The First Cut is free for the first time this Christmas weekend. I hope you enjoy it and to give you a little taster by way of an extract - read on!
Sometimes it’s hard to escape a brutal past. That’s the case for DS Jane Renwick, who learns via DNA a serial killer could be a family member.
This gripping police procedural is set in Edinburgh and Glasgow. A vicious killer is on the loose and victims include an academic and members of Edinburgh's high society. But Jane is banished to the side-lines of the case and forced to look on impotently when the hunt for the killer ramps up, because the Murder Investigation Team believes the killer is related to her.
Has someone from Jane's estranged birth family returned to haunt her? Could one of her relatives be involved? Where will the killer strike next?
This exciting novel is the first in Val Penny’s new series of Scottish thrillers.
"...I only have a few witness appearances that I must attend in court on cases that have nothing to do with this nightmare. Boss, the thing is, I don’t know this man. It’s not as if we’re really family. I haven’t clapped eyes on him since I was five years old. Let me help. Please, just let me help.”
“You know I can’t do that, even if I wanted to. I know you have leave from MIT, Jane, so why doesn’t Rachael take some well-earned time off too? You are definitely due some.” Hunter’s gaze flicked over to Rachael. “It would allow you both to unwind, relax, and enjoy each other’s company. What do you think?”
Jane smiled at Rachael. She had never learned to cry neatly. Snot and mascara clotted on her cheeks. Jane reached for a couple of Hunter’s tissues and licked them before wiping Rachael’s face. “That’s a good idea, boss. I think I better stop into the loo and wash my face before I go anywhere.”
“It’s settled then. Don’t worry about the paperwork, I’ll sort it. Look after each other.” “Can I pop in to see the team while Rache gets cleaned up?”
“I’m sorry, Jane. You know that I can’t allow that,” he said. “I’ll have to escort you out of the station to your bike,” Hunter said. He stood up and turned to Rachael. “Will you drive yourself home, or do you want to travel with Jane? I can get a PC assigned to take your car back for you.”
“No thanks, boss. Riding with Jane is far too nerve wracking for me. I like four wheels, within the speed limit, thank you very much.” Rachael smiled a weak, watery smile. “Thanks for the time, boss. Janey, I’ll just go and get cleaned up and see you back home.” She kissed Jane gently on the cheek before she left the room.