Kiss Of Death Book Tour – Extract
A third or fourth heavy blow sounded from the other side of the church.
Initially, the vicar wondered if the warm summer air was carrying an echo from some distant workplace. On the church’s south side, you could see the roof of Farmer Holbrook’s barn on the far southern edge of the wheat field next door. But that was the only building in sight, and there wasn’t likely to be much work under way on a tranquil Monday evening.
When he heard what sounded like a fifth blow, it was a sharper, flatter sound, and louder, as if there was anger in it. The vicar opened the gate, stepped onto the path and walked towards the church’s northwest corner. As he reached it, he heard another blow. And another, and another.
This time there was a smashing sound too, like wood splintering.
He hurried on to the church’s southwest corner. Yet another blow followed, and with it a grunt, as of someone making a strenuous effort.
On the building’s immediate south side lay an untended part of the grounds, the weathered slabs of eighteenth-century gravestones poking up through the long summer grass. Beyond those stood the rusty metal fence cordoning off the wheat field. It might be a sobering thought that, once you were on this side of the church, you were completely screened from the road and any passing traffic, but the vicar didn’t have time to think about that. He rounded the final corner and strode several yards along the south-side path, before stopping dead.
A man with longish red hair, wearing patchwork green/brown khaki, was striking with a wood-axe at the vestry door. He grunted with each stroke, splinters flying, going at it with such gusto that he’d already chopped a hole in the middle of the door, and very likely would soon have the whole thing down.
The soles of the vicar’s black leather shoes had made barely a sound on the worn paving stones, but the man in khaki had heard him; he lowered his axe and turned.
The mask he wore had been chiselled from wood and depicted a goat’s face – but it was a demonic kind of goat, with a humanoid grin and horns that curled fantastically. The worst thing about it, though, was real: the eyes peering out through the holes notched for them were entirely human, and yet they burned with living hatred.
You can buy Kiss of Death (Detective Mark Heckenburg, Book 7) from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.