Hunting a Predator
About the Author:I started to write Hunting a Predator about six and a half years ago. I wrote the first half in eighteen months, stopped and then started again in 2013, completing my final draft in 2014. The next phase was finding a publisher. I was lucky here, to have a friend who researched for me and found Beaten Track Publishing. Hunting a Predator will available as a paperback and ebook on Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo and other platforms. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.... Read More
Detailed Information:Expected: 2016
Length: 70,000 words (250 pages) approx.
A police procedural inspired by CSI.
Meet Superintendent Brian Tyson, based at Scotland Yard. Aided by a group of forensic experts and the police of three different counties, he is charged with catching a serial killer.
Having already killed once in South London, the target is travelling north, and Brian is in hot pursuit. With a second attack in Birmingham - this time on a young African teenager - the hunt intensifies, with Brian getting ever closer to his prey.
* * * * *
Excerpt: Chapter One Shots Fired
A shell ricocheted off the metal railings of a park fence as a young girl walked through, missing her by mere inches. Eyes widened by fear, she flattened herself to the pavement, hardly daring to move. Another two loud pops sounded. One man was hit between the eyes. A second was hit in the back, just below the shoulders. Both men died in a matter of minutes.
One week ago, newly appointed Superintendent Brian Tyson had been assigned to the case. It was a swift learning curve, but Brian was a fast learner and quickly adapted to the situation.
"Silver One. I need an observation post."
Looking through his binoculars, Brian scanned the immediate area. No sooner had he turned his back, when a fourth bullet shattered a car windscreen, splintering it into a thousand pieces. The driver slumped forward and, with no means of control, the car crashed into a wall, causing an immediate pile-up as other drivers reacted, braking hard, or stamping on their accelerators, trying to avoid the crashed vehicle.
"Silver, I need immediate assistance here to clear the road."
"Bravo Two, we think we have a good spot for your OB - the Eon Building just to your left. As far as we can tell, the fourth floor is empty. There's a service elevator, so you can enter without being seen."
Brian looked around and saw that the panic of a few minutes ago had subsided. "Control, this is Bravo Two. Is that team here yet?"
"Bravo Two, the team you asked for is two minutes away, along with ten uniforms. That should calm things down a bit, sir."
Walking towards the car, Brian pulled on a pair of latex gloves and took out his torch. Switching it on, he examined the inside of the car and found a neat hole, about half an inch across, at the base of the driver's neck. The bullet appeared to have severed both the wind pipe and the lower cervical vertebrae, causing paralysis and then death in a matter of seconds.
Ten minutes later, the ballistics team arrived.
"I want that roof swept. There should be GSR on the ledges. Also, anything you can find - even the obvious, such as gum - we'll run it through Reading's DNA Lab."
He's playing mind games, thought Brian, deliberately causing fear at the busiest time of the day.
"Bravo Two, the OB is active," a voice said over the police radio.
Brian started towards the office building. "Received. ETA in just over five minutes."
On the roof, a lone figure prepared to move on. In his army camouflage, he was hard to distinguish from the earthy colours and shades of the roof. Picking up a pair of powerful binoculars, he scanned the vicinity to make sure he wasn't being watched, changed into dark blue overalls, dismantled his rifle and collected the bullet casings. With everything safely stashed in a foam-lined rucksack, he climbed into the contractor's cradle and descended from the place where he had been lying for the past two days. A slow smile crossed his face. First round to me.
From the rooftop, Brian watched the empty contractor's cradle ascend the building.
"Damn it." He activated his radio. "I want to know if anything unusual happens in the next ninety minutes."
"Copy, Bravo Two."
Brian tapped his radio against his teeth. "You may have won this round, but to win the battle will take patience, and I have that in spades."
The Eon Building Thirty Minutes Later
Londoners. If only people knew how we protect them.
Getting out of the service lift, Brian looked around him: just a normal day, nothing unusual happening, although experience had taught him those things could change very quickly in London.
Arriving at his office in Cannon Row Police Station, he had hardly sat down when a familiar call sign came over the police radio.
