Hello lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host John Nicholls and his new book, “Portraits of the Dead”! For other stops on his Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above.
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Portraits of the Dead
by John Nicholls
GENRE: Psychological Thriller
Emma didn’t know how long he hid, silent and unmoving, in the large Victorian wardrobe to the side of her single bed. She didn’t know how long he peered out, salivating and drooling, between the two heavy dark oak doors, and watched, mesmerised, as she slowly drifted into fitful sleep. She didn't know what time he pushed the doors open and crept towards her in the drab grey darkness of the night.
Detective Inspector Gravel finds himself floundering when a local nineteen-year-old university student is abducted and imprisoned by a sadistic serial killer, who has already tortured and killed five young women.
A gripping page-turner of a serial killer thriller packed with suspense. If you like Rachel Abbott, Robert Bryndza and Karin Slaughter, discover John Nicholl’s chilling new thriller today.
2:20 A.M. Saturday, 2 May 1998
Emma didn’t know how long he hid, silent and unmoving, in the large Victorian wardrobe to the side of her single bed. She didn’t know how long he peered, salivating and drooling, between the two heavy dark oak doors and watched, mesmerised, as she slowly drifted into fitful sleep. She didn’t know what time he pushed the doors open and crept towards her in the drab grey darkness of the night. But he did. She knew that he did.
Emma woke with a start, tense, alert, and opened her bleary eyes, telling herself insistently that the dark silhouette slowly approaching her was the nightmare construct of her subconscious mind. But initial anxiety became blind panic as the inky shadow took on an obvious human form that suddenly gained pace and loomed over her. And then a hand, a large hot clammy hand, pulled the bedclothes over her head, clamped her mouth tight shut and silenced her scream before it materialised.
A myriad unwelcome thoughts invaded her troubled mind as he pinned her head to the pillow and raised his free arm high above his head, before closing his fingers tightly, forming his hand into a formidable weapon and bringing it crashing down, again and again and again, with all the force he could muster, rendering her unconscious and bleeding.
She didn’t know how long she remained senseless, or what he did to her while she slept. She didn’t know what time he lifted her from her bed and carried her from her student bedroom, down the creaking wooden staircase and out into the Welsh city street. But he did. She knew that he did.
Background of Portraits of the Dead
The book is a fast-paced dark psychological thriller set in Wales, a small Celtic country that borders England. And, yes, Wales is a country with its own language, flag and government, although many American cities have bigger populations than the entire country. Portraits of the Dead is a dark psychological suspense thriller which tells the story of Emma, a young female university student who is abducted by a sadistic serial killer who has already tortured and killed at least 5 young women. Imagine yourself an insect trapped inside a sealed glass bottle with no chance of escaping. You know that your captor is watching your every movement from outside, licking his lips and planning the best way he can abuse and torture you for his maximum enjoyment... pretty terrifying no? This is what happens to Emma, a young student.
In the dead of night, Emma is beaten up and kidnapped from her students' lodging. Upon regaining consciousness she finds herself locked in a pitch-dark room with no windows. There she is held captive by a sadistic man, fed through a hatch in the door and spoken to through speakers. He observes her from an adjacent room, amusing himself at her suffering and nakedness, fantasizing and fueling his depravity, but that's not all... Who is this mysterious madman? What does he want? Why did he choose Emma?
For everyone else, Emma has vanished into thin air. Her distraught mother seeks the help of DI Gareth Gravel. Together with DS Clive Rankin, the police officers start the search for the missing girl. However they soon stumble upon a very grisly find. The bodies of five young girls, all with similar features to Emma's, are found buried in shallow graves. Is this the work of the same man that has kidnapped Emma? Are they too late? Has Emma been murdered and buried somewhere else? Will they ever find her? The police fear the worst...
The whole idea of this book - a sort of human zoo - is simply ingenious and blood-curdling. The story is very gripping and tense. We follow Emma inside the room, frightened, not knowing whether it's day or night, at the mercy of her captor and his sadistic fantasies, and on the outside we follow the police investigating her disappearance and the murders.
John Nicholl, an ex-police officer, child protection social worker, manager and lecturer, has written three dark psychological suspense thrillers, each of which are Amazon international bestsellers, reaching # 1 in multiple categories in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Australia, Canada and the USA. John is always happy to hear from readers, bloggers or anyone interested in proposing a joint creative project.
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