Welcome to Day 29 of the amazing Blogival event lasting throughout the month of June. Today I have for you a Guest Post from author Lee Cockburn about her book Devil’s Demise. Let’s get on with it!
Lee Cockburn on her book
It’s no surprise that I have seen my fair share of crime since I joined the force. Thankfully, though, this time the culprit, the horrific deeds and his twisted bloodlust are all pure fiction. In between fighting real-life crime on Edinburgh’s streets, powering my way to around 80 women’s international rugby caps and, when the need arose, putting my first aid skills to use saving lives, I have now written my first book.
Not surprisingly, it’s a crime-based thriller. But there, is where the similarity between real-life crime fighting in Edinburgh and the world of psychopathic killers ends. I work in Muirhouse, West Pilton, areas in Edinburgh where the crime is completely different to what’s in the book.
Real-life crime is still pretty brutal and I’ve dealt with some horrible things, but what’s in the book is pure fiction. Just as well really as my book is a chilling tale of a vicious killer who stalks his victims mercilessly then subjects them to a terrifying ordeal. On the case is Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks, a faultless, dedicated police officer with a shambolic love life that sees her embroiled in a series of chaotic liaisons with a string of women lovers.
Back in the day I could have been the main female character, thankfully now that’s all changed lives with my partner Emily and our two sons, Jamie and Harry, both four. The brothers – share the same dad – were born just three months apart after I became pregnant first, followed by Emily.
Occasionally, the book can get quite steamy – even though writing it with two toddlers to care for meant I had to stretch my imagination as you don’t really want to think about violence and crime and sex when you have two tiny little people to look after!
Originally from Silverknowes, I tried to join the police when I was 18, but recruitment had slumped and I ended up working first as a lifeguard, later as deputy manager at the Commonwealth Pool.
After 13 years I again applied to the police and was accepted. Eventually I was seconded to the specialist public order unit –the ones in the helmets and shields crashing through doors- and then was promoted to sergeant five years ago.
Away from the force – and crime writing – I love playing rugby and have over 80 caps for Scotland Women’s rugby team and British Lionesses. I also swam competitively for 12 years and represented Edinburgh at the age of 15 at the youth Olympics in Denmark in 1984.
And while my police career has, thankfully, not seen me have to deal with anything like the savage crimes that unravel in her book, Devil’s Demise, I’ve had my hare of challenging moments. When I was just six months in the job there was a fight in the street and I was punched in the face and knocked out. I came round to find a wee guy trying to steal my baton. We won in the end – good has to overcome evil, like in the book!
But it takes a lot to knock me down, fifteen stones and still playing rugby at 46, openly gay in the police force, two kids and now about a fifth of the way through the next book. I’m pretty chuffed with life at the moment.
A cruel and sinister killer is targeting Edinburgh’s most powerful women, his twisted sense of superiority driving him to satisfy his depraved sexual appetite. He revels in the pain and suffering he inflicts on his unsuspecting victims but a twist of fate and an overwhelming will to survive by one victim ruins his plans for a reign of terror. His tormented prey will need all her courage if she is to survive the hunt.
Read an Extract
Susan’s hands were shaking as she packed her things up from her hospital locker. The nurses popped in and out to say their goodbyes; Emily and Ann were still recovering from their own night of violence but still made the effort to come in and bid her farewell. The two nurses gave Susan huge hugs and words of strength and resilience, telling her not to let him win and to be strong.
Emily said, “You’ve beaten him once, you can do it again, but hopefully the police will do that for you though, eh.”
Susan’s eyes were welling up with tears of sadness and fear. She still had her life to live but she was terrified to have to do it.
Ann asked, “Will you be going home to your house? And how will you manage on your own?”
Just as she had asked the question, Andrew popped his head round the door and said, “She won’t be alone. Are you ready to go? The car’s just at the rear of the building.”
Emily and Ann both looked at each other. They hadn’t heard the gossip of how close Susan and Andrew had become and they nudged each other and gave Susan a knowing smile.
“Well done you, you’ve got yourself a good one there.
