and the way in which his memory of her fuels his actions, “I wanted to think of her as an unseen presence, spurring me on, watching from the sidelines”, where we feel his sense of loss consistently throughout, added to by an emotive revelation at the close of the book. Throughout the course of the investigation, he always fights for the victims, and despite the sheer physical harm that is meted out on him, his dedication to justice is embodied in his every action. I liked him very much indeed.

The plot itself proved incredibly satisfying with some nice red herrings, and reveals along the way, strengthened by the tough and unrelenting sordidness of both the language and the violence. This is not a book for the more squeamish reader, but the brutal nature of the plot worked extremely well overall. It’s rough, tough and blunt-speaking, but with the emotional counterpoint, as previously mentioned in Borubaev’s private life, works exceptionally well as a whole. A Killing Winter is a brilliant debut, and an early contender for one of my top reads of the year I feel.

(With thanks to Quercus for the ARC)

Peter May- Runaway

RUNAs much as it pains me to draw on the words of Forrest Gump, Peter May’s writing is like a box of chocolates- you never know what you’re going to get. From the brilliant Enzo Files series, to the China thrillers, to, the wonderful Hebridean trilogy, and the haunting standalone Entry Island, May consistently demonstrates his flexibility as a writer, instilling total belief in his characters and locations for us gentle readers. Runaway proves itself an excellent addition to his multifarious back catalogue, and drawing so closely on his own life experiences gives us a delightful insight into the background of one of Britain’s finest crime writers*.

Working with a dual timeline of 1965 and 2015 the story pivots seamlessly between the two as we follow the travails of Jack Mackay, a headstrong seventeen year old in the Sixties, who succumbs to the allure of the bright lights of London, as he and his band (comprising of Maurie, Joe, Luke and my favourite character, Dave) run away from Scotland to seek their fame and fortune. May captures perfectly the impetuousness of youth, and their black and white view of the world, after a series of hapless accidents mar their dreams of fame. Into the mix, May inserts the womanly charms of Rachel, Maurie’s cousin who they liberate from a drug-fuelled abusive relationship along the way, a few interesting brushes with stardom, an encounter with a bizarre hippy therapy group, and a murder where all is not how it appears. With a backdrop of the swinging music scene of the era, and a perfect recreation of London itself, there is much to garner the reader’s interest. Now, zap forward to 2015, and Jack is a disillusioned pensioner lamenting a life where so much more could have happened, However, with the news of a suspicious death linked to his 60’s experience, and spurred on by the terminally ill Maurie, he and the remaining members of his band, up sticks to London with his grandson Ricky, to revisit the past and lay some old ghosts to rest but at what cost? And are some skeletons best to be left nestled in this particular cupboard?

My overarching reaction to this book is one of warmth. I loved the poignancy attached to Jack and his cohorts in their twilight years, haunted by their failed dreams and ambitions, but undercut by a humour and determination of spirit that we so often ignore when we perceive people as old. Likewise, May totally taps into the irascibility and naivety of youth, in the 60’s timeline, and the exploits of this band of hotheads, and their emotional entanglements are powerfully wrought. To my mind, the actual crime element of this book was completely over-ridden by this strong characterisation and the examination of the impetuousness of youth, and the stoicism of age that so dominates the plot. Hence, this was a different reading experience, but one that I thoroughly enjoyed, manipulating my emotions from laughter to sadness, and all points in-between. I liked the utterly authentic recreation of the 1960’s, with its allusions to people, places and fashions, tempered by the relatively anodyne existence of our band of misfits in their later years. A welcome break from the usual crime fiction fare, and highly recommended.

*If like me, you are left wondering how much of May’s experiences are contained in Runaway, have a look at this interview courtesy of Shots, the crime and thriller Ezine, and here at Crime Fiction Lover

Also many thanks to fellow blogger Fiction Fan  for drawing my attention to this musical triumph:

(With thanks to Quercus for the ARC)

Patrick Hoffman- The White Van

whiteAt a dive bar in San Francisco’s edgy Tenderloin district, the dishevelled Emily Rosario is drinking whiskey and looking for an escape. When she is approached by a mysterious and wealthy Russian, she thinks she has found an exit from her drifter lifestyle and drug-addict boyfriend. A week later she finds herself drugged, disoriented and wanted for robbery.

