#BookExtract: NIGHT WATCH by David C. Taylor

9780727888679_fcNew York, 1956. Two bizarre deaths occur under suspicious circumstances. But before Detective Michael Cassidy can begin investigating these cases he is threatened by an unknown man, for reasons which are unclear. Are all three incidents connected? If so, will Cassidy live long enough to find out before his would-be assassin claims his life?


NIGHT WATCH is the third thriller to feature detective Michael Cassidy. The extract below is from the end of the first chapter, where Karl and Magda Brandt deal with a man from their past . . .

(Warning: violence)

Magda appeared from the darkness behind the man. She had discarded her shoes and was moving quietly. Whatever she is doing, I must keep him looking at me, Karl thought. He must not see her. ‘Who the hell do you think you are yelling at me like this?’ He used his best command voice, one that had cowed subordinates for years. ‘I’ve told you, you have the wrong man. I’ve never seen you before in my life. Go away. Go away! Are you an idiot?’ Karl took a step forward.

Leon hesitated. The doctor was a big man, and he looked fit, and Leon was weak and broken. The idea that the man might get away made him want to weep. He fumbled with the knife, and finally managed to open it.

Magda was close now. She could smell him: horse and sweat. She removed the pin that held her hat to her hair. The pin was four inches long and slightly flattened like a blade. It was topped by a large fake pearl that gave her a good grip. She examined the back of the man’s head. It had been a long time since she had studied anatomy, but she had a fine, retentive mind. She saw the spot she was looking for, above the dirty collar of the man’s jacket. She drove the pin hard up into the hollow at the base of the man’s skull. She twisted the steel and probed. The man stiffened. The steel blade in his brain locked his legs. He tried to turn but could not. ‘Hold him,’ she commanded.

Karl grabbed the man’s wrists and squeezed.

Magda pulled the pin out, and the man sagged a bit and whimpered. She stabbed the pin back in at a different angle. The man bleated and jerked, and the knife fell from his hand. ‘Hold him tight.’

Karl hugged the man, pinning his arms. The man’s breath was thick with onions and decay. His eyes were wide and staring. His mouth stretched in agony, and his body shuddered and twitched as Magda twisted the steel in his brain. Karl noted the parchment of the man’s skin, the broken veins in his nose, the gray stubble on his cheeks. He looked past the man to Magda. Her brow was furrowed with concentration. She held the tip of her tongue between her teeth, the way she did when she was working out a knotty problem.

Magda pulled the pin out and jabbed it in again. Leon Dudek bent backward like a bow, and his face strained toward the sky. He quivered as if electrified. The pin cut something fatal. His head slumped onto Karl’s shoulder and Karl let him down onto the pavement and crouched to feel his neck for a pulse. ‘He’s dead.’ He stood up. ‘Well done, darling.’ He kicked the body lightly. ‘What did you use?’

‘My hat pin.’

‘I wouldn’t have known where to go in with it. I’ve forgotten so much since medical school. You’re a wonder.’ He took her in his arms. She could feel their hearts racing together, and he felt the heat rise in both of them. ‘We better go.’

‘I have to find my shoes, and my hat fell when I took out the pin. You should take his wallet. They’ll think it’s a robbery.’ She stood on tiptoes to kiss him.

In the glow from the streetlamp her eyes were bright, and to Karl she looked beautiful.

NIGHT WATCH is available from 31 January in the UK and from 1 May 2019 in the US. Read more here.


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