He pulled the door shut behind him, checking it for marks where he had pushed the tool in but the rubber seal had moved back and disguised the tell-tale marks of his forced entry. He stood at the back door, leant his head back and inhaled the scent of the house once again, the familiar aroma of the place making his eyes narrow and his lips turn up at the edges. His teeth ground slowly together as the ferocity of his anger surged through him, saliva glistening on his mouth. His breathing sped up and his heart pounded. He took the steps three at a time and turned towards the bedroom; he stood and looked at his art work on the walls and carpets and the staining on some of the furniture. Although it was faint, it was still there despite much cleaning. He thought of the screams of terror and the pain that had filled the room on that night, the night he should have taken Susan’s life. He breathed in her perfume, her alluring scent, and imagined doing it all over again, something he fully intended; of course this time, there would be a different ending, he’d make sure of that. He moved slowly towards the bed, and his huge hands reached down and picked up her pillow. He pushed his face into it and breathed in hard. She was there, faint and delicate, but still there. His penis was rock hard once more and obvious under his jeans; he had to stop himself from relieving himself there and then. He couldn’t leave any evidence that he had been here again. That would spoil her homecoming surprise. He moved slowly and deliberately out of the room and stood below the hatch in the hallway. He was tall enough to open it and it slowly came down revealing the attic; he had remembered this from his first date with Susan, although he hadn’t expected to have to come back. How the fuck did she live, how? She’s spoilt everything. I was just getting started. There are so many smug, cock teasing sluts out there that need me to teach them a lesson. He pulled down the attic ladder and his feet clunked on the rungs as he made his way up. He had brought bag with food and beer in it, just in case she didn’t come back straight away. He had no issue with relieving himself some-
where in the attic if time went on; he would never have to clean it up anyway. He pulled the attic steps up from below, leaving no evidence he was back.
“Thank you so much for looking after him,” Susan smiled.
“It was my pleasure. He’s very cute and loves his cuddles.”
A loud contented meow came from the cat box and Susan pushed her finger through the bars and tickled Baxter’s chin. He purred loudly, delighted that his mummy would be spoiling him once again. Andrew put his arm round Susan’s shoulder and guided her back to his car, taking the basket from her. She allowed him to hold her close and enjoyed the strength he gave her with his comfort and loyalty. He popped Baxter on the rear seat and opened the door to let Susan into the front. They put on their seat belts and Susan winced as she turned, the pain of her healing injuries still too fresh to forget, each stabbing pain a reminder that he still stalked her from within. Andrew asked if she was alright, knowing that this nightmare would never stop for her unless John Brennan was stopped, either by arrest or some other way. Andrew was uneasy about him still being out there too, but not enough to abandon Susan; he loved her deeply although they hadn’t known each other long. His time with her in recovery had shown him just how strong she was and her determination to get through this; she was a real fighter. He had also seen her heart, her insecurities and her inner beauty untainted by Brennan’s violence. Why would anyone ever have wanted to hurt her, to do what he did to her? She’s beautiful and has never harmed anyone in her life.
“Come on, let’s get to your house and pack up what we need. You don’t have to stay there a single night longer. The for sale sign will go up tomorrow and even with what has happened some ghoulish person will want to live there but who cares as long as you get the money.”
Susan smiled at him, happy that they were heading up north for a luxury get away. They would rent somewhere meantime until they were able to sell the house that was now tainted with evil. They needed to get away from everything and everyone, for a while anyway.
About The Author
Lee Cockburn has worked for Police Scotland for fourteen years including as a police sergeant in Edinburgh for five years and also as a public order officer. Before joining the force, she played for Scotland Women’s rugby team for fifteen years, earning over eighty caps for the Scottish ladies and British Lionesses teams. She also swam competitively for twelve years, successfully representing Edinburgh at the age of fifteen in the youth Olympics in Denmark in 1984. Lee lives in Edinburgh with her civil partner Emily and their two young sons Jamie and Harry. Devil’s Demise by Lee Cockburn (published by Clink Street Publishing, RRP £7.99 paperback, RRP £2.99 ebook) is available to buy at online retailers including amazon.co.uk and can be ordered from all good bookstores.