On the other side of town, cop Leo Elias is broke, alcoholic and desperate. When he hears about an unsolved bank robbery, the stolen money proves too strong a temptation. Elias takes the case into his own hands, hoping to find the criminal and the money before anyone else does…

Knowing my penchant for edgy American crime fiction, The White Van from debut novelist Patrick Hoffman, delivered in spades. With what appears to be an incredibly simple premise for a story, the power of Hoffman’s incredibly understated prose, and the natural fluidity and ramping up of the tension, heralds a striking new voice in the genre. I am confident enough to compare Hoffman to another of my favourite authors Denis Johnson, in terms of the pared- down style. Like Johnson, the rendition of violence when it occurs is rapid and brutal, entirely reflective of the burgeoning intensity of the story.

From its ‘what-the-hell-is-going-on’ opening, I was utterly hooked from the outset, and immediately immersed in Emily’s world sharing her confusion and fear at the situation she finds herself in. The build-up to her involvement in a bank robbery is brilliantly formulated, and likewise her attempts to extricate herself from the clutches of the Russian gang that have used her effectively as an unwitting pawn in their crime. She is a curious mix of vulnerability, underscored by a steely determination to both conquer and profit from the situation she finds herself in. Equally, Hoffman’s cast iron characterisation of the burnt out cop, Leo Elias, down on his luck, in debt to his eyeballs with an imploding marriage, gave a real solidity to the storyline overall. As Elias becomes enmeshed in a maelstrom of problems, and his natural greed kicks in, his unrelenting pursuit of Emily and her cohorts adds a further intense momentum to the plot. This is further strengthened by the changing parameters of Elias’ professional relationship with his police partner, Trammell, which can only be destructive as Elias goes into free fall.

Hoffman’s depiction of the Tenderloin district of San Francisco also works terrifically well, as the down at heel, sordid and dangerous backdrop to this violent tale, easily assuming a character of its own.  It’s brilliantly done, and overall a debut that I cannot recommend highly enough.

(With thanks to Grove Atlantic for the ARC)

Fancy Some Heebie-Jeebies…

 

_DSC0185 (Common Raven)Having had a temporary break from the world of crime fiction, I’ve recently read three supernatural thrillers. Although peppered with recognisable elements of the crime genre, if, like me, the new year has whetted your desire to read something a little different, these may just hit the spot. Perfect reads to while away the long, winter nights, with a nice smattering of scary bejesus moments…

 

bees R. S. PATEMAN- THE PROPHECY OF BEES Moving to Stagcote Manor was meant to be a fresh start for Lindy and her teenage daughter Izzy. A chance at a new life in the country after things went so wrong in London. But for Izzy it is a prison sentence. There’s something about the house that she can’t quite put her finger on. Something strange and unnerving. As Izzy begins to explore the manor and the village beyond its walls, she discovers the locals have a lot of bizarre superstitions and beliefs. Many of them related to the manor . . . and those who live there. When Izzy begins to investigate the history of the estate, her unease deepens to fear as the house’s chilling past finally comes to light…

Yes, this was an all too familiar storyline- family decamp to spooky old country residence, bumps in the night, nightmare visions, creepy yokels who delight in dropping teasers to the bloody history of new residence etc etc -but for all that, I rather enjoyed this ‘Secret of Crickley Hall-esque’ thriller. To be honest, the familiarity made this an easy, although discomforting read, and although Izzy and her mother were intensely annoying in parts, there was much pleasure to be gained from the local rumour-mongers, who were totally spot on with their characterisation, and added a nice chilling frisson to the whole affair. I also loved the bees. The bees are integral to the plot (and to the future of the human race- take note everyone) and I loved the role of these magical flying soothsayers, within the mystery. Read for the bees if nothing else, and Pateman’s assured building of atmosphere and tension throughout.  The ending’s rather good too…

