24 Oct 2017

Blog Tour Book Extract / Shadows by Paul Finch

As a female cop walking the mean streets of Manchester, life can be tough for PC Lucy Clayburn. But when one of the North West’s toughest gangsters is your father, things can be particularly difficult.

When Lucy's patch is gripped by a spate of murder-robberies, the police are quick to action. Yet when it transpires that the targets are Manchester’s criminal underworld, attitudes change.

Lucy is soon faced with one of the toughest cases of her life – and one which will prove once and for all whether blood really is thicker than water…

Extract 4 from Chapter 5, pp.45-46

The offender was basically a mugger, but the West Midlands press had named him ‘the Creep’ because of his crazy fixed grin, which owed possibly to a mask or heavy make-up. A Joker lookalike, then; a comic-book madman. But there hadn’t been much to laugh about for his victims, who’d not just lost wads of cash but, even when they’d complied, had been slashed with what appeared to be an old-fashioned but well-honed cavalry sabre. Invariably it had inflicted gruesome wounds, and in the case of the most recent victim, had proved fatal.

She leaned forward. ‘How’ve you heard about this, Jerry?’
Now, my dear . . . as you know, I never divulge such things. But as you also know, my sources are impeccable.’
What’s the Creep’s name? I mean his real name.’
This I cannot tell.’
Cannot, or will not?’
So where will I find him?’
Alas, I have no answer for that either.’

Jerry . . .’ she leaned closer to his ear, ‘you seriously think you’re going to get paid for this? Passing on an unfounded rumour that this guy may be in Crowley . . . may be? And giving us nothing else whatsoever?’

I suspected you’d be hostile. Ignorance, as always, breeds contempt. I imagine I will only get paid if you apprehend this scoundrel . . . as per our usual arrangement. How you make that happen is beyond my control.’
Do you have anything else on him at all?’
It is my belief that he will have come here to work.’
To continue his bloody reign.’

Seriously?’ Lucy wondered if he was winding her up. ‘You think this bloke’s on the run from a murder charge, and a few weeks later he’s just going to blow all that by starting again only an hour up the railway line?’

McGlaglen shook his head. ‘I know no more about this case than you, Miss Clayburn, but I have read sufficient disgusting detail to form an opinion that for this malefactor it is as much about the swordplay as it is the money. I appreciate that sudden fear has driven him to change towns. But really . . . how long can such a depraved individual resist temptation?’