Next of Ki by Scott Barron
A page turning debut in the tradition of Stieg Larsson, Lee Child and Dean Koontz, Next of Kin is a a thriller fuelled by an earth shattering mystery and desire for revenge. An original mix of war and its impacts, both heartbreakingly pathetic and terrifying.
"... they were now moving down the slope towards his house; the soldier at the front raised his rifle to look at Alaz through the light intensifying sight, and for a fleeting moment, his face was illuminated as a pale green mask. Alaz shivered with fear and ran as if his life depended on it. Because it did."
"...what Grant would remember for the rest of his life was the disgust he saw in that boy’s eyes, and of course, the fear and resignation in the split second before he crushed his throat with the chipped wooden stock of his father’s AK47."
"...Josh opened his eyes. Blood hung in the water near to his face. Swirling. Like his confusion. Then the panic came. Josh opened his mouth to shout his mother, but as he did so water rushed into his lungs. Josh banged on the window and gulped in another mouthful of the dirty river water. Then everything went black."
"...she turned to look at the doctor, when she looked into his eyes, she saw a hardness there, Rachel knew it would be over soon. The gun was still on the table, but he held a large needle in his hand, a different one than before, longer and thicker. He shook his head slowly when he saw her look past him at the gun. But it wasn’t the gun she was looking at; she was looking at the door which slowly opened to reveal a silhouetted figure."
Rachel is looking forward to finishing university and travelling the world, that is until her mother’s car leaves the road and plunges into the icy waters of the Charles River.
With her younger brother missing things take a turn for the worse when the hospital refuse to continue treating her mother. As Rachel searches for medical insurance documents she discovers a hidden box containing information about an attack on a remote Kurdish village.
But as she looks into the events of the attack she is shocked to find out that her father may have been there.Rachel seeks to find out the truth about his involvement, only to realise that by doing so she puts everyone she cares about at risk.
And once she learns what really happened, can she make the ultimate decision of who lives or dies?
Like most people who have been murdered, I knew my killer. I didn’t die by a random act of violence, committed by a stranger, in fact, I knew them very well.
The ventilator hissed and clicked as it rose and fell, forcing oxygen into his lungs. He had been stripped naked and wrapped in a threadbare sheet pulled tight around his body. His ribs stuck out through the translucent fabric as his chest kept pace with the ventilator. The door opened inch by inch, revealing a silhouetted figure wearing a white doctors coat. Taking a few paces into the room he stood still, peering into the darkness until his eyes grew used to the light. He covered his nose as he walked over to the bed, the musty, dirty smell offensive to him. He leaned in close to study his patient’s face, searching for any signs that he knew he was there; there were none. The doctor pulled on a latex glove and gripped the man’s throat feeling for the bulge of the intubation tube inside his windpipe. The ventilator fought to inflate the man’s chest, he squeezed harder until the screen on the life support machine changed to display a steady flatline. He let go and laughed loudly before spitting onto the man’s face, watching it drip through the stubble on his cheek to soak into the grimy pillow. Then he turned and left the room not bothering to close the door behind him.