 

evilPHILIP TAFFS- THE EVIL INSIDE:  On 31 December 1999, Australian advertising creative Guy Russell arrives in New York along with his fragile wife and their young son. A painful tragedy has led them to swap Melbourne for Manhattan, and seek a fresh start. With a new job secured at a thriving midtown agency, and temporary residence obtained in the Upper West Side’s Olcott Hotel – a building with a morbid history of its own – Guy feels that now is the time to lay his troubles to rest. Yet something won’t let him. And as a sinister force from Guy’s past begins to scratch its way back into his present, the behaviour of his son, Callum, also starts to become increasingly disturbing and chilling. As Guy begins to believe that Callum is being possessed by this dark force, others fear he is gradually dispossessing himself of his own sanity. And as Guy grapples with whether the evil tormenting him is in his surroundings, his son, or his own mind, he pushes himself ever closer to the edge…

Again, a fairly familiar premise with a family seemingly haunted by the spirit of a dead child, through the vivid imaginings of the remaining child and so on. However, I rather enjoyed this simplistic tale with Taff’s nice depiction of New York life, a husband in crisis, and a sinister building as a backdrop to the whole affair (The Shining anyone?) As Guy’s mental and physical state deteriorates, to the chagrin of his nearest and dearest, Taffs provides a wholly believable portrait of Guy’s distress, leading us along inch by inch to the causes of his unravelling. The story trotted along at a good pace, and this was a relatively quick and fairly satisfying read.

 

marcusMARCUS SEDGWICK- A LOVE LIKE BLOOD: Paris: August 1944- Charles Jackson, a Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps is on leave with his commanding officer. A visit to the treasures stored at the Chateau de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and a horrifying encounter in the dark of the underground bunker, and his life and future are set on a strange and desperate course. Forging his post-war career as a consultant haematologist at Addenbrooks in Cambridge, Jackson returns to Paris as a guest lecturer. A chance sighting of the man he saw in the bunker  awakens his nightmare experience and a twenty year search for justice begins…

I’m quite the fan of the more subtle and intelligent ‘vampire’ fiction that sometimes infiltrates this overburdened genre, much of which is utter tripe. Looking for something on a par with Jasper Kent’s brilliant series, this was a real treat, and I thoroughly enjoyed the historical touches that underscore a completely absorbing thriller. I loved the slightly tongue in cheek humour of Jackson’s later employment as a haematologist, and Sedgwick’s overall razor sharp observations of his protagonist’s individual obsessions with blood. However, what really carried the book for me was Sedgwick’s precise and empathetic portrayal of Jackson’s descent into obsession, capturing perfectly what lengths he will go to in search of justice, with more than a nod to some of the great tropes of Gothic literature that enthral and intrigue us still.

(With thanks to Orion, Quercus and Mulholland Books respectively for the reading copies)


Blog Tour- David McCaffrey- Hellbound- Review and Extract

 

Hellbound Poster

Obadiah Stark aka The Tally Man, is executed at ADX Absolom, his death sentence watched by the world’s media, victim relatives and one investigative reporter, Joe O Connell. Penning an account of Stark’s personal history and subsequent crimes in the hope of determining what elements make the sociopathic mind tick, Joe discovers clues and inconsistencies which cause him to investigate Stark’s execution. While this is happening in the real world, Obadiah Stark awakens to an afterlife where he has a wife and daughter bound to his childhood hometown in Ireland. Following his natural predatory instinct, Obadiah proceeds to torment the town, committing multiple murders before being gunned down by the police. He awakens to find that everything has reset, with no one recalling his murderous spree a reality which offers no escape. As the scenes repeat, he is forced to submit to emotions he has never experienced before… and with it, a poisonous dose of morality…

Hellbound, by debut novelist David McCaffrey, quickly reveals itself as a serial killer thriller that goes beyond the normal tropes of the genre. Moreover, what transpires between its pages, is an intelligent and balanced exploration of the possibility of love and redemption for those capable of the most heinous acts. The book is punctuated by not only the psychological reports undertaken on Stark after his capture, but also by the omniscient narrator’s observations on the death penalty and the power of redemption that add a real punch to the reader’s own emotional responses to the central plotline. As we view Stark’s experiences post- death sentence, we are fully immersed in his emotional struggle as he embarks on a path to redemption through the interaction with his albeit virtual family consisting of a wife and a daughter. As he seeks to dampen down the more destructive aspects of his own psyche, imbued with the unconditional love of his family, he himself begins to be morally tested when their safety is compromised. It’s an interesting psychological exploration of the nature of evil in what could ostensibly be simply labelled as a thriller, and one which McCaffrey achieves admirably throughout.

