Thursday, May 30, 2019

Children in Chains by Lorraine Mace - Book Blitz

Children in Chains

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is determined to shut down the syndicate flooding Bradchester’s streets with young prostitutes.
When a child is murdered, Paolo becomes aware of a sinister network of abusers spread across Europe, and spanning all levels of society. But Joey, the shadowy leader of the gang, always seems to be one step ahead in the chase.
Has Paolo come up against a criminal he cannot defeat?

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Price Drop Alert! 
Children In Chains is on offer at 99p/99c across all Amazon stores until June 15.
D.I. Paolo Sterling and his ex-wife Lydia are at loggerheads over the best way to help their daughter, Katy. When Paolo sees Lydia in the car park, he decides to try once again to talk to Lydia.
Extract starts …
He waited until she’d finished her call and then walked over.
“Lydia, wait up. I need to talk to you.”
She spun round, looking furtive, almost guilty. “Paolo! What do you want?”
He stopped at the car next to hers, desperately trying to frame the right sentence so that he didn’t put her back up again – something he was so good at, without even trying.
“I wanted to talk to you about what the psychiatrist said ... about how our arguing is affecting Katy.”
“Really?” Lydia said, her eyes narrowing. “Funnily enough, I’ve just been talking about exactly the same thing and have put steps in place to do something about it.”
Paolo felt a massive wave of relief. This might be easier than he’d hoped.
Lydia moved towards him. “You see, Paolo, I think the doctor is right. Katy shouldn’t have to listen to you apologising, or hear me blaming you for what happened to her. She needs peace and quiet so that she can get better. Do you agree?”
Paolo nodded, stunned by Lydia’s change of heart.
“Good,” Lydia said. “I’m glad you agree. I’ve just been speaking to my solicitor.”
“Solicitor? What? Why?”
“To get a restraining order, stopping you from visiting Katy until she’s well again.”
He felt like he’d wandered into a twilight world. Not be able to see his daughter? He’d never let that happen. “Are you mad? On what grounds? You’ll never get a restraining order. I’ll fight you all the way.”
His phone rang. He ignored it while his fevered brain tried to put words together that would get through to Lydia. One of the tunes Katy had chosen for him, so that he’d know who was calling, played on endlessly. It was Dave Johnson, his detective sergeant. It stopped briefly and then started again. He wanted to ignore it, sort something out with Lydia, but Dave had been given strict instructions not to call this afternoon unless it was urgent. He had to take the call. Turning his back to Lydia, he flipped the phone open.
“Dave, your timing stinks. This had better be important.”
“It is, sir. We’ve found the body of a young girl, about ten or eleven. Dressed like a hooker, it’s almost certain she’d been forced to work on the streets. Barbara Royston says the girl had been sexually active for some time.”
“Cause of death?”
“Looks like an overdose, but you know Dr Royston. She won’t commit herself until after the autopsy.”
“No, I know. Where are you?”
“Heading back to the station.”
“Okay, I’m on my way.”
He snapped the phone shut and turned back to Lydia. “I have to go. A child’s body has been found. Please don’t go through with this, Lydia. Trying to cut me out of Katy’s life will make it harder for her to recover, not easier.”
Lydia looked at him as if he’d crawled out of a drain. “You don’t care about Katy. You only care about your precious work. Look at you, raring to get back to the office to weep over some unknown brat when your own daughter is ... is ...” she broke off as tears streamed down her face.
Paolo took a step forward, reaching for her, but she moved away.
“Don’t come near me. Don’t touch me. Your bloody work killed one of our girls and destroyed our marriage. Now you’ve allowed your job to put our other daughter in hospital. I’ll never forgive you. Never. I hate you.”
She wrenched open her car, slipped into the driver’s seat, and slammed the door. The engine roared into life and Paolo had to jump out of the way as the car shot out in reverse. He watched helplessly as Lydia manoeuvred out of the parking space and turned the car, the tyres chucking up gravel as she ground the gears and sped off towards the parking barrier. The car screeched to a halt just before the bar and then stalled.
Paolo thought about how distressed Lydia must be to drive so badly and realised he’d managed to achieve exactly the opposite of what he’d hoped.
Well done, me, he thought, I really handled that well.


Author Bio – When not working on her D.I. Sterling Series, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers' Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions. A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service. She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of THE WRITER'S ABC CHECKLIST (Accent Press). Other books include children’s novel VLAD THE INHALER - HERO IN THE MAKING, and NOTES FROM THE MARGIN, a compilation of her Writing Magazine humour column.

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