– ‘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 ‘Masterpiece’ blogtour, organized by Random Things Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Author Janet Pywell’s storytelling is as mesmerizing and complex as her characters.
In her international crime thriller series – art forger, artist and photographer Mikky dos Santos is a uniquely lovable female: a tough, tattooed, yet vulnerable heroine who will steal your heart.
Each book is a stand-alone exciting action-adventure novel, set in three uniquely different countries/ locations.
These books are a must-read for devotees of complex female sleuths – an emotional female James Bond.
Janet has a background in travel and tourism and she writes using her knowledge of foreign places gained from living abroad and travelling extensively.
She draws on all her experiences of people and places to create exciting crime thrillers with great characters and all the plot twists and turns any reader could ask for.
Janet honed her writing skills by studying for a Masters degree at Queen’s University, Belfast – one of the Russell Group of universities.
Janet researches meticulously and often takes courses in subjects to ensure that her facts are detailed and accurate and it is this attention to detail that makes her novels so readable, authentic and thrilling.
NOT EVERYONE GETS A CHANCE AT A FORTUNE. BUT SHE’S ONLY ONE BURGLARY AWAY…
Photographer, artist and art forger Mikky dos Santos has had a tough life and now she’s about to steal the world’s most famous stolen painting – Vermeer’s The Concert – worth $200 million.
When Mikky’s flatmate is commissioned to paint one of the world’s most famous divas her life begins to spiral into chaos. An evil investigative journalist and a dangerous businessman are on the hunt to uncover Mikky’s darkest secrets and threaten her detailed plans.
The race is on.
This breathtaking protagonist is exhilarating and has attitude, yet underlying it all, a longing for human connection that makes you love her despite her own best efforts to push you away.
There are rich glimpses into European cities, a savvy feel for the international art world and an electrifying female sleuth who blasts into your life with explosive excitement. This thrilling page-turner will shock you with the stunning twist at the end.
Set in London (England), Mallorca (Spain) and Dresden (Germany) – this international crime thriller will leave you on the edge of your seat until the twist at the very end.
‘Mrs Green?’ I knock hard. The net curtains won’t allow me to see in, and the windows are all locked securely. Downstairs, all the rooms appear empty. I move away, but then through the middle pane, I think I see a shadow on the floor, illuminated by the yellow light of a streetlamp filtering in through the front window. It looks like she is lying in the hallway between the lounge and the kitchen. I hammer on the window, but the figure doesn’t move, so I take off my duffel coat, wrap it around my fist, and smash it against the glass. Nothing happens, so I unzip my boot and smack it against the window. On the third attempt, it cracks, and I use my elbow to splinter it, smashing, pushing, and pulling jagged shards of glass until there’s a hole wide enough for me to scramble through. I ease myself inside but catch my calf, and a slash rips open in my skin and blood begins to pour down my leg. I don’t pause, but instead heave myself harder through the gap and roll forward, landing face down on the carpet.
‘Oh my g—’ I whisper, crawling over to her.
She’s curled on her side, unmoving like a sleeping child, only a few metres from me.
‘Mrs Green? Mrs Green, are you okay?’ Her pulse is weak and she doesn’t move. ‘Mrs Green, can you hear me?’ Instinct makes me pull out my mobile and with bloody fingers I type in 999.
The operator’s voice is calm, and I answer her questions, but it’s as though I am merely acting a role, watching myself from above, from somewhere in the corner, up near the ceiling. While I wait, I smooth the old lady’s thin white hair from her mask-like face. She murmurs as if in a deep and troubled sleep, but she’s alive. Very gently, I rub her arm and hold her fingers.
‘Don’t worry, Mrs Green. You’ll be fine. The ambulance is on its way. You’ll be okay.’ This becomes my mantra that I repeat as I go into the kitchen. I wet a tea towel under the cold tap and press it against her forehead, dabbing her temples and wiping her cheeks. I test her pulse, then sit beside her on the floor and cradle her head in my lap, willing the ambulance to hurry. It seems to take ages until I hear a siren, then I lower her head onto my duffel coat so that I can go over and open the front door.
