There’s a new quick thriller out this week; Six Strings, a gritty episode in the life of a complicated contract killer. We’re delighted to share with you an exclusive extract from the action – read on for a sneak peek of JJ Stoner’s subtle professional technique.
In a former life, JJ Stoner was a hard-faced military man. Now, discreetly and deniably, he resolves sticky situations for the British authorities. So when the Drug Squad can’t convict a particularly unpleasant pusher, Stoner is tasked with permanently solving the problem. But before he can deploy his very particular skill set, an old acquaintance steps out of the shadows and delivers disconcerting intelligence…
Sneak preview: meet JJ Stoner
Six Strings is a quick thriller, an hour’s intrigue and entertainment. It features characters from the JJ Stoner / Killing Sisters series. You don’t need to have read any of the other stories in the series: you can start right here if you like. And this is a taste of what to expect:
Sometimes it would appear that subtlety is not the best course of action. Discretion may be the better part of valour … but then again it may not.
JJ Stoner applied the copper face of a heavy Thor hammer to the rear door’s lock. It was a domestic door lock and the hammer’s energies were high – both lock and the weak wooden door frame surrendered beneath the impact, and Stoner stormed into a kitchen; an invading army of one.
One man. It was all that was necessary.
From kitchen to dining room, Stoner trod the direct path of hot food heading from oven to table, and he trod it with considerable vigour, opening the intervening door with sufficient spare energy to smash it against its frame and then bounce back into his path. The Thor hammer batted it away again, internal doors in modern houses being less than robust. That hammer landed head-first on the dining table, scattering food and propelling both the drugs guy and a second, younger man, whose shared facial features suggested shared genes, to their feet.
The younger man, late teens, maybe, grabbed a knife from the table and turned to face Stoner, who flicked the rawhide head of the Thor hammer into the hinge formed by the young man’s lower jaw and his skull, damaging it instantly. Maybe dislocating, maybe breaking it – the resulting scream was unclear in that detail, although its volume suggested that a fracture may have taken place. The young man sat down hard on the floor, clutching his hands to his head, sobbing and howling.
The drugs guy stared slack-jawed at his home invader. Said nothing. Shifted his gaze between his son – if son he was – and Stoner. Displaying at least some intelligence and awareness of the realities of life, he raised both empty hands, presenting them palm-first to Stoner. Still he said nothing.
‘I am entirely serious.’ Stoner spoke quietly. A man with a Thor hammer in his hand can speak quietly while being confident of making at least as much impact as if his words had been shouted. ‘You need to understand that.’
‘Got you.’ The drugs guy lowered his hands and seated himself, slowly. Then he stood again, raised his hands again, nodded to his floored companion.
‘He needs help,’ he said, simply.
‘So do we all at some point.’ Stoner still spoke quietly. ‘Whether he needs a medic or an undertaker depends on the next couple of minutes…’
If that’s whetted your appetite for more action, here’s how to hook up with Stoner:
Six Strings is only 99p/99c
Amazon US: www.amazon.com/dp/B079FWDPS8
Amazon UK: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079FWDPS8
‘It’s not every day you discover a short story with action, tension, and characters who draw you in. But Westworth’s JJ Stoner short story, Six Strings, offers all that plus dangerous locations and precision plotting wrapped in a ribbon of sharp noir dialogue. Brisk, tight, and worth the read…keep your eye on Stoner. And Westworth too.’ ~ Rich Leder, novelist / screenwriter
Meet the Author:
Frank Westworth shares several characteristics with his literary anti-hero, JJ Stoner: they both play mean blues guitar and ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Unlike Stoner, Frank hasn't deliberately killed anyone. Instead, Frank edits a monthly classic motorcycle magazine (see RealClassic.co.uk) and has written extensively for the UK motoring press.
Frank's ‘Killing Sisters’ series starts with 'A Last Act Of Charity', continues in 'The Corruption Of Chastity' and wraps up in 'The Redemption Of Charm'.
However, you can start with any of the books in the series; they're written to be enjoyed if you come in halfway through.
You can also meet key characters from the Killing Sisters series in the JJ Stoner short stories, which begin with First Contract.
Please note; the Stoner stories and Killing Sisters series are intended for an adult audience. They're violent and explicit and contain the occasional intellectual challenge.
If you'd like to know more - feel free to ask!
Author Facebook page: www.facebook.com/killingsisters
Author Amazon page: www.amazon.co.uk/Frank-Westworth/e/B001K89ITA/
Author Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/576653.Frank_Westworth
Murder, Mayhem and More: Thrilling Crime and Sci-Fi Fiction