The past is a dangerous place. Craig McIntyre s mere presence removes people s inhibitions and turns their darkest thoughts into actions. As Craig McIntyre tries to escape bounty hunters from the Dark Web, he discovers that his details are linked to a clandestine government project. Might it hold answers to his past as well as dangers for the present? Back on the run in North America, McIntyre hooks up with some unlikely allies. But can he trust them any more than those who want to use him to shape the future…and to further their personal ambitions? Have those behind Factor really given up on their pursuit of him? Or is McIntyre being reeled in with some politically toxic bait? McIntyre is the key to an explosive secret that could change mankind forever.
I’m lucky to be able to share an extract from Gordon Brown’s book Deepest Wounds today.
Many thanks to the author and blog tour organiser Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.
There’s a time to die and a time to live. It’s my time to die. The
rope around my neck is tight. Air is already at a premium. I’m
drawing short breaths. Asphyxiation is not a good way to go.
Lack of oxygen and an excess of CO2 demands that the body
The rope draws taut around my throat. Rough hemp. Scraping
skin as I twist my head. The fan above me beats out the
rhythm of a failing heart. The blindfold I’m wearing lets no
My feet are numb. Up on my tiptoes I sway. The rope keeps
me vertical. My neck is taking the strain every time I over-balance.
My hands are tied behind my back.
The room is cold. The winter outside has come inside. To
add to the chill, the fan blows an iced wind onto my head. The
nearby door, open to the outside world, lets freezing rain splash
on me. My naked body shivers.
A gust and the chair wobbles. My feet dance. My neck
strains. The radio in the room tells me that for $199 down and
nothing to pay for six months I can own a new waterbed.
I chew on the gag. The gasoline in my mouth is bitter. The
gasoline on my body is leaking more heat from my skin as it
The door to the outside cracks back on its hinges, as more
wind is funneled into the room. My toes, slick with fluid, slide
on the chair. I brace my neck and pull myself upright. My throat
is closing. I gag. I slip and slide. Gain some purchase but the
rope is a little tighter. A slip knot. A choker.
A howl from a beast outside echoes around the room, like a
warning from Hades. Distant. I lift myself a quarter of an inch
higher. Enough to ease the thick necklace. I draw in air. Cold
sustenance pours down my throat. My life, measured in two
half-full lungs. Ill-inflated balloons – crumpled plastic bags in
my chest. I hold the air. Maxing the oxygen exchange. Sucking
the last molecule.
My ribs start to hurt. Aching. The air inside me is heating
up. My body wants to spit it out and drag in the fresh stuff. The
primeval in my head is taking over. I exhale. Air sprays between
my teeth. My toes fold. The rope grabs.
I search for anger. Defiance. A last throw of the dice when
the game is already over. But my vocal chords are neutered. A
dribble of spit leaks between my lips.
My feet slip again. The rope grips, my toes losing contact
with the chair as my airway slams shut. Blind panic kicks in. I
thrash around. My world lights up. Flashes of brilliance as rods
and cones fire. No last thoughts. No lifetime in a heartbeat. No
last-minute calm. Just sheer fear.
My feet scrabble for the chair. A toenail clicks on the surface.
I try to focus. To slow down. I search for the wood beneath me
– my feet slashing. Inside my head there’s nothing but a scream.
And the scream is all I can hear. All I can do. All that I am.
Then I’m down. Falling. I slam into the chair and bounce off
it. I roll across the floor. The rope is still tight but I can breathe.
I suck. Suck hard. Hauling at the air. My throat is a raw pipe.
I roll onto my side. A quarter of a breath. I try to inhale and
exhale at the same time. I choke as more air rushes in. My heart
is a tap dancer in full flow.
I ignore the voice.
The screaming in my head has stopped. I bite another chunk
of air from the room and chew.
I cough up bile. Then drink in more of the breathable stuff.
‘I said, have you had enough?’
The voice is a few feet away. Not threatening. Not really
a hard question. More a gentle enquiry. Quiet, assured – like
asking if you want another beer midway through a Friday night
in the pub.
As my breathing eases, my head goes looking for the past.
Why am I here? What the hell is going on?
‘I’m stopping this. This isn’t helping.’
I agree with the voice. This isn’t helping at all. In what way
could this help anyone? But the statement suggests that help
was the desired end game. I want to nod. I also want to enjoy the
next breath. The breath wins.
‘Craig. This is as extreme as it gets. No more.’
The blindfold is ripped from my head. I close my eyes as
the light blinds me and, then, after a few seconds, I open them
slowly, adjusting to the re-introduction of vision. Blinking.
Squinting. Focusing. The man above me steps away. A door
shuts, stopping the cold breeze.
‘This is just fucking stupid.’
I agree again. But stupid is the wrong word. It implies that
I’m a co-conspirator. Part of this. It implies that help and stupidity
are not mutually exclusive. That one led to the other.
Unintended but causal.
Hands work behind me to free the bonds.
‘Can you get up?’
I’m cold as death, the floor is slick with gasoline. My muscles
are fatigued – burnt out from trying to keep me upright. I shake
‘Lie there for a moment. I’m not up for lifting your naked
corpse. Friends or not.’
Friends. What kind of friend would subject someone to this?
A coat lands on me.
‘Curl up in that. I’ll start the shower. Once I’ve cleaned up in
here I’ll get the fire going.’
I lie. Shivering. My breathing shallow. Normalizing.
Thoughts swirling. I find the past. And it dawns on me.
I asked for this to be done to me.
You can purchase Deepest Wounds from Amazon.
About the author.
Gordon has been writing since his teens and has six crime thrillers published – his latest, Deepest Wounds, being the third in the Craig McIntyre series, is out now. Gordon helped found Bloody Scotland – Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival and lives in Scotland. He’s married with two children. Gordon once quit his job in London to fly across the Atlantic to be with his future wife. He has also delivered pizzas in Toronto, sold non alcoholic beer in the Middle East, launched a creativity training business called Brain Juice and floated a high tech company on the London Stock Exchange. He almost had a toy launched by a major toy company, has an MBA, loves music, is a DJ on local radio, compered the main stage at a two-day music festival and was once booed by 49,000 people while on the pitch at a major football Cup Final.