Cat Connolly is a detective with the An Garda Síochána – the Irish Police Force, she’s also a champion kick-boxer and the central character in a series of books by Sam Blake.
On the 17th May the third book in the series – No Turning Back – was published by Bonnier Zaffre. To celebrate this release they have kindly shared with me an extract from the second book in the series – In Deep Water.
Cathy was expecting the left jab; it was the speed of the kick that surprised her. He was bulked up, but he was fast.
She came right back, caught him under the chin with an uppercut that stunned him; her left hook followed it with an explosive push kick right into the middle of his chest guard. He was still staggering as, spinning around, her back kick sent him towards the raw brick wall where he crumpled with a grunt.
‘What the fuck’s going on in here?’ The Boss’s voice echoed around the high-
ceilinged gym, drowning the bass beat of Spin 1038, the Falls Road in every vowel. ‘I’m in the khazi for five minutes and all fucking hell breaks loose?’
Shaking her arms out, Cathy turned away from him, hiding her grin of satisfaction. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the three lads who had been egging their mate to take her on shuffling nervously from side to side. They were right to be worried.
‘Nothing, Boss.’ Like choir boys. Only the lad on the floor was quiet, winded,
struggling to his feet.
Turning back to them, shoving a stray corkscrew of raven hair from her face, Cathy smirked. One of them had had the cheek to leer at her cropped black Lycra top and loose wide-legged exercise pants, the waistband rolled down to her slim hips revealing the scars on her stomach that were still angry even after all these months. She would have given him the finger if she hadn’t been wearing boxing gloves. Like they’d never seen a girl in a gym before.
Niall McIntyre drew himself up to his full height, all five foot six of it, put his hands on his hips and gave her the full sergeant major routine, complete with a look that would have made litmus bleed.
‘You, girl, have got the semis at the end of the month. Where’s your safety gear? You’ve enough damage done, without breaking another rib.’ Turning to the lads, his pointed finger rammed home every word. ‘I don’t know what you’ve been allowed to get away with in Tallaght, but there will be no arsing about in my gym, do you hear? This isn’t junior infants. You want to improve your game, it’s by my rules. Understood?’
They nodded like five-year-olds caught on the rob. For a small man he could be pretty scary. Unshaven, a rat face cut from granite, he was a Belfast Catholic who’d spent his life in the British army. Knew how to make it sting. The lads kept their eyes on the ground. They weren’t much older than seventeen, their fake tans bleached right out by the overhead fluorescents, angry tattoos battling for space on their arms and chests – Dublin’s finest. They looked good, Cathy would give them that, but she was sure they were bulked up on steroids and that was a fool’s game.
‘You know who she is?’ McIntyre’s voice was sharp. They didn’t look like they were going to answer, but he didn’t give them a chance, ‘This is Cat Connolly.’ He didn’t need to add three times Woman’s National Full-Contact Kick-boxing champion and decorated member of An Garda Síochána. As soon as he said her name she saw the recognition in their faces, watched their expressions change like the wind, from respect to hatred, like she had some contagious disease. Where they came from it didn’t matter how good you were in the
ring, cops were scum, the enemy. And McIntyre knew it, would have her sparring with them before the end of the week when they’d only have one thing on their minds – drawing blood. That was one way to get match fit.
‘Bastard . . .’ Cathy muttered it under her breath, shaking her head.
I hope you all enjoyed that taster of the Cat Connolly I know I certainly did, she sounds like a wonderful strong female character and I can’t wait to get stuck into the series! Keep your eye on the blog over the next few months as I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the series!
To find out more about the Cat Connolly series or Sam Blake be sure to check out Sam’s website – Sam Blake Books