Monday, July 27, 2020

#

Saint Justice by Mike Grist - Book Tour + Giveaway


Saint Justice 
A Christopher Wren Thriller Book 1 
by Mike Grist 
Genre: Thriller 


A thousand homeless ripped off the Chicago streets. A biker gang slaughtered in a Utah police station. A terror conspiracy like nothing in history. 

"This is addictive, intelligent, edge-of-your seat writing - as urgent and gripping as it gets!" - bestselling author Oliver Harris. 

When rogue DELTA operator Christopher Wren uncovers a vast warehouse crammed with human cages in the deserts of Utah, the payback will be swift and righteous. 

But Wren soon learns there's far more than caged humans at stake - a terrifying conspiracy stands poised to forever shatter the United States, leaving only blood and sorrow behind. 

Wren will never let that happen. Not on his watch. 

Justice will be done. 

Saint Justice launches the Christopher Wren thriller series with explosive originality, packed with roller coaster twists that will leave you hungry for just one more page. 

Perfect for fans of Lee Child's Jack Reacher, I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes, Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz, Mark Dawson's John Milton and Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp. 




Don't miss the other books in the series! 

Monsters 
A Christopher Wren Thriller Book 2 




Reparation 
A Christopher Wren Thriller Book 3 




**New Release!** 
Ghost War 
A Christopher Wren Thriller Book 4 


2. BEATEN



Wren roused to a deep rumbling. Opening bleary eyes, he saw white lights rushing toward him, then past, then more coming.
Everything hurt. He ran down a mental checklist as a semi thundered by only feet away, juddering the sandy shoulder beneath Wren's cheek. His eyes worked. His jaw felt loose but he could grit his teeth. His back and sides were a blooming swell of stiffness and pain, and his breathing caught on what was probably two cracked ribs. He extended his legs and arms carefully, like an infant born on the roadside shale; no major breaks.
He rolled slowly up, steadying the dizziness with both palms on the cool blacktop. Yes, there; a broken finger. Maybe two. He looked down. In the oncoming lights he saw the fracture in the middle finger of his right hand. He partially remembered that, now: an unlucky angle when they'd started whipping him with pool cues.
He laughed, but it hurt, so he stopped, then wrapped his left fist around the broken finger. He gave a short, careful pull. The grinding and ensuing dizziness nearly knocked him out, but he clung to consciousness. Probably Jug was in worse shape; taking a knuckleduster to the face. There was something amazing about being beaten while on the ground by a gang. It was infinitely better than being beaten by one person alone. Inflame a gang enough, and they would exhaust themselves batting you around without doing much real damage.
He'd seen it countless times in Afghanistan; a mob of soldiers falling on a single civilian and beating him with all their strength, only for the victim to hobble up and run off seconds later, battered but basically unhurt.
Stamping on a guy on the ground felt good, but all you were doing most of the time was rolling his body over. Few people had what it took to hold a victim still and stamp where it would really cause damage; where bones and joints would be broken. They just worked out their anger, and when the anger was gone they wanted to get rid of the evidence.
Wren pushed himself to his feet. He ran his tongue around his gums. Plenty of blood, but it didn't seem he'd lost a tooth. Half of them were crowns and bridges anyway, lost on other days. He slipped one hand down the back of his waistband and came back with the wallet.
Jug's wallet.
It had been a long shot. In the heat of the violence, then the rush to get rid of his body, they hadn't thought to search him thoroughly. He checked his pockets; the thirty bucks was gone of course.
He opened the wallet and checked out his haul. Some crunched-up bills. Some receipts. Social security card. A kid's prom picture behind a clear window; pretty blonde with retainers. Driver's license. Address.
Jug's real name was Eustace. You couldn't make that stuff up.
Wren stood and limped along the shoulder, rinsed by the rushing lights. He didn't put out a thumb. Someone would stop soon enough or they wouldn't. It couldn't be that far until he hit a gas station anyway.
Nobody stopped.
The station was a TexCo maybe two hours later. By that time the bruising had him hunched over and walking with an ugly limp. His right hand throbbed around the swollen finger. He wouldn't be making a neat fist any time soon.
Across the stained apron, through the glass, the kid behind the counter watched him approach with wide eyes. You didn't get a lot of pedestrians on the interstate.
The kid was black and tall, with tight-knapped curls waxed close to his head. So damn young. The bell rang when Wren pushed through the door.
"The hell happened to you, man?" the kid asked.
"White supremacists," Wren said, picking up a wire basket and scanning the shelves. "You got ice?"
"I got, uh, yeah," said the kid, watching blankly as Wren started plucking products off the shelves. He craned his neck to follow. "In back, bottom of the chest freezer. Did you say white supremacists?"
