Thrilled to be sharing this extract from Perfect Silence.
The top line of the Z ran from the bridge of his nose to the outer edge of his cheekbone, with the diagonal following down to the corner of his mouth and the final line reaching right back to his ear lobe.
‘Lucky they didn’t cut his neck,’ the paramedic said. ‘Mr Parsons, are you in any pain?’ he asked loudly.
Parsons groaned. His face was sweaty in spite of the chill and he seemed oblivious to his wounds.
‘What’s he taken, do you think?’ Salter asked. ‘I’d put my money on Spice,’ the paramedic said, sticking butterfly plasters every few millimetres along the slash to hold the sides together. ‘We’re seeing an epidemic of it at the moment. The accident and emergency room is stretched to capacity and it’s freaking members of the public out seeing people standing in the middle of the street like zombies. The drug causes hallucinations and psychosis. Total oblivion like this is common. It can render the user completely incapable of normal communication.
If Mr Parsons is still in there, he may well be in agony. No sure way of knowing.’
‘Who notified you?’ Lively asked.
‘A shopkeeper walked past this morning, saw the blood, called it in. We didn’t realise what had happened until we got a proper look at his face. He was trying to hide his head in a bin when we first arrived.’
‘Well, it’s not accidental,’ Salter said. ‘What do you think, Sarge? Row with his dealer, unpaid debt, or a fight gone wrong?’
Lively took out his phone and got a few close-up shots of the wound as the paramedic finished up, then added a few more of the general area for good measure.
‘Not a fight,’ Lively said. ‘This is more of a branding. The lines have stayed pretty neatly on one side of his face and they’re quite straight. It was planned. Any blood on the ground around here?’ he shouted across to one of the uniformed officers.
‘Over there, by the pile of bin bags,’ came the response. ‘We think that’s Mikey’s stuff.’
Salter and Lively walked across to the mound of stinking clothes and cardboard that constituted Mikey Parsons’ home.
An arrow of spattered blood decorated the external wall of a shop, a metre from the ground. Lively completed his portfolio of pictures with the images.
And a double whammy, you also get to hear my thoughts on this brilliantly written book.
When silence falls, who will hear their cries?
Another exceptional read from a very talented author.
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