#ChapterExcerpt of RIPPER by Hannah Howe

Chapter Excerpt of RIPPER by Hannah Howe

BLURB:

Book Four in the Sam Smith Mystery Series.
Please note: this novel runs to 50,000 words and 232 printed pages, not the estimate listed by Amazon.
“I love breaking the rules.” – Cardiff Jack.
Someone was murdering prostitutes, placing their bodies in the Bay and covering them with roses. To the media, he was ‘Cardiff Jack’, to the rest of us he was a man to avoid and fear.
Meanwhile, I was searching for Faye Collister, a prostitute. Why was Faye, a beautiful woman from a privileged background, walking the streets? Why had she disappeared? And what was her connection to Cardiff Jack?
As questions tumbled into answers, I made a shocking discovery, a discovery that would resonate with me for the rest of my days.
Ripper – the story of a week in my life that reshaped the past, disturbed the present and brought the promise of an uncertain future.

Ripper – Extract

Two hours later, I arrived at the Bay. I parked my Mini and walked into the mist. Visibility was non-existent – you could barely see your hand in front of your face. The walkway was deserted – no one in their right mind would be out on a night like this. I adjusted the collar on my trench coat and peered into the darkness. Nothing, just an eerie silence and the swirling mist.
Then, ten minutes later, footsteps, a man approaching with heavy tread.
“Gawain?” I called out.
No answer.
“Mr Morgan?”
The footsteps stopped.
“Are you there?”
The sound of gravel under a heavy heel. I took a cautious step towards that sound, my hand on my shoulder bag, hovering over my gun.
“Mr Morgan…?”
Then, as though transported from another dimension, he stood before me, a young man, in his mid-twenties, powerfully built, over six foot tall. He had fair hair, parted on the left and combed over his crown in a thick wave. His hair was short at his ears, long at his neck. His eyes were dark, almost violet, and speckled, a strange combination that I’d not seen before. He possessed regular, even features with a dimple on his chin. His features were attractive, handsome; wholesome, in some respects. However, the combination of a knife in his right hand and a bunch of roses in his left was not so attractive or wholesome. An imposter or the real thing? My fears told me that he was Cardiff Jack.
Instinctively, I reached into my shoulder bag, my fingers touching the cold metal of my gun. Then I gasped as he slapped me, backhanded across my face; off balance, I went sprawling on to the grass. My bag slipped off my shoulder while my gun spilled on to the ground. I stretched for my Smith and Wesson, but he placed a heavy boot on my fingers, then kicked the gun away.
Scrambling to my feet, I decided to run. After five metres, a hand tapped my ankle. Face-first, I went crashing to the ground. I felt his weight above me as he sat on my legs. Then, with a savage thrust, he grabbed hold of my shoulder and spun me around.
The roses were scattered now, covering the ground. But in his right hand, he still held the knife, a wicked-looking, six-inch blade. Frantically, I held on to his wrist, while breathing heavily, he thrust the knife towards my face. At one point, his power broke through my grip and I felt the pain of steel as it penetrated my flesh, his knife grazing my upper arm.
The wound stung me into action. I kicked out and, in our struggle, I rolled to my left. My jeans were covered in mud, while my trench coat was muddy and bloodstained. With a savage, desperate cry, he lunged towards me again. Uttering my own cry of distress, I rolled along the grass while the blade sank deep into the mud.
Jack pulled the blade from the mud. He walked towards me while I scrambled along the ground, halting when my back hit a hedge. Somehow, I managed to push myself on to my feet and there we stood, eyeing each other, our feet moving from left to right and back again, engaged in a macabre dance.
Recalling my self-defense lessons, I squatted and adopted a balanced position. His fingers were wrapped around the knife, gripping the haft with a desperate intensity. Even through the blanket of mist, his knuckles shone white. Evenin extremis, I searched for details and noticed a rainbow of hues under his fingernails, possibly paint chips. What was it Harry Chapin said: ‘Dirt gets under the fingernails, And hate gets under the skin, But a dream got a way of getting down to the bone, And the heart of a body that it’s in’. Crazy what the mind will recall when under extreme stress.
Jack had me cornered and, from the wild look in his eyes, it was clear that he was about to strike. He  stood, towering over me, his knife poised, tears streaming down his face. He lunged towards me and I screamed, my hands moving to protect my face. Then, at the moment of oblivion, he stopped and stared into my eyes. His features changed as a look of puzzlement washed over them, a look of puzzlement that replaced the snarl of manic desperation.
“It’s you,” he whispered. With uncertain tread, he took a step away from me. With a childlike cry, he dropped the knife. I had no doubt that he had the power to kill me. Instead, he moaned, placed his hands to his face, then ran, crying, into the mist.
Ripper Extract Copyright © 2015 Hannah Howe. All rights reserved.

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About Sahara Foley

Bio: Until my husband died on Christmas 2012, I never thought about becoming a writer. In fact, the act of writing a story terrified me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved reading, just never had the knack for writing. The thought of writing dialogue scared the bejeebers out of me. See, Bob was the writer. He wrote stories for years but could never get a traditional publisher interested enough to publish even one. Now I understand why, as they were unpolished outlines. Then, after 30 years together, Bob passed away and my life was turned upside down. About a month later, I was sitting around my apartment, trying to adjust to the worst event in my life, when a little voice spoke to me. Why not publish Bob’s stories? To be truthful, ever since the advent of self-publishing, I always wanted too, that’s how much I believed in his stories. But I knew I would have to fight him for every little change I made to his outlines. Sorry, honey, but they had to be done. So, I pulled out the box of stories, dusted them off, and started on a new adventure: The World of Self-Publishing. Boy, did I have a lot to learn. I finally published several short stories early in 2014, then my horror novella, It Lives in the Basement. While I was working on them, I was slowly learning the craft of writing, and getting The Secret of Excalibur ready for publication. Excalibur was my favorite story of them all, and in the back of my mind, I knew I wanted a publisher. One day on Twitter, I ran across a tweet from Creativia Publishing, and that was another game changer for me. I signed up with them in December of 2014, and it was the best decision I’ve made. One thing I’ve discovered on my new adventure, are all the really awesome and talented Indie Authors. If you find the right community of Indie Authors, all they want to do is help each other. I found that I love promoting them and their books, so that’s how I setup my blog. For readers to meet Indie Authors. Anyway, enough about me. Here’s all my contact information: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/booksbysaharafoley Twitter: https://twitter.com/SaharaFoley Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/saharafoley/ Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SaharaFoley/posts Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sahara-Foley/e/B00J9ST32U/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
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