My guest this week is Jake Cross, who has dropped by to share an extract from his latest gripping mystery thriller, Untraceable which is published by Bloodhound Books.
They don’t want to be found. You won’t give up the search.
Everyone has a price.
When Matt Armstrong learns that his sister has been murdered, he returns to his family to find out what happened. Visiting the place where their sister’s corpse was found, Matt struggles to uncover any information. But when he learns that a camera might have been used to record the killing, he becomes a man on a mission.
Helped by his ex-girlfriend, Lisa, he follows a trail of clues until the investigation grinds to a halt. On the verge of giving up, an anonymous tip is thrown his way which blows the mystery wide open.
Can Matt solve the murder and get justice?
He’s about to find out.
Two years after Don Jones lost his home in a fire and moved to Sheffield, he was killed off by Ian Smith, who fled to Newcastle under the guise of a man who’d decided to relocate after his wife shacked up with his best friend. Three years after that, Ian Smith vanished and Peter Jackson, rising from his ashes, resettled in Glasgow with a claim that he’d lost his job and had chosen a new home by sticking a pin in a map.
Don Jones had waited tables. Ian Smith had worked a nightclub door. Both guys had left their jobs with no notice, and Peter Jackson was going to do the same when he winked out of existence. But for now he lugged potted plants and bags of stones out to customers’ cars for minimum wage. He kept to himself, didn’t talk about his past, never asked others about theirs. Sometimes someone at the garden centre offered a night out or asked to pop round to his bedsit, but Jackson always refused. He was considered strange by his colleagues, but was polite to customers so the boss never had a problem with him. Every day he worked hard and mostly in silence and then returned to his rented bedsit and spent the evening alone. He’d performed this unsociable routine for eighteen months and would continue it until he felt too rooted, too stale. Then he would get the map and the pin and a new name and a new bullshit story to explain why he was in a city where he had no friends and no family.
Today the man, whose real name was Matt Armstrong, woke early and alone, as always. He sat up in bed and reached to a square piece of duct tape stuck on his shoulder. He peeled it away, exposing a micro sim card. His phone was on the bedside table, next to a slip of paper with his latest fake name on it. The slip was there in case the boss called: wouldn’t do to have his sleepy head forget his alias. He slotted the SIM and the battery into the mobile.
He went into the bathroom to shower while the phone booted up. Only one man other than him had the number for that SIM card and in seven years Matt had never received a call or a text on it. Every day for seven years, he’d prayed he never would. If that was again the case when he checked after his shower, he’d tape the SIM on his shoulder, put the original SIM back in the phone, and head off to work to enjoy another day as Peter Jackson.
It was as he was stepping into the shower that he heard the unmistakable double-beep of a text message received. A cold snake of fear slipped down his spine.
It had taken seven years, but finally it had happened.
‘I HEARD YOUR SISTER JUST GOT KILLED,’ the text message said.
Compelling, isn’t it? Want to find out what happens next? You can buy the book here:
As a kid, Jake Cross chose to write fantasy because there was no research needed for an invented world. Early short stories covered probably every genre except dieselpunk-romcom. Although he now writes thrillers, Jake’s reading love is true crime. He thinks he’d make a good detective, but his partner points out that he can’t even decide if it was the three kids or the two cats who broke something in the house. His excuse: kids won’t sit still for a polygraph, and cats know their right to remain silent.
TWITTER CONTACT LINK: @Jakecrossauthor
FACEBOOK: JakeCross – author
Thank you for dropping by to tell us about your new book, Jake. Wishing you lots of sales!
My first psychological thriller will be out later this year. Look out for the cover reveal, coming soon.