Friday, 15 February 2019

One Last Prayer For The Rays by Wes Markin + Excerpt

One Last Prayer for the Rays by Wes Markin
Self published on the 29th January 2019.

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DCI Michael Yorke faces his most harrowing case yet.

When 12-year-old Paul disappears from school, Yorke’s only clue is a pool of animal blood. Fearing the worst, he turns toward the most obvious suspect, recently released local murderer, Thomas Ray.

But as the snow in Salisbury worsens, Ray’s mutilated body is discovered, and Yorke is left with no choice but to journey into the sinister heart of a demented family that has plagued the community for generations. Can he save the boy? Or will the evil he discovers change him forever?

One Last Prayer for the Rays introducing DCI Michael Yorke.


Context: This is from the opening chapter of the debut DCI Michael Yorke thriller One Last Prayer for the Rays. Chaos descends on Salisbury when 12-year-old Paul Ray disappears from school. DCI Michael Yorke begins the investigation with an unsettling discovery …

Yorke tore open the sealed bag that the officer had handed him and slipped the over suit on. After ripping open the second bag, he buried his worn-out brogues into the overshoes.
‘Here,’ Jake said, lifting the police line, and ushering Yorke under. Tyler took a step back. 
Beginning at the toilet door, a trail of gluey red footprints came ten metres or so down the corridor before eventually fading to red smudges. Tyler had allowed a further couple of metres before stringing up his line. 
The footprints would have to be matched to Simon Rushton’s shoes.
Yorke looked at his watch again. Five minutes past twelve. He slipped on some latex gloves and manoeuvred down the corridor, dodging the bloody footprints, until he was at the door to the boys’ toilets. 
He checked the over suit was completely covering his neck. At scenes like this, it always felt cold. 
He put his palm on the door. You’re just a child, he thought, and had nothing to do with what happened to Harry’s wife.
The door made no sound as it was opened. A movement sensor was triggered and the bathroom light flickered on. As he stepped in, he was assaulted by the smell of metal tinged with citrus – it was almost as bad as the mortuary.
The school toilets were impressive and a far cry from what his had been like.  He recalled sinks yellowed by smoke and phlegm, and walls blistered by graffiti and urine. 
He glanced down at the pool of blood. Like a sleeping red monster, it stretched its body far underneath the three cubicles alongside the left wall, whilst resting its long claws beneath most of the opposite sinks and the urinals at the far side.
‘Pints of blood,’ Tyler had said to Jake. He’d not been wrong. 
A couple of crimson handprints glowed on the white sinks.
Supposing Rushton is not lying about slipping and accidentally putting his hands in the blood, could it be him that leaned over the sink? Maybe, he threw up, or thought he would do?
Or if Rushton is not our man, could we get lucky? Could the person who set up this whole scene have been stupid enough to have left their gloves at home?
Salisbury Cathedral’s spire peered through the tiny window above the urinals.
Too small for someone to get through.
He pondered the three white cubicle doors lining the left side of the boys’ toilets. The first door was slightly ajar, whilst the middle door was shut and the third was wide open. He looked into the mirror at the reflection of the third cubicle interior. Nothing of interest.
Yorke did what Tyler had done, and what Simon Rushton had claimed to have done prior to his accident, he knelt down to look under the cubicles; the blood had curled around the base of the three toilets and, as Tyler had said, there was no sign of the boy.
Yorke’s mind wandered back to an old case file he’d read. One in which the victim was chopped up and stuffed down a toilet.
Yorke manoeuvred around the teacher’s footprints and positioned himself at the beginning of the line of sinks. He then managed to wiggle himself into a tiny gap between the blood blister and the furthest basin. From there, he was able to stretch onto his toes, and crane his head to look into the cubicle. Despite his thirty-nine years, regular running and stretching kept him more agile than most of the fresh-faced twenty year olds he encountered at the station.
The toilet seat was up. He stretched a little further . . .
No body parts. But a message in blood, hand-written in big, sloping letters on the wall above the toilet.
In the Blood. 

Meet the author

Wes Markin is a hyperactive English teacher, who loves writing crime fiction with a twist of the macabre.

​Having released One Last Prayer for the Rays he is now working on the second instalment of DCI Michael Yorke’s wild ride, The Repenting Serpent. He is also the author of Defined, a prequel to his DCI Yorke novels, which takes the reader back to his blood-soaked university days.​​

Born in 1978, Wes grew up in Manchester, UK. After graduating from Leeds University, he spent fifteen years as a teacher of English, and has taught in Thailand, Malaysia and China. Now as a teacher, writer, husband and father, he is currently living in Harrogate, UK.​

Author links: 
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Books by Wes Markin / Crime fiction / Books from England