There’s been strong interest in my new novel ‘An Unwatched Minute’, a police procedural about the fallout from a death in custody at a small police station. Here is a short excerpt to whet readers’ appetites.
“A sharp metallic bang roused Karen Cornell from a deep dreamless sleep. Although her eyes snapped open, she held the rest of her body still, waiting for the next noise. A man’s voice. A single shout.
Simon didn’t stir. He had learnt to sleep through it all. She envied him.
She heard a familiar voice speaking quietly, but magnified by the peace of the night. She shut her eyes again. Everything was under control. Nothing for her to worry about.
This was the downside to living right next door to the police station.
As the officer in charge of the police station, her husband wasn’t obliged to live in the service residence right next door but it was free rent and the world’s shortest commute. And even though she wasn’t a police officer and whatever went on at the station was really none of her concern, she could not count the hours of lost sleep it had cost her. She was a light sleeper, a habit she had learnt when her kids were young, but which she didn’t seem to be able to unlearn now they were teenagers and could tend to their own needs at night.
Although her knee itched, Karen held still and pretended she was asleep. Hopefully in a minute or two, she would be again.
The next set of sounds she could easily recognise. It was the handle latch of the paddy wagon being lifted and the door being pushed open. God, she’d been living here too long to be able to identify that. Just one of the side-effects of being a copper’s wife. She wished they could move back to their own house in Brisbane. It was in a quiet street and they were in the catchment for a great school for the kids to finish their high schooling in. Simon kept saying they wouldn’t have to be patient too much longer, it was just a matter of time before he got his promotion back to Brisbane.
There was a dull thud outside and then another. A hissed whisper. Footsteps, two voices, then the sound of someone vomiting. Thank god they weren’t close enough to get the smell from that. She shifted, stretching her legs out and rolling onto her back keeping her eyes loosely shut.
It wasn’t until afterwards – when the yelling for help got her husband out of bed, and the ambulance had come and gone – that Karen realised she’d heard a man die.”
Available through Amazon worldwide. Australian readers can buy it here.