I’m thrilled to count Jane Isaac as a friend as well as a regular visitor to Linda’s Book Bag and it gives me enormous pleasure to be part of the launch celebrations for After He’s Gone, the first in a brand new series from Jane. I have an absolutely brilliant extract from the start of the book to share with you today.
After He’s Gone is available for purchase here.
After He’s Gone
‘The safety catch on the Glock snapped as it was released. Her stomach curdled as she watched the face of death stretch and curve. Listened to the words drip from his mouth, ‘Right. Let’s begin, shall we?’
When Cameron Swift is gunned down outside his family home, DC Beth Chamberlain is appointed Family Liaison Officer: a dual role that requires her to support the family, and also investigate them.
As the case unfolds and the body count climbs, Beth discovers that nothing is quite as it appears and everyone, it seems, has secrets.
Even the dead…
An Extract from After He’s Gone
The moments before death were not at all how she imagined them to be. No images, carved from the recesses of her memory, flashed before her. No celebrated successes or missed opportunities. Instead, an overwhelming fear beat a tune beneath her skin, faster and faster, picking up momentum, immobilising her organs, one by one.
Were they out there? She risked a fleeting glance at the window. She couldn’t see them, hadn’t heard the soft thrum of their engines in the distance, felt their clandestine footfalls as they crept around the perimeter of the house. But there were children inside, they would be discreet.
She willed them to be out there. Trussed up in bullet-proof vests. Semi-automatics clutched to their chests. Hell, they should have evacuated the neighbouring houses by now. Cordoned off the whole estate.
‘Eeny, meeny, miny, mo.’
She turned back to the room, just in time to stare down the barrel of the Glock. And froze.
A tremor ran through the sofa as a knee juddered a staccato beat beside her.
Their captor repeated the rhyme, moving the gun down the line, from child to adult, child to adult. A cat playing with his prey. A pernicious smile tickling his lips.
Please be out there. Eventually they’d make some contact, attempt to negotiate a deal. Wouldn’t they?
The knocking knee squirmed beside her, sending a trail of urine down its calf. She swallowed, the heat of the bodies squeezed beside her on the sofa failing to suppress the chill of raw ice in her chest. Two adults, two children. To kill an adult was gruesome enough. But a child? That was pure unadulterated evil.
The urine crept forwards, a languid line on the polished flooring.
Wasn’t this where self-preservation was supposed to kick in? That animal instinct, sewn into living genes from the dawn of time. They’d tried screaming, reasoning, pleading, even begging. To no avail. The face opposite was calm and still. And now the fight was fading from her bones, numbing the fear biting at every sensory receptor.
The breeze picked up, a sudden gust whistling through the trees out front. The sound cut her breaths. Even if the surrounding pavements weren’t deserted, the house was set so far back from the road that nobody would have heard their screams, their pleading. This wasn’t the movies. No one was out there. There would be no heroic rescue.
The safety catch on the Glock snapped as it was released. Her stomach curdled as she watched the face of death stretch and curve. Listened to the words drip from his mouth, ‘Right. Let’s begin, shall we?’
(My goodness Jane. What an opening! I can’t wait to read the rest.)
About Jane Isaac
Jane Isaac lives with her detective husband (very helpful for research!) and her daughter in rural Northamptonshire, UK where she can often be found trudging over the fields with her Labrador, Bollo. Her debut, An Unfamiliar Murder, was nominated as best mystery in the ‘eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.’ The follow up, The Truth Will Out, was nominated as ‘Thriller of the Month – April 2014’ by E-Thriller.com.
After He’s Gone is Jane’s sixth novel and the first in a new series featuring Family Liaison Officer, DC Beth Chamberlain. The second DC Beth Chamberlain novel will be released later in 2018.
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