by AFN Clarke
AFN CLARKE is the author of 8 books, including the best selling memoir CONTACT, that was serialized in a British newspaper and made into an award winning BBCTV film. His latest novel, The Jonas Trust Deception, is a Thomas Gunn thriller and follows the success of The Orange Moon Affair. Readers have called it “classy, complex and cunningly compelling” and a “powerful force in the thriller genre”. In solving the mystery of an ongoing conspiracy involving his old friend Morgan, Thomas Gunn, ex-Special Forces, takes an action so shocking and bold, that even his team fear he’s lost his mind. The question is, has he? To get a taste of things to come, here’s an excerpt from the book. And for more information visit www.afnclarke.com or the Amazon Kindle store.
Somewhere in the back of my head behind the pounding jackhammer and piercing pain, a glimmer of light flickered unevenly.
Maybe a candle.
Maybe a reflection in a bathtub.
Maybe just an illusion drifting through a dream.
No. A nightmare.
An ordeal my shattered mind could not quite comprehend as it wandered through the twilight of semi-consciousness.
I’d been here before and knew the experience, the uncertainty, the gut gripping fear as fragmented parts of my mind fought back to consciousness; not knowing whether that consciousness would be the world I knew or the ‘Other World’, the existence beyond earthly life that I’d determined not to visit again any time soon.
The yellow light shimmered and wavered, then gradually steadied becoming clearer, whiter, seeming to envelop my world, jarring me back towards reality in a roaring swirl of foam.
Seawater filled my mouth, forcing its way down my throat, until my body screamed, and threw it back out in a wrenching coughing vomit, screwing my gut into an agonizing spasm, burning my lungs and searing my throat with burning bile. Tears of pain squeezed from my eyes as I waited for the wracking spasms to ease, the jackhammer still pounding out a rhythmical tattoo inside my skull as my swamped lungs worked hard in huge gasps, fighting for much needed oxygen.
Then slowly it dawned on me that I was drowning.
And for a moment I was tempted to drift off into its welcome arms that promised a release from this nightmare of pain and torment.
Another heaving retch, my body still trying to rid itself of the noxious salt water before being swamped again in the curling racing foam. And somehow as I was drowning, courting death with a begging frenzy, I was also trying to gather my shattered wits and unravel the mystery of the moment.
‘A typical contradiction’, I could hear Julie’s voice gently mocking me, and her face swam, undulating in the waves of my hallucination.
Sounds drifted back beyond the jackhammer. Soothing regular sweeping curls of breaking surf rolling past and a low thudding hum, counterpoint to my erratic gasps and intermittent coughs. A little closer to consciousness now, but still wrapped in a chaotic cocoon of noise and jumbled images.
Where? What? How? Vague memories just out of reach, snatched away on the wind.
Wind? Yes wind.
And water. Salt water.
If I could find the beginning, then I could work this out. Ravel some sense together and struggle out of this quicksand sucking me towards oblivion. I could feel death’s hot acrid breath, the stench making me vomit again.
Trying to understand what had happened earlier, while now drowning, were the ridiculous thoughts of a man preparing to die.
I shook my head and concentrated on the light and the dark mass that was pulling me slowly along. Instinct making me roll onto my back and feel for the half inch nylon line that was attached to my harness. Hazy memories flickered, flashbacks that in some strange way anchored me to the present, helping me stay focused on the light.
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Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-13