Monday, 27 July 2020

The Resident by David Jackson @Author_Dave BLOG TOUR @ViperBooks #FearTheResident





Thomas Brogan is a serial killer. With a trail of bodies in his wake and the police hot on his heels, it seems like Thomas has nowhere left to hide. That is until he breaks into an abandoned house at the end of a terrace on a quiet street. And when he climbs up into the loft, he realises that he can drop down into all the other houses through the shared attic space.

That's when the real fun begins. Because the one thing that Thomas enjoys even more than killing is playing games with his victims - the lonely old woman, the bickering couple, the tempting young newlyweds. And his new neighbours have more than enough dark secrets to make this game his best one yet...

Do you fear The Resident? Soon you'll be dying to meet him.







The Resident by David Jackson was published by Viper in hardback on 16 July 2020.

As part of the Blog Tour, I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today.


MONDAY 10 JUNE , 9.16 AM

He woke up hungry but excited. This was going to be a great day.
He hadn’t visited Elsie last night, and a part of him wondered
whether she would be upset.
Stop caring about her. She’s not important.
He hadn’t visited the Fairbrights either. He didn’t want to see
them all lovey-dovey. He wanted to see how they coped when it
all started going wrong.
He crunched on an apple while sitting cross-legged at the
kitchen door, the wooden board pulled away to allow in some
fresh air. He had become so used to living in darkness that the
bright sunlight hurt his eyes.
Hot day ahead. It’s going to get pretty toasty up in those attic spaces.
Yeah, I know.
Maybe you should go up there naked.
What?
Yeah. And then you should drop in on them. Just appear naked
in their house. Imagine their surprise. You could put the willies up
them!
That joke’s still funny if you’re about nine years old.
When Brogan had eaten, he put the board back in place, bolted
the door and headed upstairs. At Elsie’s place he paused for a while
and listened to the conversation from below.
‘Elsie, did Tammy bring food with her yesterday?’
‘I don’t like Tammy. If I must have someone, I’d prefer you.’
‘Yes, well sometimes I need a day off like everybody else. And
you haven’t answered my question. Did she bring you some food?’
109
‘She never brings me anything. You don’t, either.’
‘Not my job. So why is there cake in the fridge?’
‘I made one.’
‘And very nice it looks too. What I’m asking is why it’s there.
You’ve got diabetes. You’re not supposed to be eating sugary stuff.’
‘I only had a sliver.’
‘There’s more than a sliver gone, Elsie. There’s barely half of it
left. And there’s a candle in it.’
‘It was a special occasion.’
‘What was?’
‘Yesterday. It was a special day.’
‘What kind of special day?’
‘A birthday.’
‘It wasn’t your birthday. Your birthday is in September.’
‘I didn’t say it was my birthday, did I? It was someone else’s.’
‘Whose?’
‘Alex’s.’
Stupid old cow. I told you. She can’t be trusted.
‘Al— Oh, I see.’
‘Do you?’
‘Yes, I . . . Look, Elsie, you need to start being sensible.’
‘Sensible? What are you talking about?’
‘I’m talking about looking after yourself. You need to get out
more. Meet some new people.’
‘I don’t want to meet new people,’ she snapped. ‘I like it here.
With Alex.’
‘Yes, all right. Don’t get all hot and bothered. I’m just saying
that having so much cake isn’t good for you.’
‘And I told you that I didn’t eat it.’
‘No. All right, Elsie. If you say so.’
There came an awkward silence best left unfilled by either party.
And then Elsie said, ‘I made him a present too.’
‘A present? For Alex?’
‘Yes. I was going to give it to him last night, but he didn’t come.’
‘No, well—’
Brogan got the feeling the carer was about to say ‘well, he
wouldn’t, would he?’ and that she then thought better of it.
‘I hope he’s all right,’ Elsie said.
‘I don’t think you need to worry. Right then, what shall we have
for breakfast?’
Brogan smiled at the carer’s diversionary tactic. The woman
clearly wasn’t comfortable talking about the dead. Little did she
know how close her charge had come to being in that state.
Brogan abandoned his listening post, but knew he would have
to visit Elsie again soon. She had a present for him. He couldn’t
recall the last time someone had given him a present. Gifts were
something he gave to himself now, usually involving great sacrifices
of others.
He moved on. He wasted no time at Jack and Pam’s house –
their demon hound had convinced him to delete it from his list
of local attractions – and continued on to the Fairbrights’ attic.
It’s different.
What do you mean, different?
Look at it. Things have been moved around. They’ve been up here.
Well, they’re entitled, aren’t they? It’s their house.
I don’t like it. This is our domain. They should stay down there
where they belong.
Brogan tried to dismiss the fact as being unworthy of further
contemplation, but it drove home to him how precarious his situation
was – how, at any time, someone else could easily explore
the route he had come to regard as his private footway.
Slightly unnerved, he spent a few minutes listening to satisfy
himself that the property was empty before he made his way down
the ladder.
In the bedroom, the smell of Colette washed away his anxiety.
He closed his eyes while he inhaled her scents. He pictured her on
the bed, asleep and unaware of his presence. His excitement grew.
He headed downstairs. In the kitchen cupboard he discovered
a fresh loaf of bread. He took great care in unpeeling the dated
sticker holding it closed, then he extracted a slice and resealed
the tab. He toasted the bread lightly, then scraped a thin layer
