Blog Tour – Ashes to Ashes by Paul Finch *Excerpt*

Whoop whoop it’s my turn on the Ashes to Ashes blog tour and I’m very excited to be able to share an excerpt from Paul Finch’s latest Detective Mark Heckenburg book. First up here is the synopsis…

The Sunday Times bestseller returns with his next unforgettable crime thriller. Fans of MJ Arlidge and Stuart MacBride won’t be able to put this down.
John Sagan is a forgettable man. You could pass him in the street and not realise he’s there. But then, that’s why he’s so dangerous.
A torturer for hire, Sagan has terrorised – and mutilated – countless victims. And now he’s on the move. DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg must chase the trail, even when it leads him to his hometown of Bradburn – a place he never thought he’d set foot in again.
But Sagan isn’t the only problem. Bradburn is being terrorised by a lone killer who burns his victims to death. And with the victims chosen at random, no-one knows who will be next. Least of all Heck.

Sounds good, right? To whet your appetite further here is an excerpt from the book…

The hanging rope was only five feet away. Heck knew there was a good chance he’d make it, but he also knew that if he stopped to think about this he wouldn’t go any further. So he didn’t think, just launched himself out, diving full-length – and dropping like a stone, maybe ten feet, before managing to catch hold of the rope. Several more feet of cold, greasy hemp slid through his fingers before he brought himself to a halt, ripping both his gloves and the flesh of the palms underneath. Doing his best to ignore the blistering pain, he clambered down and alighted on the garage roof nearest the building.

‘Suspect heading northeast along Bellfield Lane!’ he shouted down to the two uniforms who’d spilled onto Charlton Court from their patrol car, faces aghast at what they’d just seen Heck do. ‘Spread the word!’

Without waiting for a response, Heck ran due north along the flimsy roofs, feet drumming on damp planks covered only in tarpaper, jabbering into his radio again, giving instructions as best he could. At the far end, he dropped onto all fours and swung his body over the parapet. He hung full-length and dropped the last five feet, before careering down¬hill through grass and clutter onto the road.

‘Bellfield Lane heading northeast,’ he shouted, hammering along the tarmac. ‘Any units in that direction to respond, over?’ But the airwaves were jammed with cross-cutting messages. ‘Shit . . . come on, someone!’

As he ran, the vast concrete shape of a railway gantry loomed towards him. Above it, stroboscopic lights sped back and forth as trains hurtled between East Dulwich and Peckham Rye. Conversely, the shadows beneath the structure were oil-black. In normal times this would be a muggers’ paradise, but Heck was armed, and besides the night was now alive with sirens – it was just a pity none were in the immediate vicinity.

Beyond the railway overpass, a sheer brick wall stood on the right, but on the left there was wire fencing, and behind that another slope angling down to a glass-littered car park. The fence’s second section was loose, disconnected along the bottom, giving easy access to the other side. Heck swerved towards it – only to find that his quarry, neatly camouflaged in his all-black garb, had secreted himself flat at the foot of the waiting slope. The first Heck knew of this was the muzzle-flash, and the hail of shot that swept the wire mesh.

He threw himself to the pavement, rolling away and landing in the gutter – where he lay on his back, gun trained two-handed on the wall of fencing.

Until he heard feet clattering away again.

He scrambled to his knees.

A dark shape was haring across the car park below, at the far side of which a concrete ramp led down onto yet another housing estate, this one comprising rows of near-identical maisonettes. Heck slid under the fence and gave chase, stumbling down the slope until he reached the level tarmac, all the time trying to get through on his radio.

‘Is no one fucking listening to me?’ he shouted. ‘For what it’s worth . . . still in pursuit, suspect still on foot, still armed, opening fire at every opportunity. Heading west onto the Hawkwood estate. Listen, this is a built-up area with lots of civvies. Not many around at present, but someone’s got to get over here fast. Over and fucking out!’

The latest Heck instalment sound fan-bloody-tastic and is definitely on my TBR list! A huge thank you to Paul Finch and Helena Sheffield at Avon Books for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and allowing me to share an excerpt.

Be sure to catch the rest of the Ashes to Ashes blog tour for reviews and author guest posts.

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