In this series, we invite our Crime Cymru authors to showcase an excerpt from one of their books. This week, John Nicholl reveals the gripping opening to his latest novel, Killing Evil.
Alice Granger is no ordinary survivor. She has a tale to tell, a story of revenge.
Alice feels driven to protect the innocent from dangerous men. Men like her father. Men who hurt children. Predators who prey on the innocent. And there’s nothing Alice won’t do to make them pay.
Alice wants to make them suffer as their victims did. But the police are one step behind. And as the net closes, Alice’s life spirals out of control, the lines between good and evil becoming ever more blurred as she attempts to evade capture.
When the hunted becomes the hunter, is anyone innocent?
Book extract (Chapter 1)
I’m a keeper of secrets: dark secrets, filthy secrets, secrets that
eat away at my peace of mind like a wild creature feeding on
flesh. Unwelcome thoughts claw to leave my troubled mind,
pounding, booming pressure and sound threatening to explode
my fragile skull into a thousand jagged pieces. Destructive
memories of the not-so-distant past, desperate to escape at
almost any cost.
I think I’ve reached that time. An hour I thought may never
come. The moment to speak out, to pour out my deep anxiety
and dread, to tell you everything, to hold nothing back,
whatever the potential consequences for my life. It’s something I
need to do. Something I have to do. I know that now. I no longer
have a choice.
Are you ready to read on? Have I captured your interest even
slightly? I guess the answer must be yes if you’re still reading. I
sincerely hope my story doesn’t keep you awake at night, as it
does me. I’ve no investment in the discomfort of others, or at
least not that of the innocent. You may find my tale shocking.
There’s no avoiding the horror. But I make no apologies for that.
I can’t erase the past. If I’m going to tell you my story, it has to be
all of it.
I’ve experienced terrible things. And I’ve done awful things
too. Some of which you may think are justified, and others
perhaps not. Things have a way of running away with
themselves. I sometimes went further than even I intended. I
can’t pretend otherwise. I’ve committed to total honesty. I’ll leave
it to you to judge my degree of guilt. All I can offer is mitigation.
But try to be kind. Put yourself in my place if you can. Try to be
understanding. And I’ll try to keep my writing as succinct as
possible in return. I’m an enthusiastic reader, a lover of word
games. But I won’t let emotion cloud the picture. I won’t let tears
soil the page.
Have we got a deal? Can we shake on it, in a metaphorical
sense, without actually meeting? Well, yes or no, I’ve got my
laptop at the ready. So, I’m going to get on with it. I’ve put it off
long enough. Now we get to the heart of the story – the
foundation of all that came next.
John Nicholl, an ex-police officer, child protection social worker and lecturer, is an award-winning, bestselling author of 11 darkly psychological suspense thrillers.
John’s books are set in the UK and have a strong Welsh flavour. He began writing after leaving his job heading up child protection services for Carmarthenshire.
You can read more about John on his website and his Crime Cymru page.
You can order your copy of Killing Evil here. To see John’s other books, take a look at his Amazon page