I’m pleased to be able to share today an extract from Implant by Ray Clark as part of the Urbane Publications Extravaganza. Before I do that though here’s some more info about the book.
“Ray Clark is a wonderfully inventive writer” – Peter James, author of the bestselling Roy Grace crime thrillers
Bramfield, near Leeds, a sleepy little market town nestled on the borders of West and North Yorkshire. Detectives Stewart Gardener and Sean Reilly discover the naked corpse of Alex Wilson, nailed to the wall of a cellar in his uncle’s hardware store. His lips are sewn together and his body bears only one mark, a fresh scar near his abdomen.
Within forty-eight hours, their investigation results in dead ends, more victims, no suspects and very little in the way of solid evidence.
Gardener and Reilly have a problem and a question on their hands: are the residents of Bramfield prepared for one of history’s most sadistic killers, The Tooth Fairy? The detectives race against time to stop the trail of horrific murders…
The perfect read for fans of Peter May, Mark Billingham and Peter James.
To purchase a copy Click here
The sound of the incoming call broke the silence in the station. Maurice Cragg, the desk sergeant, glanced up as PC Gary Close reached for his mobile and answered it.
Under normal circumstances, he would not allow personal calls at work, as was the right of any employer. But there were a number of overriding factors that gave way to his leniency. Not the least of which was the fact he was engrossed in a serial on BBC Radio 4, something called Mystery House starring Bela Lugosi, a lost classic from the archives recently discovered. The fact that it was also three o’ clock in the morning, Monday to be precise, meant the small community police station of Bramfield had little or nothing to actually do.
Also, he liked Gary Close. Close was pretty slim, around six feet tall, with dark brown hair and a rugged complexion that had at some point suffered the effects of teenage acne. Despite being only nineteen, he was no stranger to bad luck. His father had been killed when Gary was eleven. His best friend had died of a drug overdose about four years ago, in extremely strange circumstances. Three months ago he broke his leg playing Sunday League football, and had returned to work following only a two-month convalescence. And to top it all, his mother Christine had recently been diagnosed with what seemed like an inoperable brain tumour.
Cragg sighed. God, he felt sorry for that lad. But for all that, he had the makings of a damn good copper. He was dedicated, willing to go the extra mile to help out. He’d make D.I. some day, if his temper didn’t have the better of him.
“What do you mean, three hours?” demanded Gary.
Cragg glanced up again, slightly irritated at the interruption but concerned by Gary’s tone.
“Who is this?” shouted the PC.
Cragg lowered the volume on the radio, taking a keener interest. Gary moved the phone away from his ear and glanced at the
screen. “Number withheld,” he said to Maurice. He raised the mobile and tried to continue the conversation. “Hello?” Gary lowered the cell. “He’s gone.”
“Who has?” Cragg asked, leaning forward in his armchair. They were currently in the back room of the station, which resembled someone’s sitting room. They had a table and chairs, a three-piece suite, a wooden floor with an assortment of rugs, and wallpaper that must have ceased production in the 1950s.
“That’s just it, I don’t know.”
“Well, what was he on about, three hours?”
“When I answered, he just said ‘you’ve got three hours left.’” “To what? He didn’t say anything else? He didn’t hint towards
anything?” asked Cragg, trying to assess whether or not it was serious. In the background the only thing he could hear was the continuation of his serial at a much lower volume.
“No,” replied Gary.
“Did you hear anything else, any background noise? Cars, phones ringing, a party going on somewhere?”
“No, nothing. That’s what was unsettling me.”
“A hoax call, maybe?”
“Could be, but you’d still expect to hear something else, wouldn’t you?”
Cragg glanced at his watch. “Perhaps not, especially at this time of a morning. No hint then as to what was going to happen in three hours? Or where?”
“Did you recognise the voice?” asked Cragg.
As Cragg was about to ask another question, the phone to the
“Bloody hell,” said Cragg. “Not much chance of a relaxing end
to the shift, is there?”
He answered after the third ring. Before he could say anything,
a concerned voice spoke.
“Is that the Bramfield Police Station?”
“Yes, sir,” replied Cragg. “How can I help you?”
“It’s me that can help you. I live in the town, in a flat above
one of the shops at the back of the Market Square, on Spital Street opposite Armitage’s.”
“The hardware store?”
“That’s the one.”
“Can you tell me your name, sir?”
“Jones, Richard Jones.”
“What about the hardware store?”
“Well, it’s three o’ clock in the morning, and there’s a light on
in the shop.”
“I appreciate your concern, Mr. Jones,” replied Cragg, who
knew Richard Jones pretty well; he worked nights at the furniture warehouse a couple of miles outside the town, which would explain why he was still up. “Maybe old Armitage can’t sleep.”
“Maybe he can’t, but he’s hardly likely to leave the front door wide open, whatever he’s doing.”
ABOUT RAY CLARK
The British Fantasy Society published the Ray Clark’s first work in 1995, a 3000 word essay on fellow writer, Graham Masterton. Ray’s first big break was the 1998 publication of Manitou Man: The World of Graham Masterton, nominated for both the World and British Fantasy Awards. The first in the author’s IMP crime series, set in Leeds and featuring Detectives Gardener and Reilly, was entitled Impurity. The second in the IMP series, Imperfection, was published by Urbane Publications in the spring of 2017.
Implant published on 9 August 2018