Today I’m thrilled to be taking part in the Brotherhood by David Beckler blog tour.
A crime thriller, in which two ex-Royal Marines are pitted against a former child soldier, and one of the most brutal gangs in Manchester.
When Byron Mason’s seventeen year-old nephew, Philip, becomes embroiled in a murder, he calls his uncle for help. Byron returns to the city of his birth and, having been thrown back together with his estranged family, he finds his nephew is being hunted not only by the police, but also by a vicious gangster, Ritchie McLaughlin, the uncle of the murdered boy, both of whom believe Philip to be guilty of the crime. Shortly after Byron’s arrival, Philip disappears, leaving Byron and his firefighter friend, Adam Sterling, to track him down before time runs out.
As part of her investigation into Philip’s role in the murder, newly appointed Detective Chief Inspector Siobhan Fahey also uncovers the brutal past of Philip’s friend, Mugisa, whose very survival has depended on burying his own emotions and controlling the people around him. She quickly realises that Mugisa is a very dangerous young man.
The search for Philip is made all the more perilous when Ritchie McLaughlin decides he has unfinished business with Byron, and is bent on exacting revenge. Byron and Adam are faced with tough decisions as they fight to keep Philip and his family safe; legal and moral boundaries are crossed in their battle against ruthless adversaries. In the end, though, the greatest peril comes from an unexpected quarter……
- Print Length: 311 pages
- Publisher: Sapere Books (7 Feb. 2019)
Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧
Detective Chief Inspector Siobhan Quinn finished the can of Red Bull and wrinkled her nose. She’d have much preferred a coffee, but even if she’d found the espresso machine amongst the boxes in her new flat, it would have taken too long. She shivered, coveting the warmth of her bed as the wind hurled rain at her kitchen window. The smell of fresh paint from the work she’d done last night mingled with the pungent odour of the drink.
She read the address again and located it in her new street atlas. She’d spent her first few days driving around Manchester getting to know her new patch and had a rough idea of the way. Satisfied she could find it, she put the empty can in the bin and strode into the hallway. At the cheap mirror hanging behind the front door, she checked her reflection and, satisfied she’d pass muster, set off.
Twenty minutes later she drove down yet another narrow terraced street. She’d already pulled over once to get her bearings but could see nobody around to ask. A blue light flickered in the gloom and giving thanks, she accelerated towards it. Two fire engines took up half the street and beyond them several police vehicles and a car she recognised as Eddy Arkwright’s from the three child seats crammed into the rear. She’d only met him twice, but the sergeant seemed competent.
She parked past his car, grateful the rain had eased, and put on her ‘incident kit’: disposable overalls, waterproof boots and nitrile gloves. The firefighters moved around their fire engines, stowing their gear, and a couple paused to study her. A constable with a clipboard guarded a house with smoke-stained brickwork above the openings.
“DCI Quinn,” she said, flashing her ID card and stepped in through the gaping doorframe. A wave of humid heat hit her. Metal plates on the floor denoted the path, keeping feet out of the charred slurry and preserving evidence. A string of lights illuminated the corridor.
Siobhan paused in the doorway leading to the fire-blackened room. The smell reminded her of the peat fires at her grandmother’s. Overlaying this, the sweet acrid stench of burnt plastic and something else she didn’t want to think about. Powerful floodlights filled the centre of the space with harsh light, leaving the sides in shadow. Wisps of steam rose from the charred floor timbers.
The lighting focussed on the bin and the body spilling out of it. Besides anger that someone had done this to a fellow human, she felt the stirrings of the excitement she always experienced at the start of a big case.
A detailed video and many photos would preserve images of the scene, but she wanted to see the victim in situ. A figure on the other side of the room, like her dressed in disposable coveralls, switched off his torch and straightened. She recognised the distinctive outline of her sergeant.
“Morning, ma’am.” His voice, gruff and low, matched his appearance.
“Morning, Eddy, and as I told you on Friday, I’m not the Queen.” She smiled at him. “Boss or Guv will do.”
Both wore coveralls but the similarities ended there. At six foot three, Eddy Arkwright towered over her. His build attested to his former pastime as a rugby league prop forward. She’d heard how a serious knee injury had ended his playing days and almost cost him his police career. At thirty-two, he’d filled out, and the coverall strained to contain him. A broken nose and cropped brown hair gave him an intimidating air.
In contrast, she stood at five foot four and a bit, and doubted she weighed half what he did. The coverall she wore bulged with excess material. Eddy switched his torch back on and she leant forward to examine the body. Even though she expected it, the sight made her throat burn. He looked the same age Declan would have been. Come on Siobhan, this is not your brother. To catch the perpetrator, she needed to stay detached. She must see the ruined flesh as evidence, a means of trapping the killer, not the remains of a young man.
She swallowed before asking, “Do we know what happened?”
“Fire brigade found him; I think it’s a him, unless it’s a very ugly woman.” Eddy’s grin died under the withering look she gave him and his cheeks reddened as he continued. “They got the call at 04.17 from a taxi driver. One of the lads is getting his statement. They got here at 04.21 and broke in through the front door.”
“What about the back?”
“That had a security grille on it.” He flashed the torch beam at it. “The firemen ripped it off afterwards, to let the smoke out.”
“Has anyone taken prints off it?”
“Get it done please, both sides,” she said.
“They found the body at 04.43 and—”
“How come they took twenty minutes to find him? It’s not a big house.”
“I’m not sure, Boss.” She signalled for him to continue. “Like I said, they found the body and let our guys know. A patrol car was already here. The station officer assures me, apart from moving the bin when they discovered the body, everything else is as they found it.”
She looked around the walls, noting many black scuff marks at floor level, and sooty glove-prints higher up.
“I’m sure,” she murmured.
He ignored her comment and continued, “They found the two upstairs earlier, at 04.41.”
She straightened and flexed her knees.
“They can take him away once SOCO are happy. I’ll speak to the fire officer.”
She left Eddy to carry out her instructions and returned to the front door, her mind racing through the steps needed to get the investigation up to speed. This was her first working day in a new force, and she knew she would have to rely on Eddy’s local knowledge in the early stages. She dismissed the churning in her stomach. One of her reasons for transferring was to work cases like this.
David writes crime thrillers full of fast-paced action.
Born in Addis Ababa in 1960, he spent his first eight years living on an agricultural college in rural Ethiopia where his love of reading developed. After dropping out of university he became a firefighter and served 19 years before leaving to start his own business.
He began writing in 2010 and uses his work experiences to add realism to his fiction.
The Mason and Sterling series centre on two ex-Royal Marines, Byron who now runs a security company and Adam who is a firefighter. A strong cast of supporting characters support his protagonists. Sapere Books are publishing Brotherhood, the first novel in the series, in late 2018.
David lives in Manchester, his adopted home since 1984. In his spare time he tries to keep fit—an increasingly difficult undertaking—listens to music, socialises and feeds his voracious book habit.
Follow the blog tour…….