I stand aside for the ambulance crew to enter.
The girl is dark and chubby. She has a colourful eagle tattoo on the back of her hand, and when she sees me looking at it, she says, ‘It fascinates everyone. It takes their mind off what’s happening.’
The boy is younger – in his early twenties. There’s a gap between his teeth, and he wears an earring with a diamond stud. He raises his voice to the old lady. ‘We’ll take you to A&E, Mrs Green. They’ll probably keep you in for a while.’
They ask me questions as they place her onto a stretcher. Once she is secure, and an oxygen mask is covering her face, the boy turns to me.
‘Let’s have a look at your cuts while we’re here. That one on your leg looks quite deep.’
‘I’ll be fine. It’s only a scratch. Will Mrs Green be okay?’
‘It could just be a blackout. Mrs Green seems to be coming round, but they’ll check her out fully at the hospital and make sure it’s not a stroke or anything more serious,’ he replies.
‘Has she got any family?’ asks the girl.
‘I believe she has a son.’
‘Right, we’d better get his contact details then. Would you have any idea where the lady would keep an address book?’ she asks.
‘She probably keeps it beside the phone,’ I reply.
I wait in the street.
‘They are estranged,’ I say, when the girl returns clutching a tattered address book in her eagle-tattooed hand.
‘What’s that?’ The boy frowns.
‘They don’t speak to each other – haven’t done so for years. Mrs Green told me they don’t get on,’ I reply.
‘Well, if he’s the next of kin they’ll have to speak now, won’t they?’ He grins. ‘No point in falling out with an old woman like that, is there?’
‘None at all,’ I reply.
My mind is racing.
The ambulance doors slam shut like Mrs Green’s eyes, and I wait until it disappears, out of sight, before venturing back inside her house. I call a glazier from her landline. As I wait in the hallway for the voice on the other end of the phone to confirm the time of his visit, I listen to the gentle tick of an old grandfather clock measuring seconds and counting minutes. It whirls and chimes the half hour, and I drum the mahogany table with my nails to the rhythm of ‘Go with the Flow’, my favourite track by Queens of the Stone Age, that is carousing through my head.
My gaze travels over Mrs Green’s unfamiliar home, and I compare the layout to my flat next door. Her kitchen is at the back of the house where my bedroom is; it’s modern and tidy, with navy-blue units, and walls the colour of a dying daffodil. A comfortable rocking chair stuffed with knitted cushions has been placed at the window beside the back door, where she often sits and looks out at a bird table decked with multiple hanging feeders.
‘This afternoon at six-thirty,’ the glazier confirms.
‘Thank you.’ I hang up the phone.
I walk to the front door, thinking of my plan and weighing up my options, and I slide the bolt shut. The lounge is cramped and dark, so different from my open-plan and modern design, and I wonder how she navigates around the room. There’s a chintz three-piece suite in the middle of the room, and four mahogany glass cabinet display cases along the right wall that house porcelain vases, snuffboxes, and silver cigar cases.
When I flick on the table lamp, a pair of blue reading glasses and a stack of folded, cryptic Daily Telegraph crosswords tumble to the floor. I pile them back up and walk to a waist-high shelf to admire a cut-glass fruit bowl, a decanter, and matching glasses. I run my finger over a silver goblet; dust collects under my nail, and I blow it away. I pick up a two-foot-tall porcelain statue of a young naked woman reclining on a chaise longue with only a silk scarf covering her thighs and breasts. I examine its base, deliberately delaying the moment. I know it’s there waiting. It’s calling me. Then very slowly, unable to postpone the moment any longer, I look up. It hangs, where I thought it would, in an ornate gilt-edged frame above the white marble mantlepiece. Although my heart is pumping rapidly, I move very, very slowly and take a step closer.
It is striking, stunning. It’s Vermeer’s The Concert.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds