I have a very exciting cover reveal and extract to share with you today for Jason Beech’s new crime thriller novel ‘American Spartan‘ which is the sequel to ‘City of Forts‘.
The blurb …
A rookie cop. A town on fire. Can he execute justice and survive?
It starts with a newspaper article. An economic miracle. A run-down town in the Midwest transformed. One man has effected this change, poured his wealth into converting old factories into new ventures, Main Street into a hub for deep-pocketed incomers, and put a spring into the step of a place people once avoided.
Ricky Nardilo, all grown-up, a rookie cop, isn’t having it. The man who has brought this boom is the man who shot him in his youth. The man whose son Ricky killed. He owns the town, he owns the local politicians, he owns the police force Ricky works for. As Ricky aims down the muzzle of his gun at this bigshot, his struggle between a quiet, complicit life and a personal war will tear Ricky apart and drag old friends and family into a chaos he never thought possible.
Sneak preview …
‘Ricky Nardilo peered over the rim of the unfinished block of apartments down to the open square in front of the renovated factory in the City of Forts. He wore a hoodie over his head, a handgun in hand, murder on his mind.
Down there, on a podium above an invited crowd, stood Mr Harry Vale, aglow beneath a spotlight in the dusk. He talked of renovation, about a new start, about opportunities for old residents and fresh energy from incomers. The old factory would host artists, showcase their talents, bring in important works from around the world.
Mr Vale swept an arm to the big red gate which once dazzled blue in the summer sun, made himself bigger than he already is, made himself a target. Ricky pointed the gun. Fifty feet above his man, half-hidden in the shadows of the half-built apartments’ skeleton, a throng of onlookers before him, hands banging together, polite, complacent, not so much excited for the art as a new place to hang out, Ricky didn’t have a choice but to exert pressure on the trigger.
Harry Vale had transformed the town’s abandoned buildings, trampled its fields with new-builds out of most of the old residents’ price range, and pruned the woods into a manicured landscape which sat dull in contrast to its former wild glory.
Mr Vale’s tone rose up and down, parts of the crowd surfed on his waves, some child cried, another asked a question which caused a laugh, but Vale strengthened his grip on their attention with his mineshaft-deep voice and vision of a new utopia. Ricky mingled with the crowd before he made his way up this building and he recognized two men and a woman. Everybody else arrived in the trail of the big man’s money.
Vale brought Ricky only broken friendships and a sweaty anxiety that squatted in his teenage years and lingered into his adulthood.
The sting of salt in Ricky’s eye curdled some doubt. What if he missed? What if he hit an innocent? Seriously, how would he escape? A newspaper article, a puff piece in the local rag, about the great philanthropy of Harry Vale, his dynamism, this great, wonderful, wonderful Harry Vale – how had it sent him up the ribs of this apartment block to assassinate this man? He watched the town’s savior down the barrel of the gun. A handgun – at this distance?
He wiped at his eye, blinked half-a-dozen times, backed deeper into the apartments’ murk, and thrust the gun back into his shoulder holster. This is no plan. Zipped his hoodie high and hoped the day’s heat didn’t foster a sheen of suspicion. He slouched back down the rough stairwell, shoulders bouncing off the walls through careless steps. He’d chickened out, but it’s as well he did, because he saw no escape from here if he’d followed through.
Plastic wrapping flapped in the evening breeze down on the ground floor. Lots of plastic wrapping, all of it bunched up against the building’s wooden frame. Ricky flipped the lighter’s lid, penetrated the shadows for eyes that might watch, and touched the flame to the plastic. It glowed green and flared, caught the flammable contents inside. Ricky marveled at how it made a blaze in no time at all. He repeated on a couple of other packages. The first fire he lit embraced a wall and climbed for sustenance. Ricky jumped the tall metal gate and heard the first alarm, a woman’s high-pitched voice followed by a man’s. Ricky shoved his hands in his pockets and plunged down an alley between new shops with high-rent apartments crested above them as sirens replaced the voice of Harry fucking Vale’.
It sounds amazing doesn’t it?! Here are the purchase links:
About the author …
Sheffield native, New Jersey resident Jason Beech writes crime fiction. His coming-of-age crime drama City of Forts was described as “tense, atmospheric, and haunting” by UK crime writer Paul D. Brazill.
His latest novel, American Spartan, is a sequel to 2018’s City of Forts.
Jason Beech on Twitter: https://twitter.com/beech_jason
Amazon Author Page: http://author.to/JasonBeech
Huge thanks to Caroline Vincent @CazVincent for inviting me to take part in the publication day events.
Thanks for reading!