"Bravo Two, Bravo Two, this is Charlie Three. Three shots fired at the corner of Upton Street. Request assist and paramedics."
"Thank you, Charlie Three. All received." Brian picked up the phone and dialled the control room at Scotland Yard. "Control, I need a driver to take me to the crime scene."
"I'll have someone at the front entrance in ten minutes, sir."
Brian forced himself to breathe slowly and walked to the door with a measured pace.
Round two. This is where the patience starts to pay off.
Arriving at the Eon Building, Brian observed the fortuitously dark and overcast sky. "Good. We can use laser lights." He located the SOCO and went over.
"Evening, sir," the SOCO greeted him.
"Can you give me an angle of trajectory yet?"
"About twenty-eight degrees, sir. That puts the height at roughly thirty metres, or thirteen storeys up."
The SOCO indicated the ballistics dummy already positioned where the victim had been found. He angled the laser stick to emulate the trajectory of the shot and activated it. The beam sliced through the gloom to the seventh floor of a nearby block of flats.
"What can you tell me about the victim?" Brian asked.
"She was in her mid to late twenties, about five foot five and unmarried. He seems to be picking his victims purely at random, sir."
Brian thought for a minute and frowned. "I don't think it's people. It's places and times. When was the first attack?"
"Around eight thirty, sir. And today's was between five thirty and six p.m."
"Morning and evening rush hour," Brian thought aloud. "The time when there are most people about."
Scotland Yard Tuesday 13:51
"The shooter has killed four people in two days, and he's not done yet. I need a map of London showing all the parks with blocks of flats nearby, in particular, any blocks with empty floors or half floors that could provide a nest for the killer. I also need a profile ASAP. Reconvene tomorrow at ten thirty."
Once he had dismissed his team, Brian took a drink of black coffee and started to go through the files on his desk. He had been working for no more than forty-five minutes when the phone rang.
"Is that Brian Tyson?"
"Yes. What can I do for you?"
"The minister would like an update on the sniper case, sir. He will be free in about forty-five minutes. Oh, and I should warn you. He doesn't like tardiness," said the aid.
Walking into the new minister's office, Brian observed the modern desk and glass picture frames. A family man.
The minister rose to his feet and offered a congenial smile. "Superintendent Tyson. Sit down, sit down. From what I hear, you're doing a great job with a very sensitive case."
"Thank you, Minister. This one likes to play God, by deciding who lives and who dies. I took an oath to serve and protect, and it still holds."
"A good answer, Superintendent, although I promote on merit, not on hype. Your file says that you were in the Special Forces."
"Yes, Minister. I saw some action."
The minister pointed to a couch in the corner of the room, and the two men adjourned.
"I'm afraid I have little else to tell you, Minister," Brian explained.
"Please, call me Keith," the minister said. Brian acknowledged the request with a nod. The minister continued, "I appreciate your candour, Superintendent, but I didn't call you in to discuss the sniper case. I'm thinking of creating a new unit somewhat along the lines of the FBI Behavioural Science Unit. It will be a radical departure from your normal way of working. The people under you will be a mix of police profilers and civilians, although as time goes by, there will be more police.
"What's the timeline on this, Keith?"
"About six months to set it up. In the meantime, here are a couple of numbers to help you."
Brian took the cards from the new minister: Professor Anthony Terrence, MD, and Doctor William Fordham, Master of Logic, PhD.
"Thanks for this, Keith," he said. "What help can you give me forensically? I hear the new head of the London Evidence Unit is top notch."
"Indeed," the minister said, passing across a third card. "This is the number for the unit. Donald's on extension three."
Thomas Donald entered his office and looked at the case files that were still pending. Sitting down, he switched on his computer and checked his emails, trying to ignore the full in-tray on his desk. If there was one thing he hated, it was paperwork. The list of killers he had caught using DNA fingerprinting read like a Who's Who of the underworld, and he was in hot demand.
He was on the tenth file when the phone rang.
"Doctor Donald? I've got Superintendent Tyson on three."
"Put him through," Tom said. He'd been expecting this call.