#BookExtract – Headhunter by Nick Oldham

Headhunter by Nick Oldham book jacket“A rousing series launch” Publishers Weekly on Onslaught

“Packed with high-octane action and gut-churning violence; a flawed hero who’s tough and brave but all too human; and a genuine shocker of an ending … the perfect book for anyone who thinks there’s nothing to read between Michael Connelly novels” Booklist Starred Review of Onslaught

“This tense thriller is a rollercoaster ride of gut-churning violence and pulse-pounding action … A mesmerizing read for anyone who likes the hard-boiled style” Booklist on Ambush

 

Accused of murder, former marine and disgraced ex-cop Steve Flynn is on the run – and on the hunt…

The man had to die and Steve Flynn had to be his killer.

Flynn broke the man’s neck with ease, and although he knew he had instantly killed him, just for good measure and to avoid any error, he kept his forearm jammed tight across the man’s neck to crush the windpipe and shut off all blood flow to the brain.

Almost intimately, nose-to-nose with the man, Flynn watched his eyes first glaze over and turn milky in death and then, as Flynn continued to squeeze and keep up the pressure, he saw them almost bulge out of their sockets and then haemorrhage red as what blood remained in his head was forced into the orbs.

Only when he was completely certain the man was dead did Flynn release his neck-hold and allow his head to flop. Then he let the lifeless body slither out of his grip and thump down hard on to the metal floor pan of the police van. Flynn did not gently lower him down and the back of his head smacked against the metal edge of the bench seat while his body twisted unnaturally on to the floor.

To have eased him down, to have given him that final piece of dignity, would have been too much like an act of kindness or contrition on Flynn’s part. It was much more than this man, whose name was Brian Tasker, deserved and certainly more than he had afforded any of his victims.

Flynn’s usually craggily handsome face was twisted, sweaty and ugly with pain and effort. The sinews in his neck were taut like strands of plaited steel cable.

He dragged the back of his hand across his mouth, wiping away the spittle, then glanced down at his outer right thigh and his bloodstained jeans. A wave of nausea rolled up from his lower gut and almost engulfed him, but he fought it to remain focused and concentrating.

The leg had been very basically dressed by a paramedic earlier, and Flynn knew that, in an ideal world, what he now needed was hospital treatment for the gunshot wound.

But Flynn was operating in a far-from-ideal world and a hospital admission would have to wait its turn.

Bracing himself to ignore the agony from his leg and also the throbbing of a burst eardrum, he slid along the bench seat to the back door of the van and pushed it open.

He knew his time was limited.

HEADHUNTER by Nick Oldham is out now in the UK and will be published in eBook, and in hardback in the USA, on 1 November 2017.  Please visit our website here for further information about Nick Oldham and his work.

 

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