#Blogival: Devil’s Demise by Lee Cockburn (Extract, Guest Post & Review)

41Xat-MjUgL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_“A cruel and sinister killer is targeting Edinburgh’s most powerful women, his twisted sense of superiority driving him to satisfy his depraved sexual appetite. He revels in the pain and suffering he inflicts on his unsuspecting victims but a twist of fate and an overwhelming will to survive by one victim ruins his plans for a reign of terror. His tormented prey will need all her courage if she is to survive the hunt. DS Taylor Nicks, DC Marcus Black and the team are failing to get a positive lead as this unlikely monster reeks havoc on the city, always managing to keep one step ahead of them. DS Nicks, a strong, intelligent and striking woman, is now under mounting pressure both at work and in her eventful private life. Can she stop the evil beast before he takes his ultimate revenge?”

Welcome to my third and final #blogival post of the month.  Today I am thrilled to have an extract from Devil’s Demise by Lee Cockburn along with a guest post from the author, as well as my review.  Here’s an extract from the book (be warned, it’s a saucy one!):

Marcus turned her on her side and re-entered her from behind, his hands caressing her silky swollen pleasure from the front, his kisses powerful and demanding, Maria turned her head round to allow their mouths to meet, Marcus finally giving in to his physical need and letting go, his hands and thrusts continuing until Maria tensed her body, trapping him in the grip of her orgasm; he took hold of her, kisses still manic and desperate although not with the animal desire previously felt. Maria freed herself from him and turned to face him, her face and neck flushed with the pleasure of their intimate hot sex. She held his face and kissed him, her tongue savouring his kiss, his meeting hers and the tenderness overwhelming.
“I love you, Marcus Black.”
“I love you too, Mrs Black.”
“You do realise that I’m going to be really, really late, young lady and I won’t know what to say.”
Maria smiled at him and whispered to him, “You’re not going anywhere.”
She pushed him over onto his back and used her mouth to arouse him again. She straddled him and demanded more, her body taking him into her, his hands slipping over and over her silky mound, again and again she came hard, her body tensed and needy; Marcus looked at her in disbelief, not unpleasant disbelief as she eventually sighed and slumped against him.
“I’ve really missed you.”
Marcus held her tight and said, “Not half,” and laughed with her, their bodies joined together in their twisted sheets, bodies glistening with beads of sweat and faces flushed with the glow of pent up desire and exhaustion.

After another shower Marcus finally left the house and headed to work. He rang his boss. She answered, “Yes, DS Nicks.” Marcus fibbed as he said, “I’m sorry I’m late, I was caught up.”
“In the sheets,” Taylor cut in. “It’s about time you lived a normal life like me, flying by the seat of your pants and telling lies about being stuck in traffic, cause that’s what you were going to say, wasn’t it?”
Marcus remained silent with a big warm smile spreading over his face; he couldn‘t have wished for a better boss, and hot too.
Taylor informed him, “I’m up at the enquiry office looking into the outstanding missing people files. You could meet me there. That will stop Findlay getting in about your mince. See you soon, you naughty boy.”

The enquiry office was a specialist department in the police that dealt with missing people and all of the sudden deaths in the city. There were 10 dedicated officers who catered to the next of kin; when a death occurred, they produced in-depth death reports for the procurator fiscal. They also collated and recorded all information about every missing person in the city area and any enquiry made relating to each case documented.  They created invaluable databases which officers could refer to and utilize, whenever the need arose.
Taylor looked up from her computer with a great big smile directed at a rather flustered DC Black.
“Glad you could come in, better late than never though, eh!”
Marcus apologised genuinely and pulled up a seat beside Taylor. She was looking as polished as ever, her tight fitting suit and long spiralling hair covering her shoulders, her scent intoxicating – any man’s dream, if you didn’t mind never reaching your goal.
“How long have you been at it?” Marcus, realising what he had just said, was leaving himself wide open for Taylor’s reply, which followed quickly.
“No, how long have you been at it more like?” Her laughter escaped and she patted him on the shoulders, as if to say that’s my boy.
“Let’s get down to business. We are looking for women, I’m not sure that the accused will have a certain age group, as we only have one victim.”
“That we know about!” added Marcus.
“Although I do think it will only be women, the man at the house was not planned, he just got in the way, poor old soul.” “How many do we have?”
“What, in Edinburgh or Scotland? Who knows how far he’s travelled to indulge in his sick fantasies,” Taylor replied with a tone of disgust, as her mind returned to Susan and the way he had sadistically left her.
“I think we have about six or seven that have potential, having looked through the files. There are two in Edinburgh, three in Glasgow and one in the Borders that I think we should look at first.”
Marcus pointed to the picture of one of the outstanding missing women, a young Polish prostitute; her name was Layla Petrovsky and she had been missing since Halloween a year ago.
“How do we even know if she’s still in this country? She might have made her money and gone back to where she came from – maybe just had enough and left, who knows?”
“Well, we’ll just have to work our way through all of them systematically and see if anything has been missed or if there is a lead we can still follow. A lot of enquiry has obviously been done and nothing has come to light so far that has made them suspicious enough to turn them into murder enquiries, not yet anyway.”

