Delighted to be sharing an extract with you today as part of Keith Wright’s #MurderMeTomorrow blog tour! Thanks to Sarah Hardy of #BookOnTheBrightSidePublicity for the invite! So what’s the book about? Who is the author? Read on ….
About the Book
‘I do not know what second it will be, what minute it will be, what hour, or even day. But it will come. You may see it coming. You may not. Regardless, I can guarantee you; there will be a moment like no other when you will draw your last breath. Like it or lump it. And at that moment you will see your final view of the world. However, what I do not know, is whether your last glimpse will be the sympathetic countenance of a loved one or the grotesque, contorted, teeth-clenched face of a crazed killer. Nor do you. That is yet to be determined. Other options are available.’
Paul Masters, a family man, awakes to find his wife and daughter murdered. But how? It seems impossible. He is arrested for the crime. As he suffers a breakdown, Paul admits to the killing, but DI Stark and his team have serious doubts. When another horrific rape and murder takes place, these doubts seem well-founded, and the race is on to catch the maniac who will stop at nothing to feed his depravity.
In his fifth crime thriller, critically acclaimed author, Keith Wright, once again regales the stark reality of murder, derived from his hands-on experience as a CID detective sergeant working in an inner-city area. All Keith’s books are set in Nottingham in the 1980s – a time before political correctness and mobile phones. It was a different world.
About the Author
Keith Wright is the Author of the crime novels in the ‘Inspector Stark series’ available on Amazon, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited|Audiobook on Audible and iTunes.
Visit website: Keithwrightauthor.co.uk
Follow on twitter: @keithwwright
‘Whatever you want to do, do it now.
There are only so many tomorrows.’
I do not know what second it will be, what minute it will be, what hour, or even day. But it will come. You may see it coming. You may not. Regardless, I can guarantee you; there will be a moment like no other when you will draw your last breath. Like it or lump it. And at that moment you will see your final view of the world. However, what I do not know, is whether your last glimpse will be the sympathetic countenance of a loved one or the grotesque, contorted, teeth-clenched face of a deviant killer. Nor do you. That is yet to be determined. Other options are available.
Thankfully, for the late Gordon Masters, it was the former rather than the latter. In death, as in life, his family and friends huddled around him in a wall of love, as they lowered his coffin into the ground. The finality of this manoeuvre always triggered an outburst of emotion. Gordon’s daughter Ella was the first to break down. Sunglasses masked the family’s grief, and the tears could be confused for sweat, on this, the hottest day of the summer.
Gordon chose the name of his daughter, Ella, after the soul singer, Ella Fitzgerald; she was his favourite, both of their favourites; his and Brenda’s. He and his beloved had been married for fifty-three years until she died some seven years ago.
Gordon was thrilled that his daughter, too, had seemed to have chosen well, with her life partner, Paul. He was a bit of a drip, but a good man at heart. They had been together for twenty years now, so they should be fine.
There were over fifty mourners, ‘a good …. …., turn out, send off, last drink,’ choose your own phrase; all were said during this bleak afternoon; these being the default phrases of the awkwardly bereaved at a funeral.
1987 had been a good year for Paul and Ella Masters, it started well, with Paul’s promotion, and a growing light at the end of a shortening financial tunnel. There was a mild Spring leading into a scorching Summer, but then, suddenly, out of the blue, Ella’s dad decided to depart. In truth, he had wanted to go a few years earlier, but it’s not easy to die by merely wishing it. Your body won’t let you take your last breath until it has thrown the kitchen sink at pulling one more out of your lungs.
Not that Gordon wasn’t comfortable living at his daughter’s house; they were very kind and considerate. He had just had enough, that is all. Gordon found it harder to make conversation as he got into old age; they spoke so quickly, he didn’t have time to formulate the words to join in, before they’d moved on to something else. He became the ornament in the corner. ‘Are you alright, Dad?’ was the constant chant. Often, Ella didn’t wait for an answer. He became more and more invisible in between bouts of kind concerted efforts when it occasionally occurred to the rest of them, that he was still around. Once, they even locked up and turned the lights off, and he was still sitting in the bloody chair. No. It was time to go. He’d had a good life, marred only by the bits of tragedy all must endure, but, on balance, it was time to get his hat. He was ready to rock n roll again with Brenda in the hereafter.
Ella was clinging onto Paul for dear life, she was trembling, and he could feel the tremble as he stroked her hand. Ella could smell the soil and clay coming from the grave, and some loose mud was sticking to the souls of her shoes, seemingly reluctant to go back in the hole from whence it came. Naturally, she was terribly upset, which in turn made Paul emotional, and then her daughter, Jemma, had to get her hanky out. It was a Mexican wave of grief without the thrilling cheer.
After the ceremony had finished, Ella declined to throw soil on top of the coffin. She closed her eyes and grimaced as she heard the scratchy soil and pebbles hit the wood, thrown by others. Paul led her away, and the mourners began to meander back towards their cars. The Braithwaites first, then the Smiths, followed by Ken and Audrey from number 78. Paul was glad to be moving again, as he had felt a bit giddy in the blazing sun, and sweat was trickling down his back. He loosened his tie and patted his brow with his handkerchief.
Young Jemma had hung back a little. She was intrigued by the man in the distance, leaning on a spade, grimly waiting to fill the hole in. The heat was distorting the ether, and he seemed fluid in the haze. At 17, Jemma was feeling her feet and becoming more curious about the adult world. The dawning realisation that she would one day have to make her way in life ignited the interest. Just behind the gravedigger was another man. A guy in a hoody, on a bike. He seemed a little out of place: a curious bystander, presumably. Jemma glanced back at the hole, sighed, and shook her head. ‘Bye, Grandad. Hug Nana for me.’
Jemma took a slow walk towards her parents, not relishing the impending interaction with semi-strangers, each slow step allowing others to peel away before she got there. She then felt something touch her feet. It was a tennis ball. The man in the hoody had his hand up and seemed to be beckoning her to return it. She could see her Mum and Dad still saying their goodbyes, so Jemma picked the ball up, and after ignoring her initial instinct to try and throw it back, she awkwardly traipsed across the uneven grass towards the man. He was smiling.
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