Revised and updated for the e-reader, Hunter is book one of a trilogy which chronicles police operations to smash an international drugs cartel bent on flooding Britain with Colombian cocaine. The chain of events begin when London gangsters pull off a bullion robbery to finance the drugs deal, but as police move in to thwart their plans suddenly a double murder throws a spanner in the works.
Drawing on an insiders knowledge of police procedure, with Hunter Roger Busby begins a roller coaster ride through the labyrinth of major crime where nothing is quite what it seems.
When the supergrass witness in the trial of London’s most notorious gangsters becomes the prime suspect in a double murder, Met Crime Squad detective Tony Rowley races to Cornwall in a desperate bid to save the case from collapse. Alone and far from home, the London T/DI must find a flaw in a cast iron murder case in a race against time as the police hierarchy conspires to throw him to the wolves. Caught in a maelstrom of lust, greed, deception and the cold silent world of the stars, Rowley finally discovers the shocking truth, too late, for already the hunter has become the hunted.
They were making love. Right there in the afternoon with the brittle March sunshine streaming through uncurtained windows, spilling over the yellow duvet. Marvin Gaye crooned sensuously from the CD player, heightening the mood as they wrestled in careless passion. There in the cedar wood chalet on a Cornish cliff top overlooking the wide bay and the expanse of ocean beyond. As if they were alone in the world. Outside a light groundswell was running, gently rasping the shale. Sea and sky and the yellow duvet twisting around them as they clung to each other and groped for fleeting ecstasy, Ginny French and her fancy man. Making love in the afternoon.
She was eighteen and he was past fifty, but setting the pace with all the youthful vigour she aroused within him, the encroaching grey artfully disguised with all the vanity of a middle-aged man who had ensnared a young girl. The body jewellery, fat rings, heavy identity bracelet, the ostentatious display of wealth contrasted with the fading tattoos on his arms, all greens and blues, sea dragon swallowing an anchor, mermaid entwined with scroll and dagger, tell tale signs of his earlier days at sea before he learned the trick of making money. Without breaking his energetic stride, he rolled the girl on top of him and for a second their identical gold pendants entwined and then parted, the girl’s swinging between her magnificent breasts as she rode him, pumping him with her long thighs.
Ginny French tossed her black mane, wide mouth slightly open as she pleasured him. Ginny who had left home at sixteen to lead her own life? Ginny who had learned with all the subconscious heritage of her gender to use her luxurious body to trap suitors like moths to a flame. She covered his mouth with her moist lips, sank carmen nails into his shoulder as they soared towards their climax.
But there was always that part of her held in reserve, studiously detached from the act of love, which considered this man whose fire would soon explode in her belly. Ah yes, the inner voice whispered to her in satisfaction, of all the lovers she had possessed in her young life, this one was the prize. Oh, not in sexual prowess, for she had known far better, young studs with insatiable stamina, but this man.. ah, this man she could bewitch for a life of luxury. And for a girl from a Cornish village with nothing to trade but her charms, that was the trick. Yes, oh yes, she was pleased with this man. In return for her body he would give her the good life, everything she had ever dreamed of. It would be terrific. Suddenly it seemed so long ago, those days when she had led the local boys a dance in the old lifeboat house and had discovered the secret that sex and love were not necessarily companions and her girlfriends who clung to the notions of romance ended up in a drab council house with a couple of bawling kids. No, not for her, not for Ginny, not now she had this man…
She felt him flagging and panic seized her for an instant. It was important that he should not be disappointed for he might fall into one of his black moods, blame her, doubt their relationship. Quickly she concentrated all her skills to bolster his ego. It was her last conscious act.
The man was far away, consumed by the fire in his loins, and strung out on a wire which suddenly snapped, blossoming. He felt only the star shell of release, the warm pleasure of possession. It was his last sensation.
The door of the cedar wood chalet which had been carelessly left unlocked, opened silently and a black shadow slanted across the bright wedge of sunlight which spilled over the floor. Against the brightness of the day, the features of the figure which moved stealthily inside were perfectly obscured.
The intruder’s eyes were alert, attentive to every detail, pupils dilating, adjusting to the dimness of the interior of the chalet. In the cluttered living-room to the left of the entrance a black kitten with a blue collar sat on a cheap tweed settee and observed the interloper with unblinking curiosity.
Pause for a moment. Listen. Outside the muted groundswell played counterpoint to the caw of the wheeling gulls sailing on the up draught of the cliff. Nearby music was playing softly, and a tight smile formed on the shadowed face as the different sounds were analysed and noted.
A hand delved into a nylon sports bag slung from the shoulder and drew out a sawn-off double-barrelled shotgun.
It was an ugly weapon, cut down for ease of concealment, a condition which had no legitimate justification. It was a villain’s piece, a blagger’s shooter.
After a further moment of hesitation, senses now tuned to the tell-tale sounds, the intruder crept to the right, down a passageway, followed by the hazel gaze of the mute witness. Soft footfalls moving through the galley kitchen, eyes taking in the debris of a meal in the sink, empty wine bottle and glasses on the drainer. Moving on towards the velvet voice of Marvin Gaye. The bedroom door was ajar and there was no mistaking the activity taking place within. Silently a hand eased the door wide open.
They lay together, naked on the crumpled bed, humping with the bitch on top. Close enough to touch. The shotgun came up, stunted black barrels sighted on the girl as the forward trigger was squeezed and the first cartridge exploded, sending a hail of shot into Ginny French’s side with such point blank force that she was flung against the wall. Unwavering, the stubby gun adjusted a fraction and sent the second blast into the soft flesh of the man’s exposed belly, throwing up a spray of blood and shredded flesh.
Ears ringing from the reverberations, the killer moved swiftly now, stepped into the room, snapped open the breech and ejected the spent cases. Then, deaf to the gurgling death throes, thumbed two fresh fat orange cartridges into the shotgun and with clinical detachment held the muzzle to the man’s temple and squeezed the lead trigger. The head burst in a mush of grey meal and red spray. The second shot, delivered in the same deliberate fashion, blew away the girl’s face.
As the gun was lowered, a hand reached out and snatched the gold pendant from their throats. Lips drew back into a twisted smile of triumph.
Outside in the bright spring sunshine the circling gulls, startled by the gunfire, wheeled, shrieked an angry protest at the chalet below, soared high on the up draught and cruised out over the sun dappled sea.
Marvin Gaye sang on, crooning his love-songs until the CD came to an end and abruptly the machine clicked off. The yellow duvet ran red with mingling blood.