Marcus began his enquiry into Mary Dawkins, a 29 year old music teacher from Edinburgh, who had not been seen since December the year previously, and Taylor took the other Edinburgh case, the prostitute Layla Petrovsky missing since November the same year; neither of them looked overly suspicious, just people who had their own reasons for not wanting to be found, or on the other hand, other people who didn’t want them to be found, but it was a start.

What do you think?  Want to read more?  I’ll reveal my thoughts after I have shared a guest post from the author.

Last week I had a post from Adapt author, Edward Freeland, which featured his five favourite books.  I loved it so much that I’m doing it again!  Lee Cockburn shares her four favourite crime/thriller books with us.  Over to you Lee…

9780553817065My favourite crime writer just now is Tess Gerritsen, her books the surgeon and the apprentice were the first of a series, the characters Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles both believable, have real life vulnerabilities, but both very skilled workers in their chosen professions. I like the rest of the books in the series as I have read them all bar one, but my mum bought it for my birthday yesterday, but has told me I’ll get it once she’s read it on holiday! The main perpetrator of the book is Warren Hoyt, a cruel and vile man with surgical skills factually described throughout ithe book, and featuring in all of Gerritson’s books due to her profession, other that being an author. I like how Hoyt features in the second book, continuing his reign of terror and his unhealthy focus on Rizzoli.

269831._UY200_The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, I just loved it, the twists and turns throughout, the short chapters allowing you to race to the next, skilfully tying up all of the loose ends, and leaving me happy I picked it up, although I wasn’t available for a day or two.

375013Schindler’s list, by Thomas Keneally a war crimes thriller, brutally graphic, true account of the horrific atrocities that took place during the Second World War. Brilliant book, well written, provoking novel that leaves you with tears in your eyes at the way humans can behave towards one another.

Tea Planter's WifeThe last book not a crime thriller as such, the Tea Planters Wife by Dinah Jeffries, given to me by my mother in law. I started reading it, initially moaning at some of the over description, but the story soon had me drawn in, the true crimes of life itself out on full display, opinions and beliefs leading to the main character giving up her daughter, lies and deceit throughout left me impatient to get to the end, where I found myself in tears, with the sadness behind the unfortunate chain of events. Not the type of book I read, but really enjoyed it.

Thank you so much Lee.  Some great choices there.  I’ve read and enjoyed a number of Tess Gerritsen books and Schindler’s List is on my wish list.

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I love a serial killer thriller and I enjoyed this book.  I was a little sceptical to start with as there is a fair amount of quite explicit sexual content which I struggled with.  The violence is also quite brutal and very graphic but that didn’t bother me so much.

You find out who the killer is relatively early on in the book so the plot is built more around the hunt for the murderer, more cat and mouse than ‘whodunnit’.  I did wonder at times how the killer was managing to get away from the police as he seemed quite bumbling!  There were moments where I thought, ‘they’re going to get him now, surely…’.

The characters are well written but I struggled to connect with them.  The killer oozes evil and I wonder if the author intended to write a crime novel that could also border on being a horror novel (the cover certainly gives that impression).

