I’m delighted to share an excerpt from Tony Bassett’s new novel, Out for Revenge #blogtour #mystery

Here’s the blurb:

When notorious gangland boss Tadeusz Filipowski is released from prison, several people start looking over their shoulder.

A volatile character, not shy of picking fights, Filipowski plans to expand his drugs empire and put his competitors on a backfoot. That’s until he turns up dead. Very dead.

DS Sunita Roy of the Heart of England police is handed the case but it’s a challenge to find the killer of a man with so many enemies.

DCI Gavin Roscoe would lend more support but he is busy nailing down suspicions of corruption plaguing the force.


Soon, however, the investigations will bump into one another. And unless Roy and Roscoe can get to the bottom of the mystery, they could well become the next victims.

OUT FOR REVENGE is the fourth gripping standalone mystery in the Detectives Roy and Roscoe crime fiction series by Tony Bassett.

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0BK9PJLHK/

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BK9PJLHK/

EXTRACT FROM  OUT FOR REVENGE BY TONY BASSETT

A serial killer is being driven to Birmingham Crown Court in a prison van, escorted by police, to give evidence for the prosecution in a murder case. But armed members of a criminal gang, including one of two corrupt detectives, are lying in ambush, ready to free the prisoner from custody.

Detective Sergeant Bains flicked off the car radio. He glanced towards the driver sitting beside him, Tahir Khan. They had turned off the main Pershore Road in Edgbaston and were parked in a black Audi Q7, which had tinted rear and side windows, a few metres along a side road, Brunel Way, close to Calthorpe Park.

‘Shouldn’t be long now,’ Bains remarked. ‘I’ve got three guys on look-out and we should hear from them the minute the convoy appears.’

‘Bloody cold today,’ moaned Khan, who like Bains was wearing suitably dark clothing.

‘Yes, but at least it’s stopped raining.’

‘Why did you decide we should stop here? I’d have thought it would’ve been easier to do this little job in a quiet country lane.’

‘Well, Seymour found out the main route they usually take up from the Vale is along the A441 and then they take the inner ring road. They’re mainly fast roads and, of course, there’s a chance they’d be on a blue light. The only part of the journey where they’re forced to slow down is here. They turn off the Pershore Road and use this street as a cut-through to Bristol Road at the other end. So this is our only chance before they hit the dual carriageway.’

‘How does Seymour know they always come along here?

‘We’ve got an insider. The prison driver’s wife used to live round here, so he’s very familiar with the area. There’s an added bonus for us – there aren’t many shops round here, so there’s not much in the way of CCTV.’

Just then Bains’ mobile phone rang. It was Leroy, one of the new gang members Blake had recently taken on. The sergeant looked at his watch.

‘What did you say, Leroy? … It’s just coming up to twenty past one and they’ve just passed the zoo at Cannon Hill? … OK, thanks, mate,’ said Bains as he ended the call.

‘I’ll just let the brothers know,’ he told Khan, while pressing buttons on his phone.

‘Hello, is that Gabriel? … Hi, it’s Phil. They’ll be here in a couple of minutes. Are you both ready? … Good. Don’t forget to dispose of your phone afterwards … OK, so you know exactly what to do? … Good man!’

The minutes ticked by. The two men put black balaclavas over their heads. The sergeant, who had a Beretta pistol on his lap, was becoming nervous. The adrenalin was beginning to flow. He kept glancing over his shoulder at Khan’s sawn-off shotgun on the back seat and watching in the side mirror as the traffic passed slowly along the Pershore Road behind.

Suddenly they became aware of a siren in the distance. The noise became louder until the pair spotted a glimmering blue light near the junction. Khan flashed his headlights on and off to alert Gabriel and Dominik Nowak – who were two hundred metres ahead at the entrance to the Bedford housing estate. The Nowaks started up their hired box lorry and waited in anticipation just a few metres back from Brunel Way.

Within seconds, a police motorcycle appeared at the Pershore Road junction, where its rider halted briefly to cast his eyes around. Then he set off along the cut-through.

After he had travelled at least a hundred metres up the street, two constables in a police Ford Focus with its siren blaring turned the corner, followed closely by a white prison van with blacked-out windows. A solitary officer in a police Range Rover brought up the rear.

The motorcyclist continued past the entrance on the right to the Bedford estate, but no sooner had he gone by than the eighteen-tonne lorry lurched across the road, at once separating the rider from the police car.

