Title: Forever Night
Author: Stephen B King
Genre: Psychological Thriller/Suspense/Police Procedural
Paul ‘Tank’ Williams suffered a horrific childhood at the hands of his sadistic father and alcoholic, clingy mother. He escaped to join the Army where he exceled and became a decorated SAS war hero in Iraq and Afghanistan.
On leave, he meets and marries the one and only true love of his life, but after being near fatally injured in a bomb blast during an operation where everything went wrong, he is returned back to Australia mentally and physically wounded. When his wife leaves him due to his fits of irrational rage and jealousy, he tracks her across the country to Perth on a ‘mission’ to hunt her down and kill her. However, he discovers the victim was not Amanda, but someone who resembled her. He kills again and again until he tracks her to a large suburban shopping centre where he believes she works.
A huge task force, led by Detective Inspector Dillon Bradley, has been set up to stop the man nicknamed ‘The Ripper’ by the press. After a media conference Williams decides to buy time and plans a diversion which will have catastrophic consequences for Bradley. The killer knows the wounds he received in Afghanistan will eventually kill him and he is determined to finish his mission at all costs before they do.
“We know this man uses disguise to hide his features from time to time. We know he is tall, approximately one-hundred-eighty-eight centimeters, and of a solid build. Sometimes he walks with a limp and other times not. We believe the limp is fake. The use of false facial hair, possibly wigs or most often a cap, is used to make identification difficult so please look carefully at the pictures. This man is out there. You may know him or you may see him somewhere quite innocent. We warn everyone that if you do see anyone resembling this man you are not to approach him. He is very dangerous, and armed. Please call the number on your screen. You can stay anonymous but we need your help to track him down before he kills again.”
The phone number scrolled continuously across the bottom of the screen, and again there were a dozen questions at once called out by reporters. Dillon pointed to a female reporter in the front row, who stood and said, “Do you know why he is doing this, Inspector?”
“We cannot be one hundred percent sure, no. Our police psychologist and profilers all agree he is unhinged and has a purpose that makes perfect sense to him. We think he is hunting one particular woman, perhaps someone who has wronged him somehow in the past, and he feels has ruined his life. The first ten victims all looked quite similar, so we believe he either thought he’d killed the right person, only to find out later she wasn’t, or it could be that he keeps killing the same person over and over again in his mind. I repeat he is unhinged. One thing is for sure, he is a very sick man. However, outwardly he may appear to be quite normal, and we believe him to be fully functional in his everyday life. He could be a family member, friend or work colleague. He may seem just a little off center at times, but he will not come across as the raving lunatic we know him to be. For example, the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, was married and his wife had no idea about the women he murdered. In his case they were most often prostitutes he killed.” He then pointed at the reporter next to the first.
“What can people do to be safe, Inspector?”
This caused Dillon to pause. Eventually he said, “I cannot impress on everyone enough just how dangerously sick this man is.” Again, the screen above changed showing the pictures of the killer.
“What can everyone do to stay safe? Well, avoid meeting tall, well-built men who look like our suspect for a start. If you are using a dating site, or meeting a man for the first time, be careful. Meet in a public place, and if anything seems off-kilter call for help. The fact is, we have fifteen victims now and some of them were careful, yet he still got to them. Not only is he a deranged, sick man, he is very clever and resourceful and he plans his kills carefully. He is, for whatever reason, driven to do what he does, and he does it well. To us he is more than just a sick pervert who gets off on killing women. Perhaps he comes across as being pleasant, intelligent and even personable. We know sociopaths often are. But he will stop at nothing and is totally ruthless. If you met him you may feel his eyes are cold, or he has some mannerisms that deep down you feel are not right. Listen to your instincts.
“I urge women, especially blonde women, not to go out alone. Stay in groups or with family, be observant and careful. If something doesn’t seem right, trust your feelings. If you are aware of the potential danger to yourself, don’t ignore any misgivings you may have about someone who in whatever way resembles these pictures. I don’t know how else to answer your question except to say this killer does have a type of woman he is targeting. All victims previously were short in stature, with long blonde hair and blue eyes. All were attractive and in their late twenties to mid-thirties. If this description fits you, you should be particularly careful and vigilant for any form of stalking. Contact police immediately if you feel threatened at any time. In the case of the most recent victims, we believe that one or more of them knows the woman he is looking for. So, if you know a woman who you feel meets his criteria, be mindful of that and stay as safe as possible.” He nodded at someone else.
“Inspector, you’ve mentioned the type of woman being targeted. Pictures haven’t been released of the latest victims—are those women short with blonde hair?”
“No, they are not. At this time, we can only speculate that one of these victims who were killed in their homes knew the woman he is looking for somehow. He tortured two victims trying to find her whereabouts. Investigations are still continuing and we want to find his intended victim urgently. Next?” he said, looking at someone else.
“Commissioner Pollock, do you feel the police have failed the community in not making an arrest so far, and fifteen people have now been murdered?”
“We have now sixty officers in total working in this task force, and these are the best people we have. Inspector Bradley and his team have my full support. They have several avenues they are pursuing, which for operational reasons we cannot go into here. Make no mistake, we are working tirelessly to apprehend this killer, and we are getting very close. But we need your help too. If anyone sees this man, or has seen him in the past, contact us immediately.”
Dillon spoke up once more. “Please understand this, this man is a calculating, cold-hearted, psychopathic killer.”
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
Forever Night was the first book I wrote and tells the story of an emotionally, and physically wounded highly trained, ex SAS soldier on a mission to murder his wife when she tries to escape his rage. Being a decorated war hero, he is more highly trained in the art of killing and survival that the police who are hunting him. He is a ticking time bomb of murderous rage, and knows he will die from his wounds, but must at all costs find his wife first.
Enter to win an e-book bundle of all 42 books featured in the Mystery and Suspense Bookish Event:
Runs August 11 – 17, 2020.
Winner will be drawn on August 24, 2020.
I have eleven books published, with Winter at the Light being number twelve. I won several short story competitions, published poetry and wrote music and lyrics in my long-haired rock band days as a guitarist, so I have been telling stories most of my, what seems like, very long life.
Winter at the Light is my latest release with my wonderful publisher, The Wild Rose Press of NY. For my first book, Forever Night I was contracted to a UK publisher who shall remain nameless. Before publication that publisher was bought out and the new owners (one of the big four) cancelled the line I was contracted to, which left me in publishing wilderness for a while.
I self-published my next four books until two years later, I signed with The Wild Rose Press to publish Thirty-Three Days. I followed up that with the Deadly Glimpses Trilogy and soon the trilogy will comprise five books – who knew you could do that? I wrote Winter at the Light, while simultaneously completing the fourth Glimpse book, titled Glimpse, the Angel Shot. Two more different tales you could never read.
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