Would I recommend this book? I would but my recommendation comes with a warning; there are quite a few explicit sexual scenes within the pages of this book. It’s certainly not for the fainthearted!

Three and a half stars out of five.

Thanks to Rachel at Authoright for providing me with a copy of Devil’s Demise in exchange for an honest review.

Devil’s Demise by Lee Cockburn was published in the UK by Clink Street Publishing on 10th November 2014 and is available in paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones |

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Lee Cockburn has worked for Police Scotland for fourteen years including as a police sergeant in Edinburgh for five years and also as a public order officer. Before joining the force, she played for Scotland Women’s rugby team for fifteen years, earning over eighty caps for the Scottish ladies and British Lionesses teams. She also swam competitively for twelve years, successfully representing Edinburgh at the age of fifteen in the youth Olympics in Denmark in 1984. Lee lives in Edinburgh with her civil partner Emily and their two young sons Jamie and Harry.

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#Blogival: Adapt by Edward Freeland (Guest Post & Extract)

41nWyPCXFrL._SX304_BO1,204,203,200_

“Daniel O’Neal is a bus driver on a city break in London, enjoying a change  of  scenery  and  a  respite  from  work.  When  he  notices unfamiliar numbers coming up his mobile phone screen, he initially dismisses it as a technological glitch. The stresses of Christmas are on the horizon and the last thing Daniel can be bothered with is the hassle of having to get a new phone. That is, until he notices the blue light of his webcam appearing on his laptop.  On his return to work, Daniel starts seeing peculiar differences in people, and becomes increasingly convinced that his colleagues are whispering  and  laughing  about  him  behind  his  back.  Soon  Daniel’s  suspicions  monopolise  his  every  waking thought, persuading him that he is under attack from an unknown evil and being turned into an unwitting pawn in someone else’s cyber game.

As  Daniel’s  mind  continues  to  fracture  from  reality,  he  makes  an  appointment with  a  psychiatrist, Dr. Cribson. However, Daniel realises too late that he has walked into an even more dangerous trap, as the good doctor starts to manipulate Daniel, trapping his mind in a deadly virtual world. As the sinister plot plays out, Daniel’s family and loved ones become ensnared by his cyber nightmare, which has Dr. Cribson and the media at its heart. Teetering on the precipice of insanity, Daniel must prove the presence of his enemy – unless It really is all in his mind after all?

Adapt is the engrossing debut novel from Edward Freeland which tackles the subject of the media’s overwhelming influence on the individual and on modern day society. Through his unnerving narrative, Freeland asserts the belief that one of mankind’s primal instincts is collectivisation; in this case, that of a group coming together to target one,  weaker,  individual  and  essentially  evolving  into  a  mob  mentality. Adapt explores  the  real  horror  of anonymous’ bullying which has become so prevalent in our digital society, especially that through social media.  Freeland  highlights  the  fragility  of  our  personal  security  online,  revealing  just  how  simple  it  is  to  hack  into  a strangers  private  information  through  any  of  their  personal  electronic  devices.  Chilling  and  thought-provoking,  Adapt will entertain and enlighten, leaving readers guessing at the truth until the very last page.

Welcome to my second #blogival stop of the month.  Today I am thrilled to be hosting an extract from the cyber thriller Adapt, along with a guest post from the author, Edward Freeland.  Here’s the extract:

Ok, I’m going to access your profile. The watcher opened a fourth window, this time signing in to Life’s Journal. The name he used, Daniel O’Neal. At first glance it was like any other profile, videos and photos filled the pages. Scrolling down there were copious amounts of video footage and phone conversations. Stills of text messages and emails. Some videos were double windows, one of Daniel on camera, the other, simultaneously imaging his desktop. You can’t even pick your nose without me uploading it slave. Months of work and your still oblivious. You have a breakdown, I’m here. You have an argument, I’m here. You watch porn, I’m here. You laugh, I’m here. You cry, I’m here.

