Heart of the Demon (D.S.Hunter Kerr)

BOOK: Heart of the Demon (D.S.Hunter Kerr)
7.61Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub


Caffeine Nights Publishing




The classic first novel in the

DS Hunter Kerr series.


Michael Fowler

Fiction aimed at the heart

                  and the head...



Published by Caffeine Nights Publishing 2012


Copyright © Michael Fowler 2012

Michael Fowler has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1998 to be identified as the author of this work.


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, scanning, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher.

This book has been sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.

Published in Great Britain by Caffeine Nights Publishing


British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data.

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN: 978-1-907565-27-4

Cover design by

Mark (Wills) Williams

Everything else by

Default, Luck and Accident







Heart of the Demon
, is the first novel featuring the central characters Detective Sergeant Hunter Kerr and his working partner DC Grace Marshall.


It was originally published in paperback in October 2010.


This latest edition is a revised version of the original novel.









This one is for Liz who has always been a part of my dreams










My gratitude goes out to all those who have given up their time to bring this work to fruition, in particular Alan Twiddle who read the original manuscript, and the first published edition and gave me invaluable advice which enabled me to make this revised version stronger.


To Stuart Sosnowski, Crime Scene Supervisor, South Yorkshire Police who helped me with my crime scene forensics.


To Margaret Ardron and Janet Williamson who gave me expert guidance and critique on the original manuscript.


To the Rawmarsh Writers Group who continually encouraged me to deliver.


And finally to Darren Laws, of Caffeine Nights Publishing, who made it all possible.










Heart of the Demon














July 1988.


Gripping one shoulder firmly, with a quick sawing movement he began to slice into the first layer of flesh with the curved edge of the blade.

Tough little bastard.

He had thought that it would be easy to separate the head from the body with the Bowie knife he had recently acquired. However, the neck tissues and sinews were far tougher than he expected and he had to drag the blade repeatedly against the leathery skin. As the knife finally tore into the vertebrae, drops of warm sticky blood splattered his hands and his clothing.

Not such a tough little bastard now, are you?

He had hoped to torture the creature a lot longer but it had brought about its own death much quicker than he had wanted.

A little earlier, he had chuckled
whilst watching the rabbit’s brown eyes almost bulge from its sockets as he had twisted the leather leash tighter around its neck. His own heart had pumped so fast he feared it would burst through his chest and it had felt as if his head was ready to explode.

The rush had been an almost unbelievable experience and had made him exert even more pressure on the leash. That’s when the
tough little bastard
dug those buckteeth into his clenched fist, drawing blood - his own blood. He’d almost released his grip on the thrashing rabbit nearly allowing it to escape. In a flash of anger, which he later cursed himself for, he had grabbed its twitching back legs, swung it around and smashed its fluffy head against a tree stump.

That had put paid to the life of the New Zealand dwarf.

Sarah is going to be really pissed off when she finds her pet gone. High-faluting Sarah, with her lispy posh voice who thinks she’s a cut above the others on the street. Yes she is really going to be pissed when she finds her little ‘Bob-Tail’ gone. Little Bob-Tail, with its posh imitation jewelled collar, which she walked around her garden - on a leash, of all things.

He had listened to her repeatedly clucking her tongue against the roof of her mouth and shouting for ‘Bob-Tail’ to come for his ‘din-dins’. It really irritated him. Many a time he had wanted to rip that clucking tongue right out of her snooty little mouth. Luckily for her she lived too near. She didn’t realise just how fortunate she was.

She won’t be acting so highfaluting when she finds her dear little ‘Bob-Tail’ in pieces. Spoilt little brat.


* * * * *


October 1993


He drew heavily on the cigarette he had pinched from his mother’s packet; the packet which was always tucked between the cushion and arm of ‘her’ chair. He had been hiding in the bushes for over half an hour and had a good view of the front doors of the block of flats when he spotted the regular visitor lock up and leave his car in the unlit car park.

