– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Blood Games’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Born in Scotland, Made in Bradford sums up Liz Mistry’s life. Over thirty years ago she moved from a small village in West Lothian to Yorkshire to get her teaching degree. Once here, Liz fell in love with three things; curries, the rich cultural diversity of the city … and her Indian husband (not necessarily in this order). Now thirty years, three children, two cats and a huge extended family later, Liz uses her experiences of living and working in the inner city to flavour her writing. Her gritty crime fiction police procedural novels set in Bradford embrace the city she describes as ‘Warm, Rich and Fearless’ whilst exploring the darkness that lurks beneath.
Being a debut novelist in her fifties was something Liz had only dreamed of and she counts herself lucky, whilst pinching herself regularly to make sure it’s all real. One of the nicest things about being a published author is chatting with and responding to readers’ feedback and Liz regularly does events at local libraries, universities, literature festivals and open mics. She also teaches creative writing too.
In her spare time, Liz loves pub quizzes (although she admits to being rubbish at them), dancing (she does a mean jig to Proud Mary – her opinion, not ratified by her family), visiting the varied Yorkshire landscape, with Robin Hoods Bay being one of her favourite coastal destinations, listening to music, reading and blogging about all things crime fiction on her blog, The Crime Warp.
THREE MURDERS. ONE MISSING BOY. THE GAME IS JUST BEGINNING…
When a body is found at the edge of Chellow Dene reservoir Detective Nikki Parekh and DC Sajid Malik are quick to arrive.
This is the third murder in the space of a few weeks. Each murder has a completely different MO, but there is one common theme… all the victims are teenagers. The dead boy reminds Nikki of her nephew, and she feels more helpless than ever.
But then another boy goes missing. And this time his parents have been sent a threatening package too. The pattern is different again – is the killer just playing a game? Can Nikki find the strength to uncover the shocking truth before the killer strikes again?
‘We welcome the senior officer leading the investigation into the increasing number of machete attacks involving young folk in the Bradford district. The most recent assaults on Shabana Hussain and Parminder Deol proved fatal and, with no suspects in custody, this continues to be a cause for concern. So, DCI Hegley, is this violence drug-related and what are the police doing to ensure the safety of our youth?’
‘Bradford police are taking this matter seriously, as we do all violent crime in the area. We are exploring a range of enquiries and would ask that anyone with information regarding these attacks contact us on this num—’
DS Nikita Parekh switched the radio off and twanged the elastic band that circled her wrist. Her entire body was a quagmire of contradictions: rapid heartbeat, lethargy, dullness. She didn’t know which of her physical reactions was worse. It was like she was pulling herself along a very brittle branch that was likely to snap at any moment, and she was unsure how to save herself. Inside her pocket, the latest postcard from Freddie Downey, her father, burned through the denim of her jeans and scorched her skin. Its contents, as usual, sent tremors of fear spiralling through her.
I’ll be back. Your choice – who’s next, you or your sister?
Couldn’t Downey be content that her mum was dead? Why did he have to now target Nikki and Anika? It made her paranoid. Every time the letterbox clattered or when she couldn’t get in touch with her sister, Nikki feared the worst. She should tell Marcus about these cards… or even Sajid. But that would unleash a whole new can of worms. She just couldn’t handle that at the moment. She shrugged. Downey would soon tire of tormenting his daughter and surely he wouldn’t be stupid enough to return to the UK, never mind Bradford – would he? She shut down that niggle, but it could not be ignored completely. Nobody knew better than Nikki how conniving, brutal and vindictive that man was. There was no certainty that he’d remain at a distance, leaving it at merely taunting her, but that was a problem for another time. Right now, she had a crime scene to see to. Nikki forced herself to open the car door and step out into the potholed car park. This crime scene would be another victim to add to the list her boss had been talking about on Capital Radio News.
An oppressive, swirling mist swathed Chellow Dene and the lack of visibility was compounded by a persistent drizzle. Nikki stumbled her way to the crime scene. Her previous experiences at Chellow Dene were of day trips with the kids, walking around the reservoir to expend their energy in the fresh air. Set just outside Bradford’s city centre, it was a popular place for romantic summer walks and free excursions during the school holidays.
Yet today, Nikki’s thoughts couldn’t be further away from such things because the autumn weather matched the purpose of her visit. Cursing the damp that seeped through her jacket and up through the soles of her DMs, Nikki trudged towards the glimmer that illuminated the area. Her bones ached, a dullness occupied her skull where her brain should have been, and her normal purposefulness evaded her. She longed to be back at home, huddled under her duvet, shutting the entire world out. But even that was a fantasy. Since her mother’s death a few weeks previously, Nikki had developed insomnia, which made it harder for her to function. She had become sullen and unresponsive. Every day was a torture to be overcome, and some were just hardly worth the effort. Marcus, her partner, had expressed his concern on many occasions, but Nikki didn’t know how to shake off the weight that dragged her a little further into its depths.
As she reached the perimeter of the crime site, she saw that DC Sajid Malik had beaten her there. Shoulders hunched, he stood out like a sore thumb in the floodlights. His designer Burberry raincoat, which, in the past, she had teased him about by referring to it as a Mac, and his equally designer-ish ‘Young Farmers’ green wellies, were more suitable for the weather than her attire. Even from this distance, the worry etched across his forehead was visible, and that knowledge drained her even more. What the hell was wrong with her? She was glad of his presence, because she had no energy to engage with the officers and crime scene investigators at the scene and, ever-dependable, Sajid would take up the slack, yet his fretful scrutiny made her feel like crap. She was letting everyone down, and she hated herself for it.
Almost without her realising it, her fingers wrapped round the elastic band she kept on her wrist for just these sorts of occasions and she snapped it three times, welcoming its smarting lash. She’d replaced her normal thin one with a more durable, thicker one. Still, sometimes even that wasn’t enough. The thought of her kit stashed behind the towels in the bathroom and the frequency with which she used it nowadays had her stomach clenching. Was she going to be sick… again?
‘Car trouble?’ Sajid’s grin didn’t quite make it to his eyes, but Nikki appreciated the effort.
‘Smartass. Just ’cause you ride around in an overpriced “look-at-me” heap.’
Some of his worry lifted, and the furrow on his brow lessened as he snorted. ‘Don’t see you moaning when you switch the heated seats on, do I?’
Waving his comment away, Nikki edged closer. The CSIs had erected a makeshift plastic covering using overhanging branches from the trees. It loomed eerily over the bundle that was halfway under the sodden foliage. With the CSIs at work, Nikki considered the scene. Had the victim met his killer in a pre-arranged meeting, or had it been a random attack? The secluded area inclined her to believe the former, but she wouldn’t jump to judgement. The scene manager, Gracie Fells, noticed her presence and ordered her staff to move aside so Nikki could view the body in situ.
As she approached, Nikki got her first sight of the victim, and her mind exploded. She stumbled forward, her voice strangled as a single word left her mouth. ‘Haqib…’
She fell to her knees in front of the body, and in a torrent of tears and hiccupping sobs that made catching her breath near impossible, she gathered the dead boy up in her arms.
Win a signed copy of Dark Memories and a relaxation bundle (Open INT)
The contents are :
A signed copy of Dark Memories (Nikki Parekh book 3)
A Weekly Planner pad
A fruit infuser water bottle
Planet Spa face mask
Pomegranate and rhubarb bath salts
A Candle Bag
*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds