Thursday 6 June 2019

The Controller by Matt Brolly #Extract #BlogTour

#TheController #LynchandRose @MattBrollyUK @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

The Controller 

Today I am pleased to be able to participate in the blog tour for The Controller by Matt BrollyMy thanks go to damppebblesblogtours for my spot on the tour and to Matt for kindly providing me with the Chapter 1 of The Controller.

About the Book

From the bestselling author of the acclaimed DCI Lambert series comes The Controller, a gripping serial killer thriller introducing Sam Lynch and Special Agent Sandra Rose. 

It is six years since special agent Samuel Lynch left the FBI following the disappearance of his son, Daniel. Lynch believes an underground organisation known as The Railroad is responsible and has never stopped searching. 

When Special Agent Sandra Rose investigates a house invasion gone wrong, she discovers the assailant has the legendary, and infamous, Railroad tattoo carved onto his back and he claims to know Daniel’s whereabouts.

Rose draws Lynch in to her case, and together they become embroiled in an unparalleled world of violence and evil.

It seems that to see his son again, Lynch will have to confront his greatest fear and face the ultimate test: an encounter with the Railroad’s enigmatic and deadly leader, The Controller.


Grab a drink, a comfortable chair and settle down to read the start of The Controller.  

Chapter One

The knocking came in the middle of night. It took a few minutes for the sound to register - the incessant rhythmic thud of fists on wood the sound of a train rattling along the tracks. Opening his eyes, Samuel Lynch suffered the same teasing sensation he experienced every morning of being somewhere else, of being someone else; and then he saw the mess from last night and reality returned in a wave of nausea. He dragged the back of his hand across his eyes and sat up in bed. The sound of the banging was replaced by a similar noise in his head, accompanied by short, staccato stabs of pain. On the dressing table, five empty beer bottles fought for space amongst piles of unfiled paperwork - he never drank more than five, but still suffered the raging headaches every morning.
‘Mr Lynch?’ The banging on the door continued. Lynch couldn’t remember the last time he’d had visitors and no one, not even his ex-wife, knew his address. Something about that should have made him sad, but he was too piqued by curiosity. His rent, bills included, was paid in cash and he was methodical about entering and leaving the building. No one should know his location.
He jumped from the bed and tiptoed to the closet, avoiding the mounds of paper on the threadbare carpet. He pulled on his robe and from the inside shelf took out his Glock 22. He unclipped the magazine, checked it, and clipped it back in place.
The banging resumed. The same four beats, the rhythm identical as if somehow he was being mocked, matched the exact tempo of his growing migraine. ‘Sir, this is Special Agent Lennox from the FBI. I need to talk to you.’
Gun in hand, Lynch moved to his desk. His laptop was buried under sheets of paper. Throwing them to the ground, he switched on the machine hoping the webcam outside his front door was still active. Clearing a pile of dirty laundry off the chair he sat down, glancing at the giant maps hanging on the wall above his desk.
Bang, bang, bang-bang.  Bang, bang, bang-bang.
‘For Christ’s sake, Lynch, open this goddamn door.’
Lynch checked his gun again as he entered the password for the laptop. He was surprised to see the webcam still worked, surprised further to see what it revealed. Three men stood outside his apartment door.  Two wore SWAT vests, covered in Kevlar panels. The third was suited, and was about to hit the door again when he noticed the light on the webcam. He looked up and waved at the lens. ‘Mr Lynch, please open up.’
Lynch picked up the laptop and scurried to the side of the room, so he was no longer in line with the front door. ‘I want to see credentials. All three of you, up to the camera.’
The suit sighed, and pulled out his card and held it to the lens. ‘Don’t move,’ shouted Lynch, studying the ID of Special Agent, Bill Lennox.
Agent, William Benson. Agent Ralph Barnes. If they were fakes, they were good fakes.
‘Now will you open the door?’ asked Lennox.
Lynch placed the gun in his robe pocket and unbolted the door, poised for surprise movements.
‘Samuel Lynch. I’m Special Agent Bill Lennox. May I come in?’ The man was in his forties. Medium build, slightly bigger around the gut than was healthy.
Lynch opened the door. ‘Your buddies coming in as well?’
‘If you don’t mind.’
Lynch held the door open for the two SWAT guys. Both men were grotesquely over-sized. At six-two, Lynch was well above average size. He trained daily and had a strong build, but was dwarfed by the two muscle-bound men.
Lynch shut the door as the men acclimatized themselves. Lennox glanced at the maps on Lynch’s wall, the SWAT guys at the mess.
‘You carrying?’ asked Lennox.
Lennox nodded. ‘Quite a piece of work,’ he said, pointing to the larger map.
The map was Lynch’s creation. Five meters wide, it displayed the entire network of railroad lines in the USA. Next to it was a two-meter map of Texas’ active and disused railroad lines. Each map was dotted with hundreds of colored pins.
