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 A New Dawn Rising

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michaeljoseph

michaeljoseph

Number of posts : 7
Registration date : 2013-04-02
Age : 49
Location : Coventry, England

A New Dawn Rising  Empty
PostSubject: A New Dawn Rising    A New Dawn Rising  EmptyTue Apr 02, 2013 7:47 am

Below is the first chapter from my new crime thriller, A New Dawn Rising, available on Smashwords, Kobo and Amazon:

He was having trouble keeping his target in sight. Although she was never more than a few yards ahead of him, the sheer number of weekend shoppers meant he regularly lost sight of her. Each time it happened, a feeling of desperation engulfed him. Then he would catch a glimpse of her brightly coloured coat once more, and emit a small sigh of relief. He had been following her for a few minutes now. It was time to make his move.

With a well-practised deftness of foot, he sidestepped a dawdling couple and accelerated his walking pace. Careful not to attract attention to himself, he snaked his way through gaps in the crowd until he was right up behind her. She was oblivious to his presence, gazing nonchalantly into passing shop windows as she strolled along. He was so close to her now he could almost whisper in her ear.

Suddenly, she slowed down, forcing him to do the same. He craned his neck to look past her. They were coming level with the entrance of a large department store. Was she going inside? He realised not. Like everyone else around them, she had simply been forced to a snail's pace due to the swell of people hanging around outside the store. As the crowd began to bunch up, he realised this was his opportunity. A large throng of tightly-packed, slow-moving shoppers, each preoccupied with making their way to their next destination, or deep in conversation with their companions.
All in their own little worlds.
An ideal time to strike.
He slid out an arm towards her.

***

Sam Carlisle pushed open the door, stepped out of the store and welcomed the fresh air. Something immediately caught his attention. In amongst the mass of people mingling about in front of him, a tall, muscular young man was reaching out and dipping his hand into the handbag of the unsuspecting woman ahead. Sam watched intently as the man slyly withdrew a purse from the open bag. A thin smile appeared on the thief's face.

Over-confident at the ease of the lifting, and distracted by the potential rewards to be found in the purse, the thief unintentionally brushed against his victim's shoulder as he drew back his arm. A quick glance behind her, a sudden realisation she was being mugged, and it all started to go wrong for him. The woman screamed and grabbed for her purse back, displaying an admirable show of anger that belied the fear coursing through her. Unable to accept defeat when he had been so close to pulling the job off, the thief refused to relent and allow her the purse back. For a few seconds a frantic tug-of-war ensued. A swift mismatch that was only ever going to have one winner. With one final, supreme effort, he tugged hard on the purse with one hand and shoved her in the chest with the other. The woman was sent crashing to the floor, sobbing uncontrollably even as she struck the pavement.

Sam had taken in events while expecting some upstanding citizen to step in and intervene at any moment. He watched the faces of those in the vicinity, initial confusion replaced by a clear reluctance to assist the helpless woman. Grown men backed off and watched. Others glanced and carried on walking. Sam felt disgust. Sure, the assailant was well-built and athletic. Not a man to mess with lightly. But to stand by and allow this...

The thief was finally free. He had become careless and the woman had surprised him with her tenacity, but now he was away. Nobody had tried to stop him. Cowards! He just hoped the booty was going to be worth all the effort. Shoving people aside, he spotted an alleyway across the road. That was his escape route.

He never got the chance to reach it. A sudden blow struck him between the shoulder blades, and like his victim only seconds earlier, he too was sent reeling, powerless to prevent himself from plummeting face first onto the concrete below. Before he could attempt to get back up, a knee was pressed forcefully into his back and a strong hand placed on his head. He was pinned down and couldn't move. Breathing hard on the dusty paving slab, he wondered who the hell had jumped him.

Sam hadn't wanted to get involved. He had been willing somebody else to jump in and be the hero. When it became apparent that wasn't going to happen, he felt he had little choice but to halt the mugger himself. It was no big deal. Now it was over, he just wanted to get away. Thrusting his hands deep into his pockets, he lowered his head and marched away from the scene.
'That was very impressive.'
Sam simply grunted in reply to the praise and kept walking.
'Hold on!'
The same refined voice again. Slightly more urgent this time. Sam ignored the shout. He had already been showered with kind words and slaps on the back following the arrival of the police. It made him sick. Strangers who had been prepared to stand and watch a mugging take place now giving it the big one. Spewing out their congratulations while explaining how they were just about to jump in themselves. Let them kid themselves.
A hand rested on Sam's shoulder, causing him to stop in his tracks and sigh out loud. This one was persistent. He turned around to face a heavy-set man wearing a friendly smile. A few years older than Sam, his smart suit matched the well-spoken voice. The stranger, perhaps noticing the irritation in Sam's face, held up his hands in a friendly gesture as he spoke.
'I've got a proposition for you.'

Carl Renshaw had walked by the department store just in time to catch the end of proceedings. With keen interest, he observed how Sam had tackled the assailant with ruthless efficiency. Noted how easily he kept him constrained on the ground until the police arrived. Admired how he then gave the officers a clear but modest account of events. All done with a minimum of fuss and no little expertise. Carl Renshaw believed he had found his man.

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