Wednesday, November 15, 2017

"A Pound of Flesh" by Alex Gray

EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
A Pound of Flesh
(DCI Lorimer Book 9)
by Alex Gray

A Pound of Flesh (DCI Lorimer Book 9) by Alex Gray

A Pound of Flesh, the ninth book in the DCI Lorimer series by Alex Gray, is currently on tour with Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


For another book by this author, please check out my blog post on The Riverman and my blog post on Pitch Black.

Description
In the depths of a freezing winter, Glasgow finds itself at the mercy of not one, but two serial killers
This is Detective Inspector Lorimer’s worst nightmare and beyond anything he’s faced in his many years on the force. Can he find a link between the brutal slaying of prostitutes in the back streets of the city and the methodical killing of several unconnected businessmen?
When the latest victim turns out to be a prominent Scottish politician, the media’s spotlight is shone on Lorimer’s investigation. Psychologist and criminal profiler Solly Brightman is called in to help solve the cases, but his help may be futile as they realize that someone on the inside is leaking confidential police information. Meanwhile two killers haunt the snowy streets and Lorimer must act fast, before they strike again…

Excerpt
It wasn’t always easy to see the moon or the stars. This city’s sodium glow rose like yellow fog from its streets, blotting out any chance of star gazing. But she knew it was there. That cold white face dominated her thoughts tonight and she shivered as though it already saw her flesh naked and exposed to its unblinking watchfulness. Perhaps it was because she was trying to be seen that she felt such awareness. The red jersey pencil skirt folded over to create a too-short mini, those agonisingly high-heeled sandals cutting into her bare toes; spread across the bed back in the hotel they had seemed the garb of an adventuress. Now, revealed in the glare of the street lamp on this corner she felt a sense of…what? Shame? Perhaps. Self-consciousness, certainly. But such feelings must be overcome if her plan was to work.
She had already overcome the blank indifference of the girls down in Waterloo Street, their body language both defiant and compelling. Her hips shifted, one slender foot thrust forwards, as she remembered how they had stood, languidly chewing gum, waiting for their punters. Their desperation drove them to return night after night, the price of a wrap of drugs equating to an hour with some stranger.
Her own need was just as strong, fuelled by a passion that would not be spent until she had fulfilled her desire.
It was warm in this Glasgow summer’s night and her black nylon blouse clung to her back, making her uncomfortably aware of her own flesh. The thin cotton coat she’d worn to conceal these trashy clothes as she’d tapped her way across the marble foyer of the hotel was now folded into the black bag at her feet, along with her more sober court shoes. When it was over she would slip them on and return the way she had come, hair clipped in a businesslike pleat. She smiled thinly. Being a woman had some advantages; the facility for disguise was just one of them. Her carefully made-up face was stripped of colour in the unforgiving lamplight, leaving only an impression of dark eyes, darker hair tossed back to reveal a long, determined mouth. She recalled what Tracey- Anne, one of the girls at the drop-in centre, had told her: I get through it by pretending to be someone else for a few hours, then I can be myself again.
Tracey-Anne was lucky, though.
After tonight she could never again be the person that she used to be.
Glancing at the elegant fa├žades around the square, the dark-haired woman suddenly saw these city streets through different eyes: the shadows seemed blacker, the corners harbouring ill intent. Her chin tilted upwards, defying those inner demons tempting her to turn back.
After tonight things would change for ever.
***
When the car slowed down at the kerb her heart quickened in a moment of anticipation that astonished her. She had expected the thrill of fear, not this rush of excitement sweeping through her blood.
The man behind the wheel had bent his head and she could see his eyes flicking over her hungrily, appraising his choice. He gave a brief nod as if to say he was pleased with his first instinct to stop. Her lip-glossed mouth drawn up in a smile, she stepped forward, willing him to reach across and open the window, ask her price. For a moment he seemed to hesitate and she could see tiny beads of sweat on his upper lip, glistening in the light. Then the door of the big car swung open noiselessly and she lowered herself inside, swinging her legs neatly together to show as much thigh as she could. But the gestures were still ladylike, almost reserved, as if she knew that would quicken his senses.
‘How much?’ he asked. And she told him, one shoulder moving insouciantly as if to declare that she wasn’t bothered whether he could afford her or not: someone else would pay that price if he wouldn’t. She glanced at him briefly, catching sight of the tip of his tongue flicking at his lips like a nervous lizard, then he made a gruff noise of assent, looking at her again, as though to be sure of his purchase, before accelerating into the night.

Praise for the Book
"A fabulous read; Gray has a real understanding of human foibles." ~ Auntie Annie
"I liked the book so much - plotting was so very well done, and the characters are also done perfectly imo. I do like DS Lorimer so much, and his wife, his work crew, his psychologist friend Solly. What a good plot, so intertwined, making me guess and wonder and so many layers! Good book!" ~ Bobbie
"I recommend this book to readers who enjoy a character driven mystery. There is much about Lorimer, his life and thoughts. You'll read about Knox, one of Lorimer's detectives whose unrestrained infatuation nearly compromises the case. You'll be a part of Solly's life too, with his wife and their new child. While the plot is engaging, it is the lives of the characters involved that drives it forward." ~Joan N.
"The characters are well done (I like Lorimer's wife Maggie) but this is very plot driven (which is why you can read this as stand alones). It's fairly basic stuff but perfect for travel, among other things. I'm looking forward to more." ~ kathleen g
"A terrific read." ~ Robert G. Demers

About the Author
Alex Gray
Alex Gray was born and educated in Glasgow. After studying English and Philosophy at the University of Strathclyde, she worked as a visiting officer for the Department of Health, a time she looks upon as postgraduate education since it proved a rich source of character studies. She then trained as a secondary school teacher of English.
Alex began writing professionally in 1993 and had immediate success with short stories, articles, and commissions for BBC radio programs. She has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers’ Constable and Pitlochry trophies for her crime writing.
A regular on the Scottish bestseller lists, she is the author of fourteen DCI Lorimer novels. She is the co-founder of the international Scottish crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland, which had its inaugural year in 2012.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of three ebook copies of Sleep Like the Dead by Alex Gray.

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