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    If you are a crime fiction and thriller fiction fan then you are going to like this… Below is an extract from ‘Stalking Aidian’ by crime fiction writer Jean Shorney.

    Excerpt from ‘Stalking Aidan’

    When I slid the van door open, I was allocated sight of Fitzwalter laying there motionless,his hands bound behind him, tape wound so tightly about his mouth, I wondered whether he could breathe at all. He had spent the journey staring into the dead face of his partner.

    Verdi said, “Turn your head if you don’t wanna look.”

    I had no idea at what she intimated, but with curiosity getting the better of me, I dared to ascertain what she was about to do with that mallet. My blood chilled, and the sickness welled up again when I watched her cradle the dead boy’s head in her arms almost gently,as if she cared,and was suitably regretful of what she had done. Then, her free hand holding the mallet was upraised, before she brought it crashing down viciously against Nicholas’ dead, contorted face. She began to hammer the small weapon onto the perfect white incisors, harder and harder, with the mallet, until his teeth were rendered little better than splintered bone. His cheeks. His nose. All reduced to a grotesque bloodied mass of viscera . Still Verdi continued to hack away with the mallet,until the once cherubic youth was no longer recognisable. I imagined that I heard Fitzwalter emit an agonised groan behind the duct tape. I was careful to avoid the disfigured countenance when I gently prised the mallet from Verdi, and covered Nicholas face with a blanket.

    Verdi was practically out of breath by the time she’d finished. There was nothing I could say. I felt much too sickened by what I had just witnessed, none of which anyone could have prepared me for.

    As if interpreting my thoughts, she said, “Teeth are a means of identification. That’s why I had to do it,” almost apologetically. She scarcely appeared to notice the blood on her clothes.

    “Do you want me to drive?” I asked. In the wake of what had happened, there was precious little else to say. All I received by way of response was an enfeebled nod.

    At least the place was deserted. We were taking a risk when I helped her lift Nicholas’ body, only to discover that he was heavier than I’d expected. I wondered if I might experience nightmares. after witnessing Verdi indiscriminately desecrate the boy’s youthful features to a pulp. Everything seemed to have taken on a kind of surreal quality. We’d killed in cold blood. I hoped against hope that I would never be caught when we tossed him, wrapped in the blanket into the river, hearing the splash of his body.

    Verdi had weighted him down with several large stones. That was the reason why he felt so heavy, she’d informed me.

    I stood there and watched long after the body had disappeared, lost to view in the depths of the fast flowing river. I allowed my mind to travel down the reluctant road that Nicholas had been a healthy young man when he’d answered the door to us bastards.

    “C’mon, baby. We can’t afford to stay around here any longer,” Verdi counselled, slipping an arm around my waist. I merely nodded weakly. Following her back to the van, we returned to Joydens Wood and the farmhouse.

    The place was permeated with an unaccustomed sense of staleness, one I hadn’t been aware of. We helped Fitzwalter inside. This time Verdi had wrapped a rag about his eyes. “just in case,” she said. Of what she failed to elaborate. His body had stiffened as if with paralysis. I guessed from shock. For my part I was still trying to come to terms with Nicholas spraying teeth as they disintegrated beneath Verdi’s mallet.

    Pushing Fitzwalter into the nearest chair, I peeled off the rag. He blinked a couple of times. I also removed the tape. Streaks of blood had adhered to the tape,and I wiped my hands with a handkerchief.

    Verdi declared she was going to clean up. Adding,”Then I’ll need to shift some of the stuff from the van. He’s all yours.” She gestured at Fitzwalter.

    “You know the good cop, bad cop routine, Mr Fitzwalter?” she said almost politely. “Well I’m the good cop. You shouldn’t have killed his sister,mate. A big mistake. This guy has a lot of anger management issues. Not only that,but he’s pretty proficient with a shooter. ‘Course you know that don’t you? Didn’t he blow your brother away? Guess it’s tit for tat.”

    She grinned and slapped Fitzwalter’s bruised cheek playfully. He grimaced and turned his head away with disdain.

    “Bejaysus, Verdi. Sure if he hasn’t got the message by now..”

    “Okay.” She shrugged, in the process of wiping her hands on an already soiled handkerchief. “I’m going.”

    I called her back.


    Slipping an arm around her waist,and pulling her to me,I crushed her lips with mine. The kiss lasted awhile, and I imagined I heard Fitzwalter’s swollen mouth work around the one word, ‘bastard!’

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