#RandomThingsTours Presents an Extract from Too Many Heroes

Too Many Heroes

Too Many Heroes

  • Paperback:294 pages
  • Publisher:Pintail Press (23 July 2019)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1912855976
  • ISBN-13:978-1912855971

Today I am taking part in the blog tour for Too Many Heroes, the fourth book from author Jan Turk Petrie, and I have a brilliant extract below.

Many thanks to Anne for inviting me to take part in this tour and to the author for providing me with the extract. The extract is below, but first lets take a look at the blurb.


The Blurb

Too Many Heroes Back Cover
Too Many Heroes Back Cover

Where can a wanted man hide in a country full of returned war heroes?

It’s 1952 and Frank Danby has been looking over his shoulder for the last ten years, forced to lead an itinerant life, getting work wherever he can while trying to keep one step ahead of the police.

Returning to London, he finds a job in an East End pub, where he becomes entangled with Grace, the young and beautiful wife of the landlord. Then the law comes knocking. Facing a justice system prejudiced against him, Frank must find a way to escape the gallows.

Too Many Heroes is a gripping period thriller, exploring love, belonging and betrayal in a country still recovering from WW2. A must for fans of the post-war novels of Philip Kerr, Kate Atkinson and Sara Sheridan.


In this extract from Too Many Heroes, new barman Frank Danby meets Grace, the pub landlord’s wife, for the first time. 

 

In these last few weeks, he’s even losing his taste for beer now that it’s free and plentiful; he’s heard the same thing said about biscuit lovers working in the local biscuit factory. It’s something to do with the smell of it always hanging in the air.

Frank’s progressed to the bottling-up when a young woman walks out of the passageway that leads from the back. She simply stands there in the middle of the room with her hands on her hips, looking around the place like she owns it.

He straightens up with the necks of three bottles of stout in each hand. Right away he’s struck by how pretty she is – brown hair just skimming her shoulders and eyes that seem to hold a provocative, teasing expression. Yes, she’s a good-looking woman and she knows it right enough.

‘Where the hell did you just spring from?’ he demands, lining the bottles up in their rightful place before leaning across the counter opposite her. ‘How did you get in?’

She doesn’t answer him, just stands there on the spot, swaying her hips as if she can hear music somewhere. He wonders if she’s admiring her own reflection in the long mirror behind him. The summer dress she’s wearing is pinched in at her narrow waist. The colour of her eyes is hard to define. Advancing towards him, her full skirt whispers like secrets as it skims the polished sides of the bar. Despite his best intentions, his gaze is drawn to the way her close-fitting top sits snug against her full breasts.

Of course she’s noticed his interest and now it’s her turn to look him up and down; she even walks round to the open hatchway to get a better view of the rest of him like he might be a horse she’s deciding whether to bet on or not.

Finally, her scarlet lips part: ‘Who are you, exactly?’

‘I could ask you the same question.’

She raises an eyebrow. ‘You could, but I believe I asked you first.’

He can’t help but smirk back. ‘Should have thought you could deduce that I’m the barman here. My name’s Frank.’ He hesitates before adding, ‘Frank Danby.’

‘Well now Frank Danby, I suppose I should introduce myself: I’m Mrs Stevenson.’ She holds up her left hand and waves it across his vision, the ring on it glimmering for attention. ‘I assume my husband must have taken you on while I’ve bin away. Bin visiting my mum down in Brighton. She’s not bin well for the last month – not that it’s any of your business.’

Frank can’t stop his mouth opening. He hasn’t seen much of the landlord over these last few weeks and, though he’d somehow got the impression that Stevenson had a wife, he’d heard no mention of why she was out of the picture. He wouldn’t have expected a man such as Dennis Stevenson could have possibly snared himself a woman like the lovely creature standing in front of him.

Twirling a strand of hair, the unlikely Mrs Stevenson saunters over to the far side of the room, peering at each freshly wiped table in turn before making a point of running her scarlet-tipped finger along the entire length of the lintel shelf above the fireplace, as if he’s responsible for Bessie’s work as well as his own.

She inspects the end of her finger then dusts her hands together in a single clap. ‘Well you’re quite a surprise, Frank Danby,’ she walks towards him again, hands planted back on those swaying hips. ‘You see, I wouldn’t have thought we were in need of any extra staff. My Dennis usually manages well enough with young Jack to help him out on busy nights.’

It’s clear old Dennis has been taking advantage of his wife’s extended absence to go AWOL himself. What can he say? He doesn’t want to lose this job, yet doesn’t want to land the poor bloke in hot water with his missus. Frank’s beginning to see the dull-as-ditchwater publican in a whole new light.

‘A few weeks back there was a notice in the window asking for an experienced barman,’ he says. ‘Dennis – Mr Stevenson – was kind enough to take me on. It’s been really busy; hectic more like, since I’ve been here; especially of an evening. Expect this hot weather has a lot to do with it – people getting thirsty and all that.’

He should stop talking, wait for her response; all too aware that sceptical look hasn’t left her face for a second but instead he can’t help but add: ‘I’m a hard grafter, Mrs Stevenson, and I’m pleased to say that, so far, I’ve had no complaints. Far from it.’

‘Is that a fact?’ She seems amused and then she sighs in a way that could be good or bad. ‘Well now, it would appear Dennis and I need to have a little chat about you, Frank Danby.’

She eyes him up and down one final time before turning away and walking to the end of the passage and through the door marked “private – no entry”.


About the author

Jan Turk Petrie Author Pic

The author Jan Turk Petrie lives in the Cotswolds, S.W. England.

She is the author of the fast paced Nordic thriller series: the Eldísvík novels. All three of these novels are set in 2068 in a fictional city state just below the artic circle.

‘Until the Ice Cracks’ – the first of the trilogy was published in July 2018.
Volume Two – ‘No God for a Warrior’ was published in November 2018
The third and final volume – ‘Within Each Other’s Shadow’ was published in April 2019

The ebook boxset – The Eldísvík Trilogy was published in August 2019

Jan’s fourth novel – ‘Too Many Heroes’ – a gripping new post-war thriller set in the East End of London was published in August 2019.

She is currently working on her fifth book – ‘Towards the Vanishing Point.’

A former English teacher with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Gloucestershire, Jan has also written numerous, prize-winning short stories.
Twitter handle: @TurkPetrie


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Too Many Heroes BT Poster

 

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