The watcher glanced at the amount of views his site attracts. It’s not only me here with you slave. Thousands watch you, criticise you, judge you, laugh at you. Many despise you. They are not used to seeing someone all day and night. They have never witnessed someone breaking down. Its ugly, they think you’re ugly. I’ve seen it before with other slave’s but never one that brings my website so much traffic so many views. More and more and you have no idea. I don’t hate you Slave. You bring me traffic, views, friends, comments. Nothing in it for you but there is for me. They love the way I edit your videos, they think you are a joke. Now I edit them in new ways. The watcher laughed to himself. He gulped back his beer. Wiping beer away from his chin, stubble scratching at the back of his hand he thought of how clever he was. Remembering an article in which he read that people who use Remote Administration Tools were not real hackers, Rubbish. I’ve infected many computers with this software unbeknown to the Slave. Dating sites are the best way. Full of desperate, naïve, hopeful, trusting people.Easily fooled by a pretty picture. I use the same software used to spy on a spy, Blackshades. The Syrian regime used the same tool on an informant. The spy’s phone was infected and he had no idea.

So there you have it.  What do you think?  Intrigued enough to want to read the rest of the book?

I always find it fascinating to discover what books other people read, and of course love.  If I asked you to name your top five books now, would you be able to do it?  Maybe you could recall one or two, those that you always turn to when asked the question…but what about the remaining three or four?  Here are some of Edward Freeland’s favourites:

I don’t have a particular favourite book that I have read but five that come to mind are;

34f5a0_b9b1011f8cbb4eb383dd1e0c3012ba35.jpgLord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien:  I read this in the 90’s as I read the Hobbit first and wanted to know more about this extensive universe.  It was a challenge to the imagination trying to picture all that is described but I loved the story and the characters. It’s wonderful fantasy with a focus on friendship.

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Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell:  I read this a few years ago as it is a book on many must read lists I thought I would finally read it.  It’s such a fantastic story and even more so when you think of the time it was written.  I think Adapt has an Orwellian outlook of being closely watched whilst having an imposing power taking control.


51iROAKTByLA Storm of Swords by George RR Martin: I loved this.  It’s the third book in the series.  I had it recommended to me but didn’t read it until I had watched up to the second series of the television adaptation, which meant any description of the characters was lost as I could only picture the cast.  With so many characters it may have been an aid.  Dragons, banner men, White walkers and more descriptions of food than you will find in any other book.

51vTKXomEuL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_Parallel Worlds by Michio Kaku:  I read a lot of factual books, probably more so than fiction and this was a blend of the two, of how science fiction could and has led to science reality.  It delves in to cosmological ideas and how human kind can progress.  Imagining endless parallel worlds and Type three civilisations stretches the mind.  Kaku takes the maths and puts it in to English. 

71h+o-O8wwL._UX250_Atom by Jim Al-Kalili:  Again this is another factual book, but one of my favourites.  Its historical and paves through the human condition as much as it’s scientific.  It explores the trials and tribulations of the scientists in the race to discover and explain the Atom.  And what a thrilling race as these scientists unravel something proposed by a Greek philosopher two thousand years ago.

Great choices Edward, thank you for sharing them.  I have the feeling that your choice of reading material has influenced your writing.  Particularly, as you say, with the inclusion of Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.

Adapt by Edward Freeland was published in the UK by Clink Street Publishing on 4th February 2015 and is available in paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones |

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My name is Edward Freeland, I grew up in London, but have lived in Norfolk for the past few years.  I have worked many different jobs.  I have always had a keen interest in history, and the underlying factors in human behavior has always fascinated me, as the same patterns occur through ancient, medieval and modern history. Science also intrigues me, so, in 2009 I completed two introductory, Open University short courses in quantum physics and astronomy.  These fueled my already keen (thanks to a childhood watching the night sky with my family) desire to understand why we are here, and what the purpose of our reality is.  Realising that these answers will most surely never be answered in my lifetime, I now see every individual person’s reality as something miraculous, and that their purpose, is what they make it, and how others enrich it.  I began writing in 2013, with the desire to explore some of these life themes that I find so engaging.  I completed Adapt later that year, the first novel I have attempted, and have a new appreciation for the difficulty of knitting words together to create a piece of literature.  My previous experience of writing, was penning songs in my teenage years.  I find inspiration in different forms and areas of life, but music was certainly a mainstay during the writing process, particularly in breaks from the pen and paper.

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