Today I’m bringing you an extract as part of the blog tour for They Shoot Corpses, Don’t They?….
An original blend of hardboiled crime fiction and horror – Zombie Noir.
Pat O’Hare is the only (living) private detective in Farrelton, a crime-ridden city still recovering from the ravages of an undead uprising. Pat is hired to find the missing granddaughter of a rich industrialist. But, what starts out as simple enough job turns into a fight for survival as he finds himself pulled into a deadly mystery where nobody can be trusted. Helped only by a trigger happy ex-cop and a washed up boxer with a pathological fear of trees, Pat has to use every trick in the book just to stay alive.
Caught between corrupt police, gun-wielding hitmen and a ruthless crime lord, Pat soon learns that the zombies are not the most dangerous creatures in town.
Police Chief Tom Strickland leaned casually against the hood of a police car, a thick brown cigar hanging nonchalantly from the side of his mouth. He wore a grey suit that stretched tightly across his gut.
‘Hey, if it ain’t Pat O’Hare. Good to see you, Pat.
We were in the middle of some sort of big industrial complex, flanked on either side by a handful of metal towers, each one encased in a complicated maze of rusting pipes that ran from one tower to another like vines. Next to the van, a large open silo was set deep into the concrete, like the entrance to the pits of hell.
‘Been a long time, ain’t it?’ said the Chief.
‘Damned if I know. One of your goons busted my watch.’
‘He’s a comedian,’ said Boothe.
‘Jack Elam,’ I said.
‘What?’ Boothe frowned.
‘Jack Elam,’ I repeated. ‘The actor. That’s who you remind me of.’
‘Okay,’ said Strickland. ‘Listen up, Pat. I’ve been hearing tales about what you been up to lately. Like, how you…’
‘Hey, he’s right,’ said Niles. ‘You do look like Jack Elam. He’s the one with the weird eyes, right?’
‘The fuck’re you saying?’ asked Boothe.
‘Nothin’, just that he’s got a point.’
‘Both of you, shut the hell up,’ snapped Strickland. ‘Jesus, it’s like working with a bunch of kids.’ He pulled his sidearm, pointed the gun in my direction. ‘Okay, Pat, you’re going to answer some questions about what you been up to recently. Like, why you went to see Richard Randall.’
‘Randall? Oh, he’s just an old friend.’
‘Bullshit. Randall owns people, he doesn’t make friends with them.’
‘I must be more friendly than your average Joe.’
Strickland grinned. ‘Yeah, you’re just a loveable guy. Okay, boys. Drop him in the tank.’
‘Hey, wait a…’
Boothe and Niles grabbed an arm each and dragged me from the van. They scraped me along the floor and threw me forwards. I dropped into the darkness, flailing wildly. Then I landed, hard. A bright light shot into the tank. A police searchlight. Enough illumination to see that I wasn’t alone.
There were four of them in the tank. Zombies. They began shuffling towards me.
I backed away. Felt my shoulder blades press against a solid wall. The nearest zombie was almost within reach. I changed direction, dodged sideways, trying to distance myself from the undead creature. I hit another wall.
There was nowhere to run.
about the author
Stuart McLean (aka CS McLean) is a writer currently living in St Albans. He studied Chemistry at the University of Hertfordshire – although, this was back in the days when the Premiership was still called Division One and Hatfield was still a Polytechnic.
He was shortlisted for the first Margery Allingham short story competition, and was twice shortlisted for the Bloody Scotland short story competition.
Stuart was a finalist in the 2016 Bloody Scotland Pitch Perfect competition, in which he pitched his brand of zombie noir to a largely bewildered group of panellists. He was also chosen as one of the 2018 Bloody Scotland Crime in the Spotlight authors, a platform to highlight new and emerging crime writers.
When not writing, Stuart likes to play various musical instruments, all very badly; guitar, ukulele, trumpet and harmonica. But, not at the same time.
tour hosted by
Thanks to Kelly and the author for letting me take part in the tour!
Have a great day all