The lorry careered directly in front of the car driver – forcing him to slam on his brakes.

The van driver behind was compelled to do the same. The lorry, which was eleven metres long, completely blocked the road. Despite the police driver turning off his siren and hooting his horn instead, the man in the cab made no attempt to shift it.

Then, just as the constable was thinking of stepping out of the car to have words with the driver, he was stunned into shock. Part of the lorry’s blue webbing was hauled back and a man in a black balaclava strode across the lorry’s floor – like an actor taking to the stage in a chilling melodrama.

What really caught the attention of the two officers in the Focus was that the slim man, Dominik Nowak, was grasping a double-barrelled shotgun. He pointed his menacing weapon at the car’s windscreen, ordering the constables to remain inside.

Meet the author

I am a semi-retired journalist who was born in West Kent. While growing up, I spent hours reading and writing, and, from an early age, nursed an ambition to become first a journalist and then novelist. My theory was that, in order to write novels, one had to have life experiences to colour one’s writing and one could obtain those experiences through journalism.

I was fortunate enough to be named Time-Life Magazine Student Journalist of the Year in 1971 in a competition organised by the National Union of Students. At the time, I was editing the student newspaper at Hull University, where I gained a BA Honours degree in History and Political Studies.

After six years working on provincial newspapers in Sidcup, Worcester and Cardiff, I became a freelance journalist in London. For 24 years, I was a reporter on the staff of the Sunday People (now part of Reach plc, formerly Trinity Mirror). Over the years, I sold tens of thousands of stories to the national newspapers, including the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, The Sun, Daily Star, Daily Telegraph and London Evening Standard. I helped cover the Jeremy Thorpe trial at the Old Bailey for the Evening Standard. I broke the news in a Sun newspaper exclusive in April 1989 that Bill Wyman, the Rolling Stones guitarist aged 52, was to marry 18-year-old Mandy Smith. I bought 200 blank MOT forms to expose a trade in fake certificates.

My speciality was tracking people down. For instance, I found evidence about Rod Stewart’s secret love child Sarah Streeter by tracing a retired adoption agent through a library ticket. On one occasion, I took an escaped gangster back to prison. Some of my stories can be read on my website (see below); others are generally available online. For thirty years, I was also employed as a birth and marriage researcher mainly for the Mail on Sunday, Sunday Mirror, Sunday People and The Sun.

I have a grown-up son and four grown-up daughters who all live in South Wales.

Connect with Tony

www.tonybassettauthor.com

www.twitter.com/tonybassett1

www.facebook.com/tony.bassett.92505  

www.instagram.com/tonyba1

It’s my turn on the blog tour for Murder on Oxford Lane by Tony Bassett #BlogTour #Mystery

Today, I’m delighted to welcome Tony Bassett, author of Murder on Oxford Lane, to the blog with a post about the inspiration for his book.

Much of the inspiration for my books comes from the wide variety of experiences I’ve had as a journalist.

I worked for local newspapers for six years and then spent 37 years in Fleet Street, mainly working for the Sunday People newspaper.

I’ve seen so many different aspects of life. I was once smuggled into judge’s chambers at the Old Bailey to test their security. I pursued Margaret Thatcher round Epsom during a by-election. I was present in hospital when Diana Dors’ husband Alan Lake announced to the world she had died. 

I got Mandy Smith’s sister in Highgate to reveal to me details of Mandy’s plans to wed Rolling Stone Bill Wyman. I’ve been to armed sieges, celebrity weddings,  and was in a magistrates’ court in West London when a Welshman took to the dock in a dazzling dragon costume.  I’ve watched a group of students at Middlesex University being hypnotised by a dog and taken a fugitive gangster back to jail. So you could say I’ve seen a bit of life.

I have been able to use some of this knowledge to help with my writing.

I’ll give an example. In Chapter 22 of Murder On Oxford Lane, the wife of the missing property tycoon is reluctant to attend a press conference and walks out halfway through. This is based partly on a real-life experience I had one Saturday while working for the Sunday People. 

I was despatched to a police press conference about a murdered man.  His widow was reluctant to attend and walked out during the briefing.  Afterwards the chief inspector spoke to me and another journalist, explaining: ‘You don’t realise how terrifying it can be for someone in this situation, being faced with a group of journalists in public like this.’  A short time after the press conference, the widow was charged in connection with her husband’s murder.  

