Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bedlam by B.A. Morton: Guest Post and Excerpt


BlurbBedlam (crime/horror)
Published: November 2013

Joe loves Kit. Everyone thinks she’s dead. Joe knows she’s not. 

If you lost the love of your life, how far would you go to get them back?

Detective Joe McNeil would do absolutely anything.

When Joe breathes life into a crime scene victim, he discovers what anything really means.

Nell will use whatever is necessary to ensure she survives, including Joe. Is she really a victim or merely the weapon being wielded by a much more cunning foe?

Against the background of a multiple murder investigation, Joe struggles between his love for missing Kit and his growing obsession with the enigmatic Nell. Plunged headlong into a spiralling nightmare of kidnap, murder and betrayal, his relentless search for the truth jeopardises his career, his sanity and his life.

But for Nell, the risk is even greater. 

A haunting tale of obsessive love, ultimate sacrifice and deadly consequences


The Crime Scene
by B.A. Morton

As a writer you often hear the advice “write about what you know”. Well, when you write crime fiction that can be problematic unless you’re employed in law enforcement ...or you’re a criminal, or worse still, a victim of crime. Sometimes though, it’s not a case of what you know, but who you know, and of course, researching diligently to ensure your scene is accurate. To that end I have amassed a collection of books on the subject of UK procedures and hierarchy written by law enforcement professionals. In Bedlam I describe a particularly gritty crime scene. I needed to be sure that it adhered to recognised crime scene procedure and protocols without unnecessarily restricting my story. It’s a fine balance, a nod to procedure without losing sight of the fact that at the end of the day, this is fiction ... and I do love to stretch the believable. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to run my crime scenes by a serving UK crime scene investigator Paul Trembling, who also happens to be a cracking crime writer. Check out his collection of crime scene stories A Pattern of Murder. 

So, here we are, meet DS Joe McNeil as he arrives at the crime scene that is set to change his life...



McNeil was used to messy crime scenes, but today he felt the need to stand back and survey from a respectable, post-hangover distance. The space beneath the viaduct, a no man’s land of decay, was a notorious spot for jumpers, flyers and druggies; a haunt for the city’s weirdos and no-hopers.

Beneath his feet the ground was littered with the detritus of a drop-out subculture. Mud oozed with discarded needles, beer cans and vomit. Above his head, giant iron pillars daubed in anarchic profanity leeched rust, like an open wound. He took a shallow breath. The air was thick with the fetid stench of putrefaction. His head hurt just looking at the desolation, but he’d spent too long working amongst the dregs to be shocked. This was just another day down here in undesiraville.

What made today stand out from any other wasn’t the fact that someone had ended up dead, but the fact there were three of them, which was excessive even by McNeil’s standards. Two were suspended from the ironwork struts by their throats, not neatly with a rope around their necks, but brutally impaled on the point of a meat hook. Homeless and lifeless, they hung like abattoir carcasses, their ragged, lice-infested clothes flapping gently in the breeze. The pool of congealing blood on the ground beneath their feet, and the broad blackened splatter on the steel structure behind them, gave more than a hint as to the cause of death. Flies gorged on the unexpected bounty and subtle movement in the murky undergrowth announced the arrival of opportunistic rats. A plastic sheet had been draped temporarily over the third victim, who lay half submerged in the stinking slurry.

The crime scene was already a hive of activity, photographs taken, areas taped and marked for evidence, the mortuary van standing ready and waiting for the off.

McNeil nodded a stiff greeting to the other members of the team as he signed in and donned a flimsy protective suit. He ignored the questioning looks at his late arrival and concentrated on trying to don gloves with hands that shook and fingers that wouldn’t oblige. Like a child who hadn’t progressed beyond mittens, he gave a frustrated scowl, stuffed the proffered gloves up his sleeve and took a cautious step forward.

Hastily laid boards mapped out a line of access to preserve the scene. One step either side would have pitched him into the mire. McNeil glanced sceptically at his protective overshoes. He’d left his Wellingtons in the boot of the car parked beyond the outer cordon. He’d already run the press gauntlet once and wasn’t about to retrace his steps and have to go through the whole rigmarole again. He sighed and kept to the center of the path.



Born in the North East of England, B.A.Morton writes across a number of genres including crime, romance, horror and historical fiction. After a twenty year civil service career, she and her family escaped the rat race and relocated to the remote beauty of the Northumberland National Park. She now works part time in the village GP surgery and lives in a cottage built on the remains of a medieval crypt. Her debut novel “Mrs Jones” a fast paced, romantic, crime thriller set in New York, was runner up in the Yeovil Literary Prize 2011, published by Taylor Street Publishing and closely followed by the sequel “Molly Brown”, and the first in a medieval trilogy “Wildewood Revenge”. Her latest book “Bedlam” is a psychological/horror/thriller.

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