He took a final drag on his cigarette
, flicked the remains to the floor and ground it underfoot. Glancing quickly at his watch, and knowing that this guest would be at least another hour and a half, he put on a pair of leather gloves and moved slowly from the bushes towards the Ford Fiesta. Taking half a tennis ball from his jacket pocket, he placed it over the lock on the driver’s door and with a quick bang forced out the air. The suction made the plastic locking mechanism shoot up and the door opened without a sound. He forced a screwdriver into the ignition barrel, turning the handle as he would a key. The car’s engine fired first time and taking a final look around he slid into the driver’s seat. As he reversed a smile ripped across his face. No doubt about it the CID officer was going to be well and truly pissed off when he came out of that flat.


* * * * *

Head bowed from hunched shoulders, jaw resting between his hands, elbows on desk, Hunter Kerr chewed on the end of his pen whilst double-checking the contents of his most exciting arrest file to date. This was the most tedious part of the job but also the most important and being on the evening shift helped his concentration. It meant a virtually empty office; no incessant chatter or the ringing of phones to distract him.

Momentarily closing his eyes he massaged his eyelids and pushed himself back in his chair. Wiping away the tiredness overcoming him he forced them open and re-focussed on the document on his computer screen. Then clicking back into gear he commenced tip-tapping the keyboard, putting the finishing touches to the arrest summary.

Over the past week he and his partner had cleared up twenty three burglaries committed by a team of four teenage tearaways who were now on remand in a young offender’s institution. And that was only what they were admitting. It had been amazing that since their arrest only two house break-ins had been reported. It was obvious that the team were responsible for a lot more, but he guessed he would only know that when they were sentenced and begged
him for a prison visit to ‘clear their slate,’ so that they wouldn’t be arrested again when they were released.

Hunter was in the final month of his six month CID aide period and things had gone very well. The contacts and informants he had built up from his previous three and a half years working the
streets in uniform had ensured an impressive number of arrests. The Detective Inspector had already congratulated him on many occasions on the quality of his ‘collars’ and he had also been promised a good report and an early entrance into the Criminal Investigation Department at Barnwell.

The strident ringing of the phone on
his desk made Hunter jump. He pulled the pen from his mouth and snatched up the handset from its cradle. “PC Kerr, CID” he announced.

,” an excited voice rasped down the line. He immediately recognised the high-pitched voice of his working buddy, Paul Goodright.

“Listen I’m up shit creek, the car’s been nicked.”

Hunter clamped the handset between head and shoulder and with pen poised over a pad of paper made ready to jot down information.

“What do you mean nicked?”

“Just get the other car and come and pick me up on Church Street.”

For a few seconds there was silence
, then Paul blurted down the line, “And don’t say anything to uniform...yet.”

call ended.

Hunter rose quickly and began scanning the desks in the office for the spare set of CID car keys. He urgently moved crime reports and files around in other officer’s trays knowing the keys would be somewhere amongst the paper
work. At the same time his thoughts rolled back to the conversation with Paul an hour earlier. His partner had smiled mischievously when he had mentioned he had an enquiry to do and would be back in an hour or two. Hunter immediately knew from the expression on his face that what Paul really meant was that ‘
he was off shagging’
and needed him to cover. And although deep down he had disapproved he had chosen not to voice his thoughts. After all, Paul was two years greater in service and an established detective. Besides that Hunter enjoyed having Paul as a partner. The pair had ‘hit it off’ very quickly and already established themselves as a formidable partnership within the department. And despite not having the experience of some of the more seasoned detectives’ in the office both had more hunger and enthusiasm when it came to chasing villains.

Hunter found his colleague pacing excitedly on the footpath outside a block of flats on Church Street. As he pulled up beside him Paul flung open the car door and dropped into the passenger seat.

“This is my worst nightmare. I can’t believe that some little bastard’s nicked the car. I’ll fucking kill him when I get hold of him. It was in the car park at the side there.” He pointed back towards the flats. “Before I report it in we’ll run round all the dumping spots and if we don’t find it I need you to back me up with a cover story.”

As Hunter pulled away from the kerbside he could see Paul anxiously wiping
away beads of sweat, which had formed on his brow.


