So as you know book three of the John Steel series is coming soon. As everyone waits with baited breath on what it is about, who will be in it and of course will Steel and McCall finally get it on. Sadly i can not say. however what i can do is post for you all the first chapter of the new book. Hope you all enjoy it and look forward to all your fantastic comments.
Black clouds loomed over the city like a warning of an incoming storm. A chill wind hurried down the streets, picking up bit of wastepaper or anything light enough to be swept away in its path. Steam rose up from the vents in the manhole covers which enveloped the passing cars as they drove over them.
The night was calm with not many people filling the streets. This was a quiet part of town, all the tourists and partygoers were blocks away, or they were tucked up at home avoiding the biting breeze.
But the still of the cold New York night air was broken by loud screams of an argument. The heated words between the husband and his wife were muffled by the restaurant’s red-brick walls and half frosted windows. However, the people inside got the full view of the fight.
As the restaurant’s door swung open a tall dark-haired woman stepped out onto the empty street. She stopped and bent slightly at the waist as she held her head in her hands and let out a small yell to vent her frustration.
The woman turned around and saw her husband arguing with the manager through the restaurant’s window. The other customers were watching, throwing meaningful glances at the commotion the man was making.
His words were distorted by the distance and the glass between them, but what he wanted was clear to the woman standing outside. He wanted to leave the place to check up on her, to apologise for being an ass.
She could see his face that was full of regret. But the look slowly changed the more the manager insisted that he had to pay their bill first. This would have seemed perfectly reasonable to rational people, but he was not being rational.
Julie Armstrong had come out for some fresh air and to put some distance between them. Her hope was that he would calm down enough for them to talk. However, the incident with the manager had just made things worse. She didn’t want to fight in the street, hell, that was the last thing she needed the press to pick up on.
She pictured the newspaper headline: Supreme Court Judge Battles with Husband in Street.
Such publicity would mean that she wouldn’t be able to preside over any cases concerning disputes between couples, that was for sure. The lawyers would have a field day saying she was not being objective in her decisions.
She knew she had to put some distance between them for a while. He had been drinking a lot of the wine. Mostly out of anger. Julie looked over the road and spied the perfect place to hide: an alleyway.
It looked safe enough but then she wasn’t going in that far, just enough so he couldn’t find her.
Her long hair was carried up by a sudden gust of a chilled breeze as she crossed to the other side of the street towards the mouth of the alley.
As she looked back on the fight she could see his point. He had accused her of cheating, seeing it now through his eyes she came to realise how he had come to the conclusion he had.
The long hours at work, the odd phone calls late at night. The odd look here and there from other men in her line of work. Sure, she was a Supreme Court judge who was close to becoming a Chief Justice of the United States.
She had thrown benefits and parties, anything to attract the right people. Julie had worked hard and rubbed shoulders with powerful and influential folk, hell, she was one step away from that Presidential seal of approval. But then her husband had also been working long hours at the school, where he taught. But his lengthy work hours were due to cutbacks and the shortage of teachers. He had left the Army and a damned good career so that he could spend more time with her, but that never worked out the way they had hoped.
Recently she had become secretive and distant and for him that meant only one thing. Julie Armstrong was in her mid-forties and a very attractive woman with a model’s figure that many men had stared at lasciviously.
She looked back with hazel brown eyes that were red with the sting of fresh tears, to see if he had followed her, but the dimly lit alley was empty behind her. Part of her hoped she would hear him call her name so she knew he still cared, but no sound came. A cold chill bit the air, causing her to push up the collar on her long coat and pull the waistband tighter.
The cool air had calmed her down. With an awkward smile Julie started to walk back towards the restaurant. She hoped her husband was still at the table waiting for her. She searched her purse for the car keys just in case he had gone: Julie had wisely taken the keys off of him just in case he decided to drive back. She had seen him down half the bottle of red wine at dinner, probably for Dutch courage.
A noise in front of her made her look up. Before her stood a shadowed silhouette of a man.
“I am glad you found me,” she said to the figure, assuming it was her husband. “Look we need to talk, just please let me explain—” Her words stopped abruptly as she felt the knife pierce her stomach, aware of a sudden pain as the large blade punctured her flesh.
Julie stumbled backwards and looked down at her blood-soaked hands, the shock of the situation still trying to compute in her brain. She wanted to scream but it was as though her vocal cords had been sliced. Her mouth moved in hope of some sound coming out, but nothing came. She had a look of confusion and fear on her face.
Why was this happening to her?
She stumbled backwards until she fell over a pile of abandoned cardboard boxes. Julie looked up from her position and an expression of terror came over her face as her assailant walked calmly forwards, gripping the blood-soaked knife tightly. As the dreadful reality of what was about to happen sunk in, she finally found her voice before the knife quickly silenced her with a slash to her throat.