Hot Blood (Bloodwords Book 1)

 

 
 
 
 

Hot Blood

  

 
The victim of a savage attack, a
successful businessman living in relative luxury points the finger of suspicion
at a less successful family member, then becomes a suspect himself when a
courting couple find a body in the woods. When, later, a man is found murdered
in a car a few miles away, the realisation that a sophisticated serial killer
might be on the loose changes the whole perception of the enquiry.

 

With
it’s unexpected twists and turns worked into parallel plot lines, Hot Blood
will appeal to lovers of Ian Rankin, P.D. James, Peter Robinson and Peter James
crime novels. Centred
around
the NW coastal resort
town of Southport, Hot Blood is based in a real region and cunningly weaves
fact and fiction together into a seamless yarn readers will not be able to put
away.

 

Hot
Blood is not a book to read and pass on. Though complete in its entirety, some
of the characters and general parameters it introduces are already being worked
into drafts for future plots. So Hot Blood is not just a debut novel; it will
become the reference for those that follow, a Who’s Who?
of
characters and a virtual directory of what, where, and when.

 

Read
it, enjoy it – and keep it!

 

Vic
Marelle

Vic
Marelle
originally trained and practiced as a
professional advertising photographer. Freelance magazine assignments led to
him providing complete feature packages combining photography and writing. Long
periods followed as feature writer for a number of international
airline
in-flight magazines, motoring correspondent for
seven local newspapers, a feature writer for UK national newspapers and
specialist corporate copywriter. Based in the region in which Hot Blood is set,
he continues to write for Middle East magazines. Hot Blood is his first novel.

ACE Corporate Editions

www.acecorporateeditions.co.uk

 

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Limited edition case-bound hard-back collector edition
signed by the author available to order only. Details and ordering at
www.bloodwords.co.uk

 

This edition created entirely for eBook distribution.

 

This evaluation edition published 2012 and set in Baskerville
10pt (with data sections set in Century Gothic) by Ace Corporate Editions

 

Copyright © Vic
Marelle
2012

The right of Vic
Marelle
to be
identified as the author of this Work has been asserted by him in accordance
with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

 

Cover image of
Lydiate
Hall
 
© Ian W Bennett

www.gulfmediaman.com

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
reproduced stored, transmitted or distributed in any form, including but not
restricted to hard copy, digital
,
 
Internet
or other means, without
the express written approval of the copyright holder

 

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

Author’s
Notes - The North West Coast

  

  
Reading through my final draft,
the variety of both landscape and people inhabiting it shone through page after
page. Perhaps more than anywhere else in the UK, on the NW coastal plain one
can go from extreme to extreme in five minutes flat. From thatched cottages and
chocolate box villages to glitzy shopping mall; from long stretches of desolate
golden beach to bustling market towns; from built up concrete high rise
developments to footballer’s palatial mansions and ruined buildings clothed in
ivy and undergrowth hiding centuries of guilty secrets. Indeed, the NW coastal
plain has it all.

 

  
So although this yarn is entirely
fictional, it is loosely set in a real region. Many of the towns, villages and
even some individual buildings featured in the story actually exist, as do some
of the events I have described. Others however have been created specifically
for my story and my challenge has been to intertwine them all and blur their
edges sufficiently so that you, my reader, cannot determine the one from the
other.

 

  
On the other hand, while I have
observed life
around me and the strange goings on of my
fellow man (or woman),
every single one of the characters in my story is
a figment of my imagination and any similarity to real people is entirely
coincidental.

 

Prologue

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Purring
like a big cat, the car’s engine was still ticking over, while its driver
remained deep in thought and not in any rush to get out. Even with its cheap
gravel driveway, this house had cost a fortune. More than that, it had been a
millstone around his neck for the ten years it had taken to turn a crumbling
wreck of a barn and farm buildings into a stunning modern home. Warm yellow
light from the kitchen window shone through the dusk, bathing the car in its
mellow glow, yet for all it’s warmth, the dream had not been realised and all
he had left was a stone shell enclosing a cold depressing interior. Just owning
the house had attracted unwanted attention, damaged his business and brought
him to the brink of disaster. Where once a family dinner and a cosy night by
the fireside would have been a pleasure, now even the thought of being inside,
the constant unease, the threats and insecurity, kept him outside on the
gravel, held in the yellow beam like an actor in a spotlight.

  
A barrier to life itself, could
Act One ever have a fairy tale ending, or would the performance turn into a
comedy of errors? To stay outside would be better.
Anything
to distance himself from the mess that had become their lives.

  
But his wife would have heard the
car arrive. The kettle would be close to boiling and the TV game show would
already have been switched off.

  
Slowly, he turned off the
ignition, gathered his briefcase and gloves from the passenger seat and flicked
the remote boot lid release. Making his way to the back of the car he retrieved
his laptop computer, closed the boot lid and straightened up to his full
height.

  
Grabbed from behind, he was flung
roughly against the house wall. As the back of his head hit the cold hard stone
his vision clouded and firecrackers exploded behind his eyes. He took a punch
in his stomach – followed by another and another, sliding down the wall
as his knees buckled and his legs could no longer support him. Vicious kicks
accompanied sounds of cracking bones and short stabs of pain as he slid to the
ground and fell over into a crumpled heap.

  
It all seemed to be happening in
slow motion. Blows and kicks jarred his body. His legs and stomach were numb
and lifeless after the short, but vicious pounding. Vision was long gone and
his world had become black. Steel toe capped boots again drove into his groin.
Drawing his elbows close in to his sides and covering his face for protection,
he cowered into the foetal position. Dear God, let this end.

  
Then it all stopped as quickly as
it started. Silence. Now the real pain came. He could hear his pulse pounding
in his head. Each beat brought a harsh stab that nearly blew his head apart.
Between pulses his stomach and legs hurt more painfully than anything he had
ever experienced. It had been quick and short, but brutal. Had they gone or
were they watching him, gloating over their vicious onslaught? His legs
wouldn’t work and he couldn’t sit up. He could taste blood but running his
tongue around his mouth his teeth still seemed to be intact, though a few at
the front were loose. Slowly he moved his hand inside his jacket. His ribs hurt
and his shirt felt sticky. But his mobile was still inside his pocket and it
felt unbroken. Gingerly feeling the buttons and guessing their positions he keyed
in hash and one – quick dial for home.

  
A phone rang inside the house.
More lights came on and after a hurriedly exclaimed ‘shit’ he heard footsteps
on the gravel and a car door slam. Then it drove away.

 

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