Portraits of the Dead by John Nicholl #BlogBlitz #Extract

I am delighted to share an exclusive extract of Portraits of the Dead by John Nicholl with you today on Blog Blitz



The Book


Emma didn’t know how long he hid in the large Victorian wardrobe to the side of her single bed. She didn’t know how long he peered between the two heavy oak doors, and watched, as she slowly drifted into fitful sleep. She didn’t know what time he pushed the doors open and crept towards her in the darkness of the night.

Detective Inspector Gravel finds himself faced with a difficult case when a local nineteen-year-old university student is abducted and imprisoned by a sadistic serial killer, who has already tortured and killed at least five young women. 

Can Gravel find the girl and stop the murderer?
He will learn that the greater the evil, the deadlier the game… 

Extract 

Emma didn’t know how long he hid in the large Victorian wardrobe to the side of her single bed. She didn’t know how long he peered between the two heavy oak doors, and watched, as she slowly drifted into fitful sleep. She didn’t know what time he pushed the doors open and crept towards her in the darkness of the night. But he did. She knew that he did.

  Emma woke with a start, telling herself that the dark silhouette slowly approaching her was the nightmare construct of her subconscious mind. But she froze, statue like, as the inky shadow took on an obvious human form that suddenly gained pace and loomed over her. And then a hand, a large hot clammy hand, pulled the bedclothes over her head, clamped her mouth tight shut and silenced her scream before it materialised.

  A myriad unwelcome thoughts invaded her mind as he pinned her head to the pillow and raised his free arm high above his head, before forming his hand into a weapon, and bringing it crashing down, again and again, rendering her unconscious and bleeding.

  Emma didn’t know how long she remained senseless, or what he did to her while she slept. She didn’t know what time he lifted her from her bed and carried her down the staircase and out into the Welsh city street. But he did. She knew that he did.

When she first awoke from her enforced slumber, Emma thought, for one glorious but all too fleeting moment, that the events of the previous night were just a nightmare. But the throbbing pain seemingly erupting from every inch of her face and the congealed blood around her nose and mouth brought reality into sharp focus. The bed was too soft, the quilt too heavy, the room too warm, the total absence of light alien to her experience, and terrifying, totally terrifying. She wasn’t in her familiar surroundings. Oh, God, it was real. It was all too real. Where was she? Oh, God, where the hell was she? What to do? Should she shout out? Should she scream? Should she yell for help and continue shouting, louder and louder, until someone responded to her plight? Surely she should call for help. But, no, hold on a second… What if he was there somewhere and hidden by the darkness? What if he was listening and ready to feed on her fear? What if he was poised, ready to attack and silence her as soon as she uttered the slightest sound? Come on, Emma, do something. Don’t just lie still, girl. You have to do something. 

  She ran her hands over her body and realised that she was naked, as she eased back the quilt, sat upright, and climbed off the bed with both her hands held out in front of her. Keep me safe, God. I’ll be a good girl, a really good girl. Please keep me safe.

  Emma felt her heart pounding in her throat as she took her first tentative step forwards in the gloom, then another, then another, willing herself onwards, four steps, five steps, six, until her probing fingers found a wall only seconds later. That’s it, Emma, that’s it, find a switch, you can do it, girl, find a switch. There had to be a light switch somewhere.   

  She sucked repeated gulps of fetid air deep into her lungs as she ran the palms of both hands over every inch of the wall, in every conceivable direction. But she didn’t find anything of note. Don’t give up, Emma. You’ve got all your life to live. You can do it, girl. Please don’t give up. It was much too soon for that. 


Grab your copy from Amazon now




Author Bio:


John Nicholl, an ex-police officer, child protection social worker and lecturer, has written six darkly psychological suspense thrillers, each of which has been an Amazon # 1 bestseller. John is happily married, lives in rural west Wales, and has three adult children and one grandchild, with a second expected in August 2018. He began writing after leaving his job heading up child protection services for Carmarthenshire.
John is represented by Toby Mundy – Literary agent at TMA.
You can find out more about John and his books at: http://www.johnnicholl.com

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