I’m delighted to be bringing you an extract today from the first two books in the DI Sterling Series, Retriever of Souls and Children in Chains. Lorraine’s books are published by Accent Press. Lorraine is also giving away a paperback copy of Children in Chains. To enter the competition all you need to do is leave a comment at the end of the blog post and I’ll choose one winner at random. The deadline to enter is midnight Friday, 22nd March 2019. Good luck!
Retriever of Souls
The first title in a dark and gritty crime series.
Brought up believing that sex is the devil’s work, a killer only finds release once he has saved his victim’s souls. Abiding by his vision, he marks them as his. A gift to guide his chosen ones on the rightful path to redemption.
Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is out to stop him, but Paolo has problems of his own. Hunting down the killer as the death toll rises, the lines soon blur between Paolo’s personal and professional lives.
Children in Chains
The second gripping instalment in the DI Paolo Sterling crime series.
Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is determined to shut down the syndicate flooding Bradchester’s streets with young prostitutes.
When a child is murdered, Paolo becomes aware of a sinister network of abusers spread across Europe, and spanning all levels of society. But Joey, the shadowy leader of the gang, always seems to be one step ahead in the chase.
Has Paolo come up against a criminal he cannot defeat?
RETRIEVER OF SOULS – EXTRACT
“Please, no. Oh God. No more. Please.”
Excited by her pleading, he pounded his fists into her face. He craved release, but couldn’t give in. Not yet. Not while she could defile him. Only when her swollen lids meant she could no longer see did he allow himself to take her throat between his hands and free her soul.
He waited for her death throes to pass, then relaxed his grip and moved down the bed to suck and caress her breasts. His heart pounded. Now. He had to move now before it was too late. Shifting position, he straddled her body. Arching his back, he emptied his hatred onto her breasts.
Shuddering, he slid from the bed and fell to the floor.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered. “So sorry, so sorry, so…”
His throat constricted. As tears flowed, he screamed. Thrashing wildly, he knocked against the chair holding the woman’s clothes. Her tights fell across his neck and he panicked, clawing himself free.
“God forgive me,” he sobbed. “She made me. Forgive me, God. Forgive me.”
Crawling to the corner cupboard, he opened the door and reached for the scourge. He braced himself, then flicked the nine-tailed lash, the tiny spiked ends digging into his flesh.
Each strike lifted him closer to purity, until he collapsed. Exhausted, he slept.
He woke at first light, ready for the next stage. Filling a bowl with water, he brought it to the bed, then scraped under each of the woman’s nails before washing most of her body in the warm water. He swabbed above and below her breasts, careful not to disturb his gift, the sign of her salvation. From under the bed he brought out a small black leather casket. He removed a fine-toothed comb and ran it through her pubic hair, placing the loose hairs in the envelope he’d already marked with a number four.
Retriever of Souls can be purchased from the following link below.
CHILDREN IN CHAINS – EXTRACT
Joey held the blade against Edona’s neck. A tiny line of red trickled down, collecting on the edge of her blue sweatshirt. He didn’t want to kill her. She’d always been one of his best money earners, still looking like a schoolgirl even though she was almost twenty.
“Make the call,” he whispered. “Make the call and you can live.”
He could feel her trembling against his body as he pulled her closer.
“Make the call,” he repeated.
She nodded and dialled. Her fingers shook so much Joey wondered if she’d hit the right buttons. He’d know when the call was answered. His head was close enough to hers to hear the ringing tone and then the copper’s sleepy voice.
The call had obviously woken him. Not surprising. It was five in the morning.
Joey released the knife just enough to enable Edona to speak. If she tried anything stupid, he’d put an end to her before she had chance to betray him again.
“It’s me. I …”
Joey touched the knife gently against Edona’s neck; a reminder of what they’d agreed.
“I’m listening,” Sterling said. “What have you got for me?”
“Some girls, they come tonight.”
“Where? What time?”
“I not know what time, but they bring them to motorway. Change van in car park outside restaurant and shop.”
“Tell me who is bringing them in. Who are you working for? I can protect –”
Joey took the phone and ended the call.
“What a kind man! He wants to protect you. It’s a bit too late for that, Edona. I wonder what else you’ve told him. I don’t suppose I’ll ever find out. Not that it matters to you now, but I’ve always been very fond of you. What I have to do to you breaks my heart.”
“No hurt me. Please no. You say me, I make call, you forgive.”
“And you believed me? Shame on you, Edona. I could never forgive such a betrayal. You’ve been working against me for too long now. I’ve heard you telling the young ones that they’d get free, someday.” He laughed. “You’re such a fool. For girls like you, someday never comes.”
He felt her tears dripping onto his hand.
“Ah no, don’t cry. I don’t like to have my girls crying. No more tears.”
He pulled the knife across her throat. As the blood spurted, he pushed her away, smiling as her body tumbled into the foundation pit.
“Edar, Bekim!” he called to the two men waiting by the car. “Cover her up.”
They moved forward and began shovelling rubble and sand. Joey watched for a while, but soon got bored. He went and leaned against the car until Bekim signalled for him to come back and approve what they’d done.
He looked down into the pit and smiled. There was no trace of Edona. He glanced at his watch. It was now five-thirty. The concrete was due to be poured in three hours’ time. Perfect.
“That’s cleared up that loose end. I’d wondered how Sterling seemed to know so much, but without you two pointing her out, I’d never have guessed it was Edona. Good work,” he said, smiling at the two men. He passed her phone to one of them. “Get rid of that, Bekim. Make sure it can’t be traced back to us. Right, let’s get everything in place for tonight’s delivery. Now that we know Sterling will be on the other side of town, the transfer will be, as the Brits like to say, a piece of cake. I wonder what the fuck that means, a piece of cake.” He grinned. “Talking of cake, it’s time for breakfast.”
Children in Chains can be purchased by clicking on the following link below.