Today I’m delighted to be hosting a stop on the Unquiet Souls blog tour.
For the stop today I’ve got a fabulous extract from the book that introduces the hero – DI Gus McGuire …
Friday, 10am, Shipley, Bradford, 2015
Detective Inspector Angus McGuire, can of Irn Bru in one hand, looked around the waiting room. He hated it, from its cloying vanilla-scented candles to the china clutter on the mantelpiece and the seaside paintings on the chimney breast. The only thing remotely bearable was the oversized aquarium that stood dead centre, providing 360 degree footage of tank life. He didn’t particularly like fish, but, in this tank, he’d found one he could relate to. He’d named him Nemo out of sheer bloody mindedness because his Nemo was neither a clown fish, nor orange and white. His Nemo was, by aquarium standards, a monster lurking in solitude near the bottom of the tank. Its lazy eye blinked only once every century or so. Cold and dead, it reminded him of Becky’s eye. The one without the knife protruding from it. The one that blinked reproachfully at him in his nightmares. Nemo was Gus.
He tapped the glass and Nemo moved, the frondy things springing from the back of its head floated in the water. They reminded him of his own short dreads which he kept at the regulatory ‘above-the-collar’ length to avoid hassle from DCI Hussain. Gus’ finger trailed across the tank. He’d happily spend the whole hour painting abstract patterns for Nemo to follow. However, such reckless indulgence with a friend who was, nonetheless a ‘bottom feeder’, was not to be.
The door opened and Dr Sabrina Mahmood beckoned him into her lair. Gus, flicked his empty can into the bin and stood. Walking past her, quads clenching painfully, he forced himself not to limp. Ever conscious of her role in his future and resentful of it, he’d trained himself to exhibit no weakness. For Gus, these bi-weekly sessions were the equivalent of a siege. She was the negotiator, trying to worm her way under his defences and he would not comply. Not when so much depended on her assessment of his mental stability.
Despite his pain, he strode towards his usual chair, opposite her desk. In here, vanilla was replaced by occasional wafts of Chanel No 5. No amount of careful lighting and magnolia paint could disguise the age of the building but, Gus had to admit, she’d tried really hard. Little touches, like the fluffy turquoise rug thrown over a threadbare blue carpet, and the coffee table with fresh flowers in the corner were an obvious attempt to humanise the process. Dr Mahmood took her place behind the desk and waited for him to sit. Gus stretched his legs, feeling the pull of scar tissue in his upper thigh. Immediately, he found the damp spot on the wall, above her right shoulder. With a practised half smile, he focussed on the spot and waited for the usual ducking and diving to begin. These sessions were like a strategic ballroom dance and Gus wasn’t a great dancer. All he wanted was to immerse himself in his sole salvation – work. Dr Mahmood, he felt, was hell bent on making him dance to her tune. A dance Gus was determined not to share.
A massive thank you to Liz Mistry for making the CTG blog a stop on her tour and letting me post this exclusive extract.
Unquiet Souls is out on July 30th. Here’s the blurb: “When the body of a prostitute is discovered DI Gus McGuire is handed the case. But what first appears to be a simple murder soon turns into an international manhunt for the members of a twisted child trafficking ring. McGuire who is suffering with problems of his own, he must pick his way through the web of deceit and uncover the truth in time before the body count rises. Can McGuire identify The Matchmaker before it’s too late? And can he trust those he is working with?”
From 30th July you can buy Unquiet Souls from Amazon here
To find out more about Liz Mistry hop over to her blog at https://lizmistrycrimewriter.wordpress.com/ and follow her on Twitter @LizCrimeWarp
And be sure to check out all the stops on the Unquiet Souls Blog Tour …