Porcelain Flesh Of Innocents
Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks is back and in charge of tracking down a sadistic vigilante, with a penchant for torturing paedophiles, in this unsettling crime thriller by a real-life police sergeant.
High-powered businessmen are turning up tortured around the city of Edinburgh with one specific thing in common — a sinister double life involving pedophilia. Leaving his ‘victims’ in a disturbing state, the individual responsible calls the police and lays bare the evidence of their targets’ twisted misdemeanours to discover, along with a special memento of their own troubled past — a chilling calling card. Once again heading the investigation team is Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks, along with her partner Detective Constable Marcus Black, who are tasked not only with tracking the perpetrator down but also dealing with the unusual scenario of having to arrest the victims for their own barbarous crimes. But with the wounded piling up the predator’s thirst for revenge intensifies and soon Nicks discovers that she is no longer chasing down a sinister attacker but a deadly serial killer.
Vivid, dark and deeply unsettling Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents is the perfect next read for serious crime and police thriller fans.
Innocent or Not?
He tried to get up, struggling to get to his feet as the bat struck his other knee with equally brutal and damaging force. As he buckled to the floor, the bat crashed into his ribs, smashing them so hard that he fell over onto his side. Saliva hanging down from his mouth, he struggled to get a breath as he moaned out loud, putting his hands up in a futile attempt to stop any further assault from the masked stranger that stood in front of him, looking straight into his eyes.
“What do you want from me, why are you doing this to me, what have I ever done to you?” The man’s quavering voice asked of the ominously silent figure staring right at him.
A small but strong hand gripped on to his face twisting it out of shape, nails digging right into his skin, blood oozing out as they forced deeper into his flesh with pure hate and venom. They deliberately pushed close to his eyes, cruelly taunting him. The stranger took a step back and began to kick him like a crazed animal, his face, his neck, all over his body. A boot stamped down hard on his chest and his stomach. As he lay there winded and in severe pain, the man sensed hesitation from his attacker. He felt his leg being moved forcefully over as he lay on his back, the pain now coursing through him and he feared what would happen next. Suddenly he felt an excruciating pain in his groin, as the bat slammed down on his genitals with such force it seemed to crush them against his pelvis, then another, then another. He was now rendered completely unable to move, barely conscious as he was rolled over. He could feel his belt being unbuckled, then the hands wrenching at his trousers and underwear as they were sliced with a blade. His mind raced in terror at what could be coming next, fearing the worst that he may lose his balls, then he felt a ripping, tearing sensation and searing pain, sickness to the pit of his stomach just before he lost consciousness. A merciless grin was etched on the attacker’s face as they stood up, their last kick forcing the weapon deeper into his anus, before they turned away with a sense of satisfaction.
Carefully they cleaned up the scene, even wiping the victim’s face where their hand had gripped him so brutally, making sure they hadn’t left a single trace of themselves on him, not leaving a clue about who or what they were. His pad had been pristine prior to this unwanted visit, expensive tastes, no warmth or homeliness, very clinical with modern hi tech audio equipment, and masculine fixtures and fittings, now all sprayed with blood spatter from the assault that had just taken place.
The stranger looked around the room, taking in the surroundings. A sense of empowerment and satisfaction warming them deep inside as they looked down on the wounded animal in front of them.
Putting on gloves they thumbed through the DVDs that lay close to the bed, no markings on them, just countless black cases. There was no fear over the length of time they had been in his house, because if the police were coming, they would have been there by now. The stranger was well-versed on police procedure. The chosen DVD was pushed into the player and the telly was clicked on. The stranger hesitated prior to pressing play, an inner apprehension holding them back. The 50-inch mounted Sony HD television came to life and the surround sound speakers made the screams of the very young female child more painful to hear, the obvious fear and pain she was in sending shivers down their back as they paused the film on the harrowing scene. The face of the beaten man was clearly visible as the perpetrator of the crime taking place. Nausea overwhelmed the stranger as they stood up and selected a calling card out of a bag and left it beside the television, taking care to position it in full view for when the police arrived.
The flash lit up the room as the stranger stopped to take a souvenir, a photograph of the first vengeful retribution. Lifting a mobile phone from a table near to where the man lay, now trussed up to prevent his escape, a finger punched in 999. One final look round the room and they were gone, like a ghost in the night.
Driving away, sirens could be heard making their way to respond to the silent treble nine call just received in the control room.
Who and Why?
DS Taylor Nicks strode confidently into the room, smartly dressed in a figure hugging two-piece suit; long, slim, toned legs; fitted blouse carefully crafted to draw attention to her perfect feminine shape. She smiled at her colleagues as she made her way to her desk. They resembled meerkats as she passed them by. DC Marcus Black was already at his desk working away in front of his favourite family photo. A conscientious, hard working individual, Marcus was very handsome with rugged and chiselled facial features and a toned athletic physique. He was also a really decent guy. He raised his head as he saw Taylor approach and greeted her with a genuine smile, which stretched across his face as she gave him a playful shove in the back. Their bond was very strong as they had worked together for many years. They had built up a good relationship and friendship and trusted each other implicitly.
“Hi, how long have you been in? You always make me look really bad, always being in before me.”
He just smiled at her, knowing she didn’t really care and would never change her ways just to look good. She enjoyed life too much to waste a moment of her private life at her work’s expense, unless there was something special going on, always living life on the edge.
“Great result yesterday with Susan. Can you imagine if that had gone the other way, that would have been a travesty, which I was actually thinking might happen.”
“Totally the right decision though! What would society be if she had been sent down. He deserved everything he got and more, and thank goodness the jury thought that too!” Marcus replied. “How’s Kay holding up, is she any better?”
“Not so good. Her injuries are healing but her head isn’t in a good place right now. She’s finding it hard to come to terms with what happened, and she seems to be disappearing into herself lately.”
“No wonder though, she nearly died.”
Kay was Taylor’s current partner. They hadn’t been together very long but their short time spent with each other had been an incredibly intense affair, filled with passion, lust and desire. Kay had never been with a woman before and Taylor had always shied away from any sort of relationship, but Kay was different. Unfortunately, that hadn’t been enough, even with their strong feelings for one another. Taylor had faltered and had had a passionate encounter with one of her team during their last enquiry whilst hunting Brennan. She had been tempted by her fit and very attractive colleague Fran Andrews, a feisty, good-looking woman, who had openly flirted with Taylor, something Taylor very rarely could resist.
“Anyway, enough doom and gloom, what have we got today, anything worthwhile?”
Both knew that, after hunting for Brennan, the sheer enormity of that enquiry would be hard to beat in terms of interest and excitement.
About Lee Cockburn
Lee Cockburn has worked for Police Scotland for sixteen years including as a police sergeant in Edinburgh for seven 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. Her first book Devil’s Demise was published by Clink Street Publishing November 2014.
Follow Lee Cockburn on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lee_leecockburn