Today I'm delighted to welcome back my friend and fellow-author Val Penny, whose latest book, Hunter’s Rules, will be released on New Year's Day and is already available for pre-order. And it sounds like an absolute cracker.
Welcome, Val. Please tell us more!
Thank you, Sue, for hosting me on your blog today. It is always a pleasure to visit.
I write crime thrillers and started writing in this genre because that is what I enjoy reading. I firmly believe that to be a good author you must first be an avid reader, and it is due to my love of reading and story-telling that I began to write novels.
Hunter’s Rules is the sixth book in my Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series, and there are many more to come! Although the books form a series, each works as a standalone novel, so readers can join the stories at any point.
The books are set in the beautiful city of Edinburgh which is the capital of Scotland. I chose it because it is a relatively small city, and people from different walks of life and backgrounds are known to one another. That allows me to have some fun with my characters and storylines.
I am particularly proud of this book, because although the story is complete within itself, the concept follows on from a short story that I contributed to a charity anthology, Dark Scotland. The story, which is again a standalone piece, is the prequel to the novel. I hope those who read both will enjoy the conceit and those who read either will be absorbed by them.
And here, to whet your appetite, is how the story starts:
“Well, I have just one more surprise for you.”
“Another one? Oh, Hunter,” she said.
“I’ve booked the honeymoon suite here for us tonight, and if everything has gone according to plan there should be a bottle of champagne chilling there for us. Shall we go upstairs and check?”
Hunter and Meera continued walking towards the elevators, and he pressed the button indicating they would be going up. They stood close together, gazing into each other’s eyes, but it was not long until the furthest lift arrived. They shifted slightly towards those doors and made room for anybody getting out.
Nobody got out.
A young woman lay motionless on the floor, and the inside of the car was drenched with blood.
“Oh God, not another one,” Hunter said. He stared at the raw flesh in the sockets where the girl’s eyes should have been. What kind of monster would choose to murder someone this way? He turned away from the horrific sight of the young woman’s butchered face. He gagged. Then swallowed the bile. He daren’t contaminate the crime scene with his own vomit.
Meera knelt beside the victim and felt her wrist. “Hunter, this one is still alive. Call an ambulance. Do it now!”
Hunter immediately went into professional mode. He stepped a few yards away from the scene and called the ambulance. The soles of his shoes were covered in blood. Then he phoned Fettes police station. Desk Sergeant Charlie Middleton answered.
“Police Scotland, how can I help?”
“Charlie, the eye thief has struck again.”
A bloody scene brings Hunter and Meera’s romantic plans to an abrupt end.
A young woman was attacked in a hotel lift. She has life-changing injuries, but she is alive. Hunter notes that her wounds are like those inflicted on two women who previously died.
Can Meera keep the injured woman alive long enough for her to identify her assailant? Is the same person responsible for all three crimes? When Hunter is identified as a suspect in the crime, can he establish his innocence and lead his team to solve the crime and keep Edinburgh safe?
Hunter’s Rules is the sixth book in The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series of novels. Val Penny’s other crime novels – Hunter’s Chase, Hunter’s Revenge, Hunter’s Force, Hunter’s Blood and Hunter’s Secret – form the rest of this bestselling series set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by darkstroke.
You can also start at the beginning of The Jane Renwick Thrillers with The First Cut.
Val’s first non-fiction book, Let’s Get Published, is also available now and she has most recently contributed her short story Cats and Dogs to a charity anthology, Dark Scotland.
Val is an American author living in SW Scotland with her husband and their cat.