Good morning everyone, I hope you’re all having a good week! I’m scheduling this in advance as I’m actually away this week – I predict right now (assuming the weather is good) I’ll be taking a walk along the beach before heading to Dartmoor ready for my dad to get married tomorrow!
Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for First To Die by Alex Caan and I’m delighted to be sharing an extract from the book!
First To Die – An Extract
Zain parked his Audi in the underground car park, accessed via a tiny side alley opposite Westminster Abbey. It was blocked off at one end, with a wooden door to the side, which rose up like a shutter to let vehicles in and out. No room for a U-turn; you either got in first time or you got stuck. Zain was used to it now, easily snaking his way through.
Sitting in the dimness, surrounded by empty vehicles, with water streaming down a
wall where the ancient guttering had given way, Zain felt anxiety rub him. Kate had trusted him with this, and he didn’t know if he could hold his own with Hope. There was a time he didn’t have these slivers of doubt, but that was before. Before he was brought low by men who wanted to inflict as much pain on him as they could, for a cause he had once naively supported. Sometimes he felt as though it was retribution.
That life seemed so distant now. Zain had instead become the hope of the security services how someone with his background should really be used. And in the end he had felt used, and abandoned. He’d found out later that those same security services were going to let him die in the Portakabin his kidnappers were holding him in. The terrorists who had kidnapped him were going to be allowed to behead him on camera, and broadcast it worldwide. Until a last-minute rescue attempt had been put together. The reasons for which he was never fully told. So now, he didn’t trust himself, or anyone else. Well, maybe Kate Riley. That was about it. He had seen her honour and integrity. When the world was full of so much underhand bullshit, she stood out as something so much better. And what was he doing? Was he in any fit state to be taking this on? He’d been sitting in A and E only a few hours before, half
choked. He still had cuts that were stinging when he touched them, and he reeked of smoke.
He opened his glove compartment, feeling around for the only other thing he trusted. The plastic packet was familiar now. He no longer needed to examine it every time; the Chinese writing barely registered. He should scan the image and see if an online search could translate it for him. But he didn’t really want to know. He was convinced it was snake venom or alligator balls he was consuming.
Plastic foil in hand, Zain popped a green tablet through and swallowed it with
reflexive precision. He then took a second. One was never enough these days. Not since his last case. And his second brush with death.
He closed his eyes and breathed in the leather of the seats, the aroma from the pine
needles his sisters had sown into parcels that clung to his dashboard. The tablets couldn’t be working yet but his heart was already crashing against his ribcage in anticipation of their effect. Zain got out and headed to the secure lift, up to see the PCC, to see what the knob wanted.
About the Book
Title: First To Die
Author: Alex Caan
Release Date: 14th June 2018
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre
Bonfire Night and St James’s Park is filled with thousands of Anonymous protesters in a stand-off with the police.
When a cloaked, Guido Fawkes mask-wearing body is discovered the following morning, Zain Harris and Kate Riley are called in to investigate. The corpse has been eaten away by a potentially lethal and highly contagious virus, resulting in enforced quarantine for anyone who came into contact with the body. The autopsy reveals the victim was a senior civil servant, whose work in international development involved saving lives. There is no obvious reason why anyone would want him dead.
As the research team looking into the origins of the deadly virus narrow down the possibilities, first one, then another pharmacist go missing. Meanwhile, a dark truth starts to emerge about the murder victim: he was an aggressive man, whose bullying behaviour resulted in the suicide attempt of one of his former staff members, and one of his favoured charities is rumoured to be involved in human trafficking. He must have had enemies after all…
The mystery is becoming increasingly complicated and with thirty lives potentially at stake, Kate and Zain have their work cut out for them. Can they find the two missing pharmacists in time, or will they too end up dead?
Want to buy it?
About the Author
Alex Caan was born in Manchester, has spent over a decade working in information systems security for a number of government organisations, and is currently specialising in Terrorism Studies. A lifetime passion for writing was sparked by the encouraging words of an English teacher in school, and eventually led to Alex successfully completing an MA in Creative Writing and completing his first novel Cut to the Bone. The sequel, First to Die is out on 14th June 2018.
Connect With Alex
Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour this week!