I am very pleased to be on the blog tour today for Marnie Riches' fantastic new book The Girl Who Walked in Shadows. If you haven't read any of Marnie's books yet then you are truly missing out, her two previous 'Euro crime' books, The Girl Who Wouldn't Die and The Girl Who Broke the Rules were fantastic, just click on the links to read my reviews.The Girl Who Walked in Shadows has just been published, here's the synopsis:
The third edge-of-your-seat thriller in the Georgina MacKenzie series. Fans of Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo won’t be able to put it down!Sounds good doesn't it! The lovely people at Harper Collins have very kindly given me an extract from the beginning of chapter 2 to share with you:
Europe is in the grip of an extreme Arctic blast and at the mercy of a killer, who leaves no trace. His weapons of choice are razor-sharp icicles. This is Jack Frost.
Now a fully qualified criminologist, Georgina McKenzie is called upon by the Dutch police to profile this cunning and brutal murderer. Are they looking for a hit man or a frenzied serial-killer? Could there be a link to a cold missing persons’ case that George had worked with Chief Inspector Paul van den Bergen – two abducted toddlers he could never quite give up on?
The hunt for Jack Frost sparks a dangerous, heart-rending journey through the toughest neighbourhoods in Europe, where refugees and Roma gypsies scratch a living on the edge of society. Walking into the dark, violent world of a trans-national trafficking ring, can George outrun death to shed light on two terrible mysteries?
North West England, women’s prison, 27 February
‘Put a bag over my head, didn’t I?’ the woman said, biting nails that were already at the quick.
Couldn’t have been more than twenty, this one. Looked nearer to forty with a complexion the colour of porridge. Overweight and swollen-faced, George guessed anti-depressants were at work. Dull blue eyes, as though the medication had caused a film to form over her sclera, preventing her from seeing the world in its grim true colours. Another poor cow in a pen full of poor cows.
‘What do you mean, you put a bag over your head?’ she asked the woman. She was poised to write. Steeling her hand to stop shaking. Unnerving to be back inside the very same prison she had spent three unforgettable months in – now a long time ago. A one-star vacation at Her Majesty’s leisure. All meals provided. The beatings had come for free. She had not known then that she would swap these Victorian red-brick walls of a one-time Barnardo’s home for the ivory tower of St. John’s College, Cambridge. No, she had been a poor cow in a stall full of crap, same as the others.
Her interviewee leaned forward. Cocked her head to one side. Grimaced.
‘Are you fucking thick or what?’ A spray of spittle accompanied ‘thick’.
Issued forth with venom, George knew. Tap, tap on her temple with her chewed index finger.
‘Donna.’ The prison officer’s tone issued warning enough for Donna to back up.
‘I said, I put the bag on my head. They didn’t know I had it. Tied it tight.’ Donna folded her arms. Smiling now. Satisfied. ‘It was Sainsbury’s. It had fucking holes in the bottom, didn’t it?’
‘Did you intend to kill yourself?’ George asked, a rash unexpectedly starting to itch its way up her neck. She knew Donna wouldn’t catch sight of it so easily because darker skin hid a multitude. She disciplined herself not to scratch.
‘Yeah. Course I bleedin’ did.’
The prison officer, a heavy-set woman in her thirties, by the looks, laughed. ‘Come on, Donna. We all know you were doing a Michael Hutchence, weren’t you?’
Donna was almost certainly too young to have heard of him, George thought.
‘Feller from INXS. Offed himself by accident, doing an asphyxi-wank or something.’
Donna tugged at the collar of her standard-issue tracksuit – too tight over her low-hanging, braless breasts. ‘You taking the piss?’
Insane laughter from both of them then. A camaraderie that George was used to seeing, along with the gallows humour. When the mirth subsided, Donna confessed the real reason for her grand polyethylene gesture.
‘I had bedbugs, didn’t I? They were biting like bastards.’ She started to rub her forearms through the jersey material. ‘I asked for a new mattress but they wouldn’t bloody listen. So, I puts the bag on my head, cos if they think you’re going to top yourself in here, you stand a better chance of them actually listening to what you’re on about.’ She glowered at the prison officer, seated beside her. Switched the glare for a grin like a deft pickpocket. ‘I been in here two years, right? Got another six to go.’
George scratched at her scalp with the end of her pen. Got the cap entangled in one of her corkscrew curls. Unrelentingly itchy. Was it the nervous rash? Was this her body telling her brain that she was losing her shit? She couldn’t possibly be freaked out, though. Definitely not. Not after all this time. Not a pro, like her.
I am a big fan of this author and I highly recommend all of her books, they are fast, edgy and so well written, you will not be disappointed.