#BlogTour #Extract ~ In The Dark by Andreas Pflüger @HoZ_Books #BookBoost

 

She lost her sight, but she can still see the truth…

Jenny Aaron was once part of an elite police unit tracking Germany’s most dangerous criminals. She was the best. Until it all went wrong. A disastrous mission saw her abandon a wounded colleague and then lose her sight forever.

Now, five years later, she has learnt to navigate a darkened world. But she’s still haunted by her betrayal. Why did she run?

Then she receives a call from the unit. They need her back. A prison psychologist has been brutally murdered. And the killer will only speak to one person…

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About the Author 

Andreas Pflüger is a German screenwriter and author. He has written a number of episodes of the hugely popular German police procedural Tatort.

In the Dark is published in eight languages.

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Extract

Nothing calms her down as much as cleaning her gun. Anyone else would have to check the cartridge chamber to be sure that it’s empty. Not her. She knows the exact weight of the magazine that’s sliding into her hand, right to the last gram. She knows that there is no ammunition in the barrel of the Browning Hi Power, just as she knows that her eyes are green. And sometimes black.

In four seconds she has depressed the magazine release, moved the slide and lifted the barrel and recoil spring assembly free of the frame. High-class Belgian workmanship.

How often she has been grateful for that.

She first killed at twenty-two, when a drug dealer wanted to take her life and forgot that it takes two to tango.

A year later, when the ransom money was being handed over, she was prepared for the moment when the bag of newspaper cuttings was opened, but not for the 2-inch revolver that the little boy’s kidnapper had in a leg holster. For the next few months she had to sleep with the lights on.

He wasn’t the last.

There were others, too, and she will remember all of them for ever.

The hitman sent by Ilya Ivanovich Nikulin with a special hello found her in Moscow. He played cat and mouse with her in the underground car park of the Hotel Aralsk until she was the cat and he the mouse and she could hear him squeaking. She wasn’t bothered about the bullet he took to the belly. But even today she still finds herself being stared at by the young hotel clerk who took a ricochet from her Browning right in the middle of the heart, she sees the eyes of the woman whose hand she held until it was all over.

She carefully brushes the barrel and the breech with gun oil over the basin of the luxurious bathroom, and reflects that there was one occasion when she didn’t clean her pistol.

Naples. The alleyway near the Basilica of Santa Chiara, where the capo of the Mazzarella clan was waiting, the one with whom they had negotiated the fake purchase of ten million counterfeit Euros. When he had spat the word ‘puttana’, revealing that she’d been unmasked, the quickness of her reactions had been of no use.

She pulled the trigger, but the shot didn’t go off.

The previous day, she and Niko had had to fly back to Berlin for a few hours. The Secretary of State for the Interior had demanded to be informed in person about how things were going; a human tortoise who would never understand the difference between an action memo and a .357 Magnum. After that she had let off some steam in the shooting simulator, three hundred and fifty cartridges, had hurried to get to the airport, back to Naples, to the meeting with the capo where a combination of condensation, combustion gases and powder residues jammed the Browning.

That will always be a lesson for her.

The barrel of his Luger rested on the bridge of her nose. She was surprised to realise that she wasn’t scared. She just thought that the gap in the capo’s teeth, which he was wolfishly revealing, would be the last thing she ever saw.

But instead he fell at her feet without a sound.

Niko.

A shot to the head with a Colt from a hundred metres.

You can’t learn something like that.

She scrubs all the parts of the gun with a children’s toothbrush, taking care not to leave any scratches, and sees with satisfaction that the oil is turning deep black; only then is it right. She pushes the toothbrush into the barrel and cleans it from the inside. She’s aware of how much she likes touching the steel, indestructible and at the same time soft and warm.

That was what it was like when her father first took her to the old quarry as a twelve-year-old girl. He taught her how to shoot, telling her everything that a policeman can pass on to his daughter.

She got her first gun on her eighteenth birthday. A Starfire 9 mm pistol, used but well-looked-after, which weighed only four hundred grams and fit her hand perfectly. She loved that pistol, a real little jewel.

She rubs the steel with a Kleenex and sniffs at it.

Enjoys the smell. Nutty. Sweet. Clean.

Four seconds to put the Browning back together.

The loud click with which the breech slips back in is the best beta blocker.

But not today.

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