Building on the strength of the psychological ruminations of the story, McCaffrey’s strong characterisation is another stand-out feature of the book. I grew to like Stark very much as we begin to bear witness to the man behind the mask, and our minds begin to question the validity of the death penalty for individuals such as him. Although seemingly unrepentant from the outset for his killing spree, the life beyond his death really brings to the fore the inner emotions and the propensity for love that he has buried for so long. Responding to the threats on his family a different man emerges, and there is a real feel that his could have been a life well-lived under different circumstances, shoring up the author’s questioning of the validity of the death penalty. Likewise, O’Connell, embarking on the writing of Stark’s life story, and the bizarre anomalies surrounding Stark’s death, acts as a good counterpoint to Stark’s seeming lack of morality. O’Connell handles his research with sensitivity, demonstrating his solid moral compass, before being sucked in to the onerous world of a mysterious organisation called The Brethren, who exact their own cruel and unusual form of punishment on Stark. Naturally, O’Connell finds himself the victim of violence and manipulation, but also acts as a conduit for the reader’s own changing viewpoint on the question of redemption, and was an extremely likeable character indeed.

Aside from a few niggles over some aspects of the dialogue structure, I felt a very positive response to Hellbound as a book that challenged my own opinions and beliefs, Compounded by the fact that McCaffrey is a debut author, I thought it a well-structured and intelligent book, that also ticked the necessary boxes in marking it out as a gripping and pacey crime read. All in all, a thriller that makes you think, but keeps you entertained as well.

EXTRACT

The darkness drops again but now I know that twenty centuries of stony sleep were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle. And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born.

William Butler Yeats

Chapter Nine

September 28th

20:06

O’Dywers, Ashe Street, Tralee (Trá Lí)

County Kerry, Ireland

Evil can be subtle, insidious, capable of infiltrating the most secure of philosophies and ideologies, planting its ‘vicious mole of nature’ in even the most righteous of minds. Oligarchies and organisations can be founded with the most noble of aspirations in mind, and yet find themselves becoming the most capricious of despots, with their power resting amongst a small segment of society, the wealthy, royalty, military and corporate. But what constitutes an evil act? To answer that, it must first be defined what evil actually is. Is slapping one’s child considered evil? Were the acts committed at Auschwitz during wartime evil? The rape and murder of children? Is it the act which is evil, or the person who commits it?