of peanut butter onto it. As he ate with his back to the sink, he
scanned the kitchen, his mind toying with the possibilities this
house might offer him when he finally confronted the Fairbrights
in person.
His eyes alighted on a small music system on the counter opposite.
He went across and switched it on. It started to play ‘I’m a
Believer’ by The Monkees.
A great song.
Absolutely. A classic.
The opening bars pulled him in. He found himself nodding
along, and then singing. The lyrics seemed so fitting to his situation.
They could almost be about Colette. He became lost in the
song, his voice growing louder.
And then he noticed the shadow.
It passed across the wall in front of him, and at first he thought
he was imagining it. But then he heard the noises too.
He dropped to the floor.
Shit!
A fucking window cleaner!
Has he seen you?
I don’t think so. I don’t know.
Get out of there, man.
I can’t move. He’ll see me.
Well, at least turn off the fucking music.
I can’t! I can’t reach it without him seeing me.
Brogan stayed where he was, flat on the tiled floor. He listened to
the heavy footsteps outside, the splashing of water onto the ground.
He’ll do the upstairs first, right?
I think so. That would make sense.
Because if he starts on this window, he’ll definitely see you.
I know. Stay cool.
You’ll have to kill him.
What?
If he sees you, you’ll have to kill him.
Shut up. It won’t come to that.
Brogan lifted his head slightly – enough to see out the window.
A dark shape passed in front of it, and Brogan pressed his cheek
against the tiles again.
He heard a heavy slap against a window, then a steady waterfall
hitting the yard just outside the door. The cleaner was definitely
tackling the upper storey first.
Cut the music!
I’m doing it.
Brogan crawled towards the counter. He couldn’t risk standing
up, as the window cleaner was working from ground level using a
telescopic brush attached to a pressure hose.
Brogan stretched up an arm. During the several seconds it took
him to locate the off switch, he hoped that the cleaner wasn’t staring
at his floundering hand in amusement.
Commando-style, Brogan snaked his way out of the kitchen
and into the hall. The only glass there was in the front door, and
it was frosted. Breathing a sigh of relief, he sat up and pressed his
back against a wall.
You got cocky.
What do you mean?
You were complacent. Careless. Stupid. How many more adjectives
would you like?
All right. Don’t go on about it. It’s over.
Is it?
Brogan waited for some time, listening to the cleaner work
his way around the house. When the light coming through the
kitchen doorway was suddenly eclipsed, he found himself drawing
in his legs and holding his breath. He didn’t feel frightened; it was
more that he was overcompensating for his earlier recklessness.
He listened to the soft slide of a soapy pad across the glass, and
then a bright squeal as a squeegee dragged away the dirt-laden
suds.
The cleaner moved on to the other windows. In a few minutes
it was all over. Brogan heard the yard door being latched shut. He
could relax again. He stood up.
See? Nothing to worry about.
But then, as if knowing it had just been challenged, the shadow
returned. It loomed outside the front door. As it neared the
frosted glass, it crystallised into colours and the more precisely
defined shape of a heavy-set man.
The doorbell rang.
Brogan stayed perfectly still, staring at the distorted figure,
waiting for it to give up and come back for the money another
time.
You need to answer. Get him in here.
What are you talking about? He’ll go away in a second. He
doesn’t know I’m here.
No? Then listen.
Brogan listened. The window cleaner was whistling softly. It
was the melody of ‘I’m a Believer’.
He heard you!
So?
What do you mean? He knows you’re there. When he comes back
for the money, he’ll tell them. They’ll know you were here.
He won’t do that. He won’t even remember.
He will. Open the door. Drag him in.
Don’t be ridiculous. He has equipment. A van. What am I supposed
to do with that?
But then it was too late. The cleaner moved away, his shadow
thinning, his whistle fading.
You’re an imbecile. You need to think about your actions.
Brogan couldn’t help himself. He began laughing.
What the hell are you laughing about?
You. You’re such a worrier. We’re fine. We’ll always be fine.
Yeah? Well, keep thinking that way. See where it gets you.
Brogan got to his feet and returned to the kitchen. He retrieved
his half-eaten toast from the floor, then ate it because he didn’t
know what else to do with it. He cleaned the butter knife and
put it away, then brushed up any crumbs he could see and flushed
them down the sink. Lastly, he switched the toaster off at the wall
– exactly as it had been when he arrived.
When he was done in the kitchen, he went back upstairs to the
bedroom. There was something he needed to do.




I was a latecomer to fiction writing, having spent most of my adult life producing academic papers and reports. 
After some limited success entering short story competitions, I submitted  the first few chapters of a novel to the Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger Awards. 
To my great surprise, the book was not only short-listed but given the Highly Commended accolade, which stimulated the interest of agents and publishers and eventually led to the publication of PARIAH. 
Since then, I have written several more crime thrillers, including two series set in New York and my birth city of Liverpool. 
I still have a day job in Liverpool as a university academic, but now live on the Wirral with my wife, two daughters and a British Shorthair cat called Mr Tumnus.

Twitter @Author_Dave




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