Today author Liz Mistry has kindly agreed for me to share an extract from her novel, Unquiet Souls, which was published by Bloodhound Books on 30 July 2016
DI Gus McGuire laid bare
Friday, 10am, Shipley, Bradford, 2015
She tapped her pen on the desk, her varnished nails flashing in Gus’ peripheral vision. She looked tired today, less effervescent. Thank God, no woman in her sixties, no matter how well preserved, should display quite so much vitality. It drained him.
“How have you been this week, Angus?”
Gus shrugged. “Fine. And you?”
He heard the smile in her voice. “This is your session Angus, not mine.”
“Thought you looked a bit tired today, that’s all.”
“Thanks for your concern, but, let’s crack on with the session.”
“That’s why I’m here.”
“Have you had any night sweats since our last session?”
Eyes on the damp spot, Gus shook his head. Well, none he was telling her about!
“Panic attacks or palpitations?”
“No.” Only at night, when he had the nightmares.
“No.” But his heavy eyes belied this.
Her skirt rustled as she got up and moved to the front of the desk. With a small grunt she hefted her ample bottom onto it. This was different. He risked a glance at her. She’d hoiked her skirt up slightly and her chubby legs dangled a few inches from the floor. Her smile was motherly but Gus thought her tone sounded distinctly sarcastic. “Since we’ve made such good progress over the months, I thought we’d try something different today.”
Gus’ eye twitched. He hated this shit but he’d no choice.
“This is about you getting fit for work, Angus. I’m on your side.”
When he didn’t reply she continued, “Right, this is how it works. Close your eyes.”
Stifling a groan, he did as she asked.
“I want you to respond to what I say, ok?”
Automatically recreating the wall with the damp spot in his mind’s eye, he strained to hear her quiet words.
“Tell me about when Greg plunged the knife into his wife’s eye.”
His eyes sprung open making the wall with its damp spot disintegrate. Not believing he’d heard her correctly, he glared at her but she nodded. Closing his eyes again, fingers clenched over the arms of the chair, he deliberately slowed his breathing.
“How do you think I felt, Doctor?”
“These sessions are about you Angus. You’ve got to give me something to work with. Please answer the question.”
He wanted to shout ‘fuck off!’ but instead, he complied, his tone robotic.
“I felt angry and frustrated, but I’m sure you probably guessed that already.”
“Good start. Now, tell me how it happened?”
Feeling the colour drain from his face, he hesitated. He could feel the tell-tale sweat under his armpits and, concentrating even more firmly on his breathing, remained silent. The last thing he wanted was to have a panic attack in front of her. That would really screw up his chances of returning to work.
Eventually, voice low, he opened his eyes and stared right at her. “I don’t remember.”
Licking her lips, she held his gaze. “Sometimes, talking about our traumatic experiences helps us to heal.”
He responded through tightened lips. “Yes, so you’ve said Doctor. But, the operative word is ‘sometimes’ isn’t it? Not everyone responds to bearing their soul. Not everyone needs it.”
“How do you know you don’t if you’ve never tried?”
Visit Life of a Nerdish Mum’s blog on the 6th of August for another extract ‘ Meet the Matchmaker’
About the book
When the body of a prostitute is found, followed by the discovery of children locked in an attic, DI Gus McGuire is handed the case. But what at 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 his own emotional problems, 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?
Unquiet Souls is the first book in a dark and compelling new police series.
About the author
Liz Mistry was born in West Calder, Scotland and educated at Stirling University before moving to Bradford for her PGCE, where she settled with her husband, Nilesh, her three children, Ravi, Kasi and Jimi and her two cats. Liz taught in Inner city Bradford schools for many years. Suffering from depression for many years, Liz used her writing to help her through the darkest times. She is currently part-way through an MA in Creative Writing from Leeds Trinity University, which she acknowledges as being instrumental in developing her confidence as a writer. Liz is co-founder and main contributor to The Crime Warp Blog (http://thecrimewarp.blogspot.co.uk/ )
Contact her on:
Bloodhound Books website: http://www.bloodhoundbooks.com/