Wednesday 2 May 2018

The Picture by Roger Bray @rogerbray22 #BlogTour @rararesources #ThePicture

A warehouse in Japan used as an emergency shelter in the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami. A distraught, young Japanese woman in dishevelled clothes sits on a box, holding her infant daughter. Ben, a US rescue volunteer, kneels in front of her offering comfort. They hug, the baby between them. The moment turns into an hour as the woman sobs into his shoulder; mourning the loss of her husband, her home, the life she knew. A picture is taken, capturing the moment. It becomes a symbol; of help freely given and of the hope of the survivors. The faces in the picture cannot be recognised, and that is how Ben likes it. No celebrity, thanks not required.
But others believe that being identified as the person in the picture is their path to fame and fortune. Ben stands, unknowingly, in their way, but nothing a contract killing cannot fix.

The Picture by Roger Bray was published in April 2018. I'm delighted to host the Blog Tour today, with thanks to Rachel from Rachel's Random Resources who invited me to take part on the tour.

I'm sharing an extract from the book here on Random Things today:

Context: Ben Davis a retired Portland, Oregon police officer volunteers in the relief effort to the areas devastated be the 2011 Japanese Tsunami. He meets a young Japanese woman cradling her baby and a picture is taken of them which becomes an iconic emblem of the disaster. A conman, Vince Brown, decides to pretend he is the man in the picture to star in a reality TV show focusing on natural disasters. He realises that his connection to the picture could be his undoing if the truth were to come out. Vince and his business partner decide to kill Ben to stop him exposing them and contact drug dealer from Sacramento to carry out the task. 

That crime had taught Olsson two things, have no witnesses and leave no evidence behind.
Actually, it had taught him one other thing as well, about himself rather than the commission of a crime; he didn’t care about taking a life, it had meant nothing to him at all and he had actually had a reason for taking the bitch out; he imagined taking out a stranger would affect him as much as squashing a bug.
When Beck had first raised the idea of a hit on a stranger, Olsson had been intrigued and then excited by the easy money for sure but also by the job itself. He saw himself as a comic book shadow, in the background organizing crimes for big fat envelopes stuffed with untraceable cash. The (first attack) had taught him one more thing, don’t use wannabes and junkies like Feral and Bonz. If he wanted this to happen smoothly and with no comeback at all, then he had to do it himself or if he was determined to be a mover and a shaker, but not get his hands dirty, he realized he needed to hire professionals and set things up to distance himself as far away as possible from the action.
But for this job, he would do it himself. Steal a car to get there and drive from the scene, then dump later on. The job needed to be done quickly and simply, in and out. He could take the remaining forty grand from Beck and head down to Mexico for a few months once it was over, watch the dust settle on another dead ex-cop while he considered how to make himself fire proof in his new profession.
He could get a gun, in Sacramento that was no problem at all and within twelve hours of talking to Beck he had acquired a weapon. He had actually been offered a .45 M1911 automatic and a 9mm Uzi but had settled on a Smith and Wesson bodyguard .38 Special revolver. One thing he had picked up from the streets was simple was best, and anything that could go wrong often did. He wanted simple, and the revolver was as simple a firearm as you could get, lethal delivery but nice and simple. Point it and shoot, nothing that can jam or seize up, minimum maintenance, not that he was planning to keep the gun that long once the deed was done, he planned to get away and dump
it, in pieces and preferably in a river or a lake.
Getting away was the hardest part, in keeping with his new creed of keeping things simple he considered the easiest way was to walk up to the front door and shoot the guy in the head once he answered. If someone else answered, he could make an excuse about a wrong address of a fictitious friend in the neighborhood. The problem with that approach was it would only work once and once he tried it, whoever he had spoken to could give the cops a description of him, which he would prefer they didn’t.
The other option was to knock on the door and shoot Ben if he appeared, if not shoot whoever did and anyone else in the house, but this approach could not guarantee success either as without surveilling the house he wouldn’t know if the target was home and hitting the wrong target again after all his boasting to Beck would be downright embarrassing and a bloodbath if he did get the right guy but an extra couple of people as well would bring the cops down on him like a ton of rocks.
Olsson preferred a quick in and out, get the job done the first time and get out of town, he wasn’t sure how, but he preferred walking up to Ben nice and easy and putting one in his head, one this time that would get the job done properly, not like the useless junkie bitch at the convenience store. The cross-cut hollow point bullets he had acquired would ensure that there would be enough lead bouncing around inside the skull that there would no chance of survival, not this time.

Sounds great doesn't it? Please do go and check out the other fabulous bloggers who are hosting the Blog Tour for The Picture

I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops. My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider. Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing. Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school. So here we are, two books published and another on track. Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much Anne for joining the tour and featuring an extract on your website, very much appreciated :) xxx