"Uh-huh."
Wren picked up a box of Band-Aids, a ballpen, duct tape, a liter bottle of Black Jack vodka, a hand towel and a local map showing the small towns clustered around the nearby Manti-La Sal National Forest.
"Like, they jumped you?" the kid asked, peering down the aisle while Wren rustled in the ice chest. He caught a glimpse of himself in the freezer's mirrored back. The bruising wasn't too visible yet, but the blood was. One of his eyes was shot through with red. There were scratches and a gouge in his cheeks and forehead. So handsome, he thought. Just more scars.
"I walked into one of their bars."
He limped back down the aisle and the kid hurried behind the counter. "You did what? Are you crazy?"
Wren shrugged, leafed through Jug's wallet and put fifty bucks down. "Keep the change."
"Should I call the police?"
Wren looked at the kid a minute. He was seventeen, likely a bit of a nerd, unlikely to ever join a gang out here; maybe a cult when mid-life disappointed him. Good parents, good school, but probably not the most popular kid. College would make or break him; it all depended where he went. Either way he'd always remember this night, when a guy walked up after an epic beatdown, and what was Wren but a good role model?
"I wanted them to do it. Now I know where they live. Don't worry about me, James."
"How do you-" the kid started, before remembering he had a nametag.
Wren held out a hand. "Restroom keys."
James stared a long moment, not processing again, before he gave a nervous laugh and fished them out. "Yeah. Here. You sure you don't need some help?"
"Everybody does," said Wren and limped out the door.
The restroom was clean enough. The door didn't lock but that was no concern. He got the hot water going in both sinks then stripped and washed with the handcloth. Blood and dirt came off him everywhere. The smell of piss came too, along with a faint memory of them urinating on his head. Huh. It was their bar.
His back was a welter of rising purple, striped with bright welts where they'd lashed him with pool cues, darker blots where they'd punted toe-first. Muscle helped absorb most of it. There were a couple of round stab marks, a few slits where impact had split the skin, but nothing too serious. His legs were much the same; bruised and cramped but basically OK.
He doused the washcloth with vodka and swabbed himself liberally, enjoying the clarifying sting. Next came Band-Aids. Covered in other people's piss, with clothes he couldn't waste time cleaning now, infection was his main concern. Last he used the pen as a splint and strapped his broken finger tight.
He looked in the mirror. He looked bad; dark tan skin that could pass for a broad spectrum of American minorities between his twin heritages of Pakistan and Mexico, but puffy and bloated now. He'd passed for Pakistani-born ISIS in Afghanistan; that was sixteen months he'd never get back. He'd passed for Guadalajara MS-13 in Mexico, policing the northern border for rival coyotes and cartel mules. He'd even briefly passed for a Native American in the Big Sur terror scare.
He wouldn't pass for shit now.
His eyes drifted to the names tattooed on his chest, done on the day they were born. Their mother's name too. Shit. He couldn't think about now, and wasn't that always the problem?
He cleaned up the restroom as best he could; leaving no blood, all the trash in the wastebasket. No sense in the kid having to do it.
Back in the store, holding the ice pack to the back of his head, the kid just stared.
"You don't look any better, man," he said.
Wren checked the clock behind the counter; after three. "You want to help, call me a cab."
"A cab? Uh, you know where we are right? On a highway? It's not exactly downtown."
"Uber then. There'll be someone."
"Yeah," began the kid, hesitant, "maybe out of Salt Lake? There's no Ubers around here?" He ended it as a question, as if Wren might have better information.
Wren sighed and dumped the contents of Jug's wallet on the counter. "I'm only going to," he read Jug's driver's license, "Emery. Is that far?"
The kid snorted. "We're practically in Emery, man. Thirty minutes max."
"So call the Uber. I'll wait out front. And take this," he gestured at the money. "It'll cover it. Give the rest to charity, whatever you like."
The kid stared at the money, reached for his phone, then paused. "It'll be my Uber, in my name. And you bought duct tape. You gonna kill some guy?"
"He's not gonna die," Wren said, firm and calm, like he was handling a skittish animal. "I'm not even gonna hurt him."
The kid looked distraught. "Then what are you gonna do?"
Wren gave a tired smile. It's what he'd been doing all his life. "I'm going to change his mind."





Mike Grist is the British/American author of the Christopher Wren thriller series. For 11 years Mike lived in Tokyo, Japan, exploring and photographing the dark side of the city and the country: gangs, cults and abandoned places. Now he writes from London, UK, about rogue DELTA operator Christopher Wren - an anti-hero vigilante who brings brutal payback for dark crimes. 

Discover Mike's other books and his stunning ruins photography at his website http://www.michaeljohngrist.com/




$25 amazon gift card 

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway! 




No comments:

Post a Comment