* * * * *


For half an hour he drove furiously around the twisting unlit country roads on the edge of town, roaring past slower cars and then cutting them up as he forced the Fiesta back into the correct lane. On several occasions he laughed loudly, even though there was no one else to hear. He wondered if that CID guy had discovered the car had gone yet. As he increased speed, so the sensation swelled inside. He felt wired. His alert eyes were as dark as the night around him, and he focused intensely on the surroundings as they flew by. Ahead lay a series of bends and he pushed the car’s engine until he could feel it throbbing on its mountings. Then he eased off and decided to head back to Barnwell.

He was approaching the outskirts
of town when he noticed her standing at the side of a bus stop. Carol Siddons. She was blowing into her hands and stamping her feet. He slung the car hard left and hit the brakes. The tyres squealed as he skidded to a halt beside her.

She looked up as he leaned across the passenger seat and wound down the window. Bending down she peered inside, squinting to see who the driver was. “Oh it’s you,” she said. “Where did you get this from?”

“Nicked it,” he responded “And guess what, it’s a cop car”

“Yeah all right, spin me another.”

“Don’t believe me eh? Well look at this then.” He picked up the police radio handset from the dash and thrust it towards her. “Believe me now then?”

She started giggling “Bloody hell you’re going be in some serious shit if they catch you.”

“Naaw, no chance of that. Fancy a spin?”

“You are joking.”

“No come on. I’m gonna dump it soon. I’ll give you a run round and then drop you off home, before I get shut.”

He sense
d her hesitate. “Come on its freezing out there and the bus might not come for ages.” He flipped up the door catch and pushed it open. The glow of the interior light shone on his grinning face. “Come on, live on the edge.”

Carol Siddons looked around. Nothing stirred. She
edged forward apprehensively, took another look around, and then slipped into the passenger seat, slamming the door behind her. “Come on let’s get out of here fast you crazy bastard.”

He forced his right foot onto the accelerator and the Fiesta s
creeched away.

he tore around the country roads again he was conscious of Carol’s excited jabberings, though he was unable to decipher exactly what she was saying as he concentrated on the narrow lane ahead, his focus shooting back and forth between road and rear view mirror. His arms ached as he gripped the steering wheel, and as he checked his speedometer he realized he was shaking and sweating profusely.

Throwing the car into a sharp bend, far too late he spotted the rear lights of another car. Instinctively, he smashed his foot down onto the brake. His effort was in vain and there was a spontaneous thump as the Fiesta smashed into the back of the other car. In a split-second reaction he swung the steering wheel to the right and the tyres protested with a concerted squeal. There was a loud scraping noise as metal gouged metal and the car in front bucked and slewed sideways towards a wall by the side of the road.

He felt the Fiesta’s engine surge and almost stall as he fought to disentangle it from the other car. It crabbed sideways for several yards before he managed to bring it back under control and point it back in the direction he had been heading. Quickly glancing back, he saw that the other car had embedded itself in the stone wall. Without warning, there was a loud whoosh as the front of it exploded in a fireball. Within seconds searing incandescent gashes of red and yellow flame were licking from beneath the wheel arches and up onto the bonnet and windscreen.

“Fucking hell.” Carol screamed.

He hammered his foot down onto the accelerator and with a squeal of rubber on tarmac, sped away from the carnage.

Every nerve in his body was straining and he
became acutely conscious of every sound around him as he sped through the countryside.

After ten minutes, he found the unmade track that he knew wound its way towards the old pit coking plant, no longer in production since the demise of the mine five years previously. He slewed the car to a halt, the wheels sliding slightly on the rutted and muddied track, threw open the driver’s door, jerked his head out and threw up violently into a puddle of oily water.

“You crazy bastard.” He heard Carol shout. “You fucking crazy bastard”

He glared across at her. She was pale faced. He studied her features. He had always thought she was pretty and yet now in a surreal way he found her scared look even more attractive.
A tingling sensation erupted in his groin.

Snapping himself out of his thoughts he
launched himself out of the Fiesta and listened intently. Every sound was distant. They had not been followed. He could now see finger-like wisps of fog drifting over the fields surrounding them and he knew that in an hour or so its blanket would provide cover for him to disappear and for the car to lie undiscovered until at least first light.

BOOK: Heart of the Demon (D.S.Hunter Kerr)
7.61Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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