Another example comes earlier in the book. In Chapter 19, when Sunita Roy is trying to trace Harry Bowers’ cleaner, Tessa. A female neighbour reveals Tessa has moved house. Sunita questions the neighbour thoroughly. Eventually the neighbour recalls that Tessa’s removal van was purple. As a result, Sunita is able to locate the removal firm and collect the new address from them. This was an initiative that a photographer and I once used to track down someone’s address.

A third example of how I have occasionally used journalistic experiences to add colour to the book comes towards the end of the novel when detectives examine suspects’ clothing. I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone who has not read the book. Suffice to say the idea for this came to me years ago while I was covering an assault case at Cardiff Crown Court. 

Of course, these kind of memories and past experiences are useful, but I also have to do some extensive research for my books as well. Much of this can be done online. For instance, I found a vast treasure store of articles on the internet about the effects of long-term immersion in water on drowning victims. 

Information about personal injuries, hospital recovery times, martial arts moves, church procedures, police interviews and so on are all available at the click of a mouse.

But there are also occasions when it’s necessary to make phone calls.  For instance, to speak to police about how particular incidents are dealt with. To speak to farming organisations about farming methods. Or to speak to fire brigade staff about the minutiae of how a particular fire might be tackled. Occasionally, authors also have to make visits to organisations or places to add to their supply of information. 

I know fiction writing is based on imagination. But, like non-fiction writers, novelists still need to ensure their work is firmly grounded in reality. The author needs to be able to walk in the shoes of his or her characters. And the plot needs to be credible.

LINK TO MURDER ON OXFORD LANE (Book1)

LINK TO THE CROSSBOW STALKER (Book2)

Thank you so much for sharing. Good luck with your new book.

Here’s the blurb:

The peace of a Midlands village is upset when local businessman Harry Bowers doesn’t return from choir practice. More concerned than the man’s own wife, it would seem, investigating officer Detective Sergeant Sunita Roy becomes convinced he has met a sinister end.
There is no trace of the man – just a litany of evidence of an ailing marriage and a nose-diving business venture.
In charge of her first serious case, DS Roy will struggle to win the respect of her colleagues – in particular, her Brummie boss, DCI Gavin Roscoe. All that whilst fighting off the attentions of an increasingly desperate suitor.

Who had it in for the chorister? And is Roy tough enough to break down the defences and prejudices of Middle England?  MURDER ON OXFORD LANE is the first book in a series of crime fiction titles by Tony Bassett.  

Purchase Link 

Amazon UK Amazon US

Meet the author

Tony Bassett, a former Fleet Street journalist, has written a gripping series of crime novels set in the Midlands.

The first book in the series is called Murder on Oxford Lane. Published by The Book Folks, it concerns the disappearance of a property tycoon from a sleepy Warwickshire village.

Middle-aged DCI Gavin Roscoe and his relatively inexperienced sergeant, DS Sunita Roy, are confronted by suspicious deaths as they struggle to uncover what has happened to the businessman.

The second book in this Midlands crime series, The Crossbow Stalker, will be released shortly.

Tony decided to set this string of novels in Warwickshire and Worcestershire after spending many happy years working as a newspaper reporter in Worcester.

He first developed a love of writing at the age of nine when he and a friend produced a magazine called the Globe at their junior school in Sevenoaks, Kent. 

At Hull University, Tony was named student journalist of the year in 1971 in a competition run by Time-Life magazine and went onto become a national newspaper journalist, mainly working for the Sunday People in both its newsroom and investigations department.

His very first book to be published, the crime novel Smile Of The Stowaway, was released in December 2018. It concerns a Kent couple who harbour a stowaway and then battle to clear his name when he is charged with murder.

Then, in March 2020, the spy novel The Lazarus Charter, was released. It involves foreign agents operating in the UK. The book has kindly been endorsed by Marina Litvinenko, widow of the murdered Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, and by Stan and Caroline Sturgess, parents of the innocent mother-of-three poisoned with novichok in Salisbury in 2018.

Tony, who has written at least four other novels which are as yet unpublished, has five grown-up children. He is a Life Member of the National Union of Journalists. He lives in South-East London with his partner Lin.

Connect with Tony

www.tonybassettauthor.com

www.twitter.com/tonybassett1

www.facebook.com/tony.bassett.92505

www.instagram.com/tonyba1

Follow the rest of the tour with Rachel’s Random Resources