‘What do you want?’
‘Can we sit, or are we going to do this standing up?’
‘What do you think?’
‘Fair enough. Have you heard of a man who goes by the name of Gregor Razinski?’ The two SWAT guys had stopped looking at the mess and were staring at him.
‘He seems to know you.’
‘Well, good for him, Lennox, is it? But I have no idea who he is, so unless you can tell me what this is about please kindly fuck off.’
Lennox smirked, and Lynch came close to wiping the expression from his face, three armed agents or not. ‘Mr Razinski is currently involved in a situation in Asherton County. He’s taken a family of four hostage in their home. He has killed the father of the family, and has killed one police officer.’
Lynch felt last night’s pizza, and the last of the five beers rise up in his throat.
‘He refuses to speak to anybody but you,’ continued Lennox.
Lynch didn’t know the name. He had almost faultless recall ability and, although he’d encountered hundreds if not thousands of people in past operations, he was sure he didn’t know Razinski. ‘Never heard of him. I have no connection to that area,’ he said.
‘We know. We have a team in place. They’re ready to go in but we thought it prudent to speak to you first. To see if you could shed some light.’
‘Who does he have hostage?’
‘He has killed a man by the name of Edward Gunn. He’s detained Gunn’s wife, Eleanor, and their two young children.’
Lynch shook his head. ‘Motive?’
‘Not clear. We can’t trace Razinski. We’re yet to secure any photo ID.’
‘When did he mention my name?’
Lennox was clearly holding something back. ‘Two shots were heard from the house, prior to Razinski attempting to leave. Five minutes earlier one of the Gunn children had made a call to the police explaining that a man had broken into the house and taken the rest of the family hostage. Two cops on foot patrol nearby came to the scene and caught Razinski leaving. They opened fire. Razinski retreated to the house, managing to take one of the cops down as he retreated.’
Lynch nodded. ‘And?’
‘Back up arrived, and they eventually made contact. Razinski confessed to killing Mr Gunn and informed the Sherriff’s team he had the rest of the family with him.’
‘This is a great story, Lennox, but when are we going to get to the bit about me?’
Lennox glanced at the two SWAT guys.
‘Just fucking spill it, Lennox.’
‘It seems Mr Razinski was under a miscomprehension. He demanded to speak to Special Agent Samuel Lynch.’
Lynch nodded, now understanding the covert glances between the three men.
‘San Antonio FBI field office team were called in. Obviously, they checked your file. As there was no sign of Razinski on the databases we couldn’t link him to you anyway. Our team talked to him, tried to push him for more. And eventually he gave us something.’
Lennox exchanged glances with the two SWAT guys once more. Seven years ago, Lynch had headed up the San Antonio field office SWAT team. Now the very same type of men he’d once led were treating him like a victim. In his mind’s eye, he pictured himself taking the Glock from the inside pocket of his robe. He was sure, even now, he could get three shots off before they reacted. He had the element of surprise, and they were making the mistake of underestimating him.
Lennox scratched his chin, the sound of his nails dragging through his rough stubble audible in the room, and glanced again at the maps above Lynch’s desk.
Catching him in the movement, and wondering what that might mean, Lynch experienced a surge of adrenaline.
Lennox sighed before speaking. ‘Look, there’s no easy way to say this, Mr Lynch. Razinski said he wanted to speak to you as he had some information which might be of interest.’
Lynch nodded, trying to control his increasing pulse rate.
‘It’s about your son. Razinski claims he’s still alive.’

OMG what an opening.  Now I don't know about the rest of you but I want to carry on curled up with a nice drink and continue reading.    Now to find time in my busy reading schedule to ensure that at some stage I do just that.  

About the Author

Following his law degree where he developed an interest in criminal law, Matt Brolly completed his Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University.

He is the bestselling author of the DCI Lambert crime novels, Dead Eyed, Dead Lucky and Dead Embers. The fourth in the series, Dead Time, was released by Canelo in May 2018 and a prequel, Dead Water, will be published in September 2019. In 2020 the first of a new crime series set in the West Country of the UK will be released by Thomas and Mercer (Amazon Publishing).

The Controller, released in May 2019, is the first of a new thriller series set in Texas.

Matt also writes children's books as M.J. Brolly. His first children's book, The Sleeping Bug, was released by Oblong Books in December 2018.

Matt lives in London with his wife and their two young children. You can find out more about Matt at his website or by following him on twitter: @MattBrollyUK

Social Media Links

Twitter @MattBrollyUK

To buy from:

Check out the rest of the blog tour with these fabulous blogs: 

My thanks to Matt Brolly for joining me on my blog today and providing this excerpt, the publishers Lynch & Rose and also Emma @ Damppebbles for my spot on the blog tour.   

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