Monday, 27 January 2020

New Release Spotlight: Hunter's Blood by Val Penny

Hunter’s Blood by Val Penny

DI Hunter Wilson never has just one problem to solve.

Three elderly women he knows have died in mysterious circumstances. Hunter appears to be the only link.

A little girl goes missing on a cold winter’s night. When his team discovers cocaine hidden at the farm where she was living, the search becomes even more urgent.

Why did the women die? And what did the child witness?

Hunter must find the answers to these questions to ensure his family and his city are safe.
Amazon UK           Amazon US  

For goodness sake, can we just gather ourselves together and get this bloody show on the road? It’s like herding cats trying to get you four organised!” Tim Myerscough said. The tall, blond detective constable helped his friend, DC Bear Zewedu, fit the back packs for both his friend and his girlfriend, Mel, into the back of his large BMW.
Do you both really need all this stuff? We're only going for the weekend,” Tim asked.
Good job you've got a big beast of a car, Timmy boy,” Bear smiled.
His dark eyes and short, curly, black hair contrasted strongly with Tim's colouring.
It’s cool this afternoon, isn’t it?” Bear said.
Cool enough for both of us to wear Aran sweaters,” Tim smiled. “Great minds think alike.”
The men had been close friends since their days at Merchiston Castle School, one of the most prestigious schools in Edinburgh. Tim closed the rear door of the car and drew down his Oakley sunglasses to protect his bright blue eyes from the low autumn sun.
Really, Tim? Shades?” Bear joked. “That sky looks like a sheet of grey steel to me. Okay, smeared here and there by those few dirty rags of cloud fluttering over the city, but hardly weather for sunglasses. It's November, man!”
Even on a November day, I take care of my eyes, big man.” Tim smiled. He always protected his eyes. “And how much luggage does anybody need for a weekend break? We're only going across to Simon Land's farm in North Lanarkshire.”
You won't need those shades for long, Tim, it gets dark so early now that the clocks have changed,” Bear said.
Never mind about my bloody shades. Get in the car and let's get going,” Tim shook his head and grinned at his friend. “You girls okay in the back?”
We're fine!” Mel said, slamming the door much harder than was necessary and, ignoring Tim's pained expression, began chatting with Ailsa and Gillian.
Trust you to change the subject,” Bear said to Tim as he clambered into the front passenger seat.
Well, you know, we’re only going to be a few miles from home. Even Gillian felt the need to bring the most enormous full suitcase and her guitar with its cover. Why does she need all that stuff? Did she think we were on Britain's Got Talent?”
She may have a lot of stuff but she’s not deaf, Tim,” Gillian said. “Ailsa mentioned that Simon played the fiddle and we might have a sing-a-long – so of course I brought my guitar.”
Tim shook his head and looked across at Bear. When had he become so big? He must be lifting weights at the gym again because his shoulders were broader than Tim remembered. Bear didn't used to take up this much space, surely?
You been eating more cake, big man?” Tim asked.
That's rich coming from you! Your chest must easily be fifty inches,” Bear said.
Forty-eight,” said Gillian from the back seat.
And with you two still keeping up the rugby training, I think your thighs are almost the size of my waist,” Mel laughed from beside Gillian. “How did the two of you ever fold yourselves into Sophie's Fiat 500 to get to rugby practice?”
Carefully,” said Bear.
And that was the nub of the problem – not that Tim would admit it – but the lovely Lady Sophie Dalmore would be at the bonfire party this weekend, too. The lying, cheating, murdering beauty that was Sophie Dalmore. Tim knew his ex would be attending the party with her new boyfriend, Lord Lachlan 'Lucky' Buchanan.
Good Lord! Did you see that van?” Bear shouted suddenly from the front passenger seat.
Of course. But not for long. It was going at some bloody lick. When I’m driving it means I’m watching the road, big man,” Tim Myerscough, replied sourly.
No need to be like that.”
What the hell? If it hits anything, it’ll take them right out,” Mel exclaimed.
I'd like to drive that car up their bloody backside. So damn dangerous,” Gillian said.
God, look! It's swerved violently. Shit! Oh fuck! It's rolled over and over. There! On the other side of the road. See, Tim?” Bear pointed.
Thank God it's the other side of the road! They could've wiped us out.”
Stop sniping, you two. I hope everybody in the van was wearing seatbelts,” Ailsa, said. “The people inside will be lucky to get out alive. They'll be all cuts and bruises, even if they were. Look what a mess they've made of the bushes and trees too.”
That van was going at a fair lick,” Mel commented. “But I don't think the trees are the biggest problem: we’d better phone emergency services.”
Should we stop? After all, we have a doctor on board,” Bear smiled back towards Ailsa.
And cause another crash by making a crazy move or an emergency stop? I don’t think so, Bear,” Tim said.
I don’t have any equipment. An ambulance will be better able to give any help that’s needed,” Ailsa said.
I've got my phone here. I'll call the emergency services. They'll be quick, I’m sure, and, as Ailsa says, better equipped to help than we are,” Gillian said.
Good idea, pet,” Tim said. “I think they’ll need police as well as an ambulance.”
Gillian nodded, taking out her mobile phone.
Tim smiled back at her through the rear-view mirror and watched as she dialed 999.
And as this is meant to be one of my few weekends off, could you and Bear just stop bickering for a few hours?” Ailsa said, trying to change the subject.
We’re not bickering,” Tim grumbled.
You could have fooled me, bro. I’m really looking forward to Simon’s bonfire party weekend. Just don’t spoil it, Tim.”
Okay, but I’m sure he only invited us because you're back in town,” Tim commented from the driver’s seat of his comfortable car. “I always thought he had the hots for you.”
Ha ha, very funny,” Ailsa said.
And I could do without Lady Sophie bloody Dalmore being there,” Tim grumbled.
Oh, that's why you're in such a bad mood!” Bear said.
I am not in a bad mood. I just prefer to avoid that woman.”
Really? You could have fooled me, Timmy boy,” Bear grinned. “Don't worry, you have Gillian to protect you from the nasty lady, You will, won't you Gillian?”
Gillian pointed to her phone as she informed the call handler of her details and the place they had seen the van leave the road. When she finished the call, she replied. “Always! I'll take care of you and keep Sophie at bay. You'll be safe with me, Tim,” she said.

Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However, she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels. Her crime novels, 'Hunter's Chase' Hunter's Revenge, Hunter's Force and Hunter’s Blood are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by Crooked Cat Books. The fifth book in the series, Hunter's Secret, follows shortly.

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