* * *

Daylight was a distant memory by the time Joe arrived at O’Dywer’s. Despite the month, the air was warm as he finished the last of his cigarette outside the entrance to the pub. Anyone who smoked in Ireland nowadays was pretty much made to feel like a leper, the social ostracisation akin to being an endangered species. Joe was immune to the attention it now brought. He had only ever been a social smoker anyway, and given he was about to have a pint, it was his excuse for having one now. The open fire to his right was burning as Joe stepped through the doorway. He made his way down the narrow walkway adjacent to the bar, stopping long enough to order a pint of Guinness before removing his coat and taking a seat on the brown, velvet banquette in the empty booth at the bottom as instructed by his mysterious caller. The Guinness was refreshingly cold as Joe took a long drink, emptying half the glass. He realised he hadn’t been here in a while. He had always preferred O’Dwyer’s around this time, its early evening occupants mostly consisting of regulars ruminating over the newspaper or talking about their day at work. The sounds of the hushed conversation and the smell of brewed hops and whiskey were comforting. A presence made itself known by sliding onto the bench opposite. Glancing at his watch, Joe realised he must have dozed off. The man before him was stocky, built like a rugby player. Middle aged with auburn hair thinning on top, he had the intense stare of someone who took life extremely seriously. His black coat with its wide collars, buttoned almost right to the top, made him look like a spy from an old 1930’s movie. Joe rubbed his eyes and quickly centered himself, shuffling forwards on the bench slightly. “Hello,” he said firmly. “Can I get you anything to drink?” His journalistic instincts kicked in, knowing he could get more from someone if they felt at ease. The stranger glanced from side to side, quickly checking behind him and towards the bar before speaking. “No, I’m fine.” His Belfast-accented voice was strong, the voice of someone used to having people do as he told them. “So, mate. Can I ask who you are?” He paused before speaking. “Peter Stamford.” His hands were clasped in front of him, the thumbs methodically working around each other in a thoughtful fashion. Joe took another mouthful of Guinness as he assessed the man before him. So far, he wasn’t giving much away. “So, Mr. Stamford. Why am I here?” “I work at Absolom, Mr. O’Connell. I was one of Obadiah Stark’s strap-down guards.” Joe shifted in his seat. “Okay, you have my attention.” Stamford leaned towards Joe, his breath smelling like he had already frequented a pub before arriving here. “You were there, when he died, at the back of the room. What did you see?” Joe smiled at the direct nature of the question. “Straight to the point. Okay, what did I see? Well, I saw one of history’s most infamous serial killers strapped to a table, receiving a cocktail of non-recreational medications, whilst most of the world’s media and a dozen or so people who wished him dead looked on. Am I missing anything?” Stamford smiled a knowing smile. “You’re missing everything.” “Oh, really? Okay, let’s assume for the sake of argument that you’re not jerking my chain. What did I miss?” Joe did little to hide the intrigue in his tone. “What do you really know about Absolom, Mr. O’Connell? Did you know that we pretty much provide an environment where the inmates eat, sleep and defecate in their cells and only leave them for one hour a day? With the full support of the Government, we have ensured that the prisoners never allowed themselves the audacity of hope that they would ever see the light of day as free men.” “That’s quite a profound statement,” Joe said quietly. Stamford ignored him and continued.Joe Fort imprisoned on drug trafficking charges; the only Irishman ever convicted of terrorism for hire. Santiago Margarito Rangel Varelas, murdered his two year old stepdaughter with kicks to the head. Upon investigation she also had numerous broken ribs and had been sodomised, all injuries Varelas told the police she had sustained having fallen at home. Stuart Swango, physician and serial killer. David York, serving 135 years for child molestation. Mohammed Rassim, one of the four former al-Qaeda members sentenced to life imprisonment in 2007 for their parts in the London July 7th bombings. The list goes on. I can’t think of one inmate there who deserves any leniency or compassion of the slightest modicum. And then you had Obadiah Stark.” Stamford hesitated for a moment as though thinking. “He never showed signs that any of those measures had any deterrent effect on him. He was simply a vacant, black hole of a human being. I hesitate to even call him a man, as he seemed to lack the most basic human emotions. There was no empathy, no remorse, not even hatred. Varelas demonstrated anger at his incarceration, denying he had committed a crime. Stark didn’t emote at all. You simply couldn’t gage the man for a baseline. He never caused any trouble, but you could see it in his eyes. It was more than darkness. It was simply…emptiness, as though he had no soul.” Stamford’s voice slowed as though recalling Obadiah had forced him to experience a deep disquiet. “Stark was kept in Sector 17; call it an ‘ultramax’ within the supermax. A group of cells where there is virtually no human contact whatsoever, not even with the guards. Almost the entirety of Stark’s incarceration at Absolom was spent in Sector 17.” Joe’s expression remained impassive as he finished his pint and wiped his top lip. “Okay, I can count at least four violations of civil liberties going on at Absolom, but assuming I actually give a crap that they are happening to criminals, why should any of this interest me?” “It should interest you, Joe, because you’re not reading between the lines. What I’ve just told you illustrates how well oiled a machine Absolom is. There are no mistakes or oversights. It has a perfect record for a reason. Which is why what I am going to tell you is all the more disturbing.”

HELLBOUND  is available to buy at  Amazon.co.uk

David lives in Redcar in the North East of England and works as an Infection Prevention and Control nurse in a local Acute trust. A huge fan of Steve Alten, John Grisham and Lee Childs, David loves reading as much as he enjoys writing. Hellbound is his first novel, all thanks to Britains Next Bestseller and the aforementioned Steve Alten who took a chance on him as a writing coach client and taught him so much about what it takes to be a writer. A self professed geek, David loves Doctor Who, Arrow, Supernatural, Batman, Superman, D.C Comics, Person of Interest, Continuum, Gotham, Star Wars, The Flash, The Walking Dead, The Blacklist…beginning to see a pattern here? He also knows he only exists as an author because of you, so thank you very much. Learn more about Hellbound and upcoming projects at www.davidmccaffrey.net Follow on Twitter @daveymac1975 and on Facebook here

(With thanks to the author for the ARC)

 

 

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