My seventh book, Raising Skinny Elephants, is the sequel to my first ‘Cymru noir’ novel, the critically acclaimed crime thriller, Ctrl-Alt-Delete.
The second book in the series is set in Kenya and various locations around the UK, including south Wales.
The book is available as a paperback as well as an e-book and can be found on Amazon and in other good book shops…
Back cover blurb:
Hal Griffiths is in Kenya taking photographs for National Geographic magazine, but cyber slayer Hagar is there too and wants revenge. As the grid begins to close around the serial killer there is another twist in the tail. From the bars of Nairobi to the shoreline of Lake Naivasha and the stunning vista of the Great Rift Valley Hal must once again fight for his life.
A first rate sequel to Ctrl-Alt-Delete. Fast action, graphic violence, black comedy and drug-crazed sex – what more could a reader want!
The man with twenty minutes left to live was laughing. And why shouldn’t he be? He was nice and warm. Safe and sound in his giant metal lair. Protected from the elements and about to have the time of his life.
It had been a good day so far. An easy shift in fact. They rarely got much easier in this part of the country…
Earlier that evening, at around ten o’clock, after only two hours driving, the weather had turned foul. The wind from the north was bitterly cold. The snow was heavy. Visibility through his large windscreen was down to less than a hundred yards ahead.
The long road that stretched out before him had turned white. The land became smooth and flat and silent. Activity outside was down to a minimum as more and more vehicles desperately tried to exit the motorway.
As fast as they could, all drivers were now searching for a safe place to rest up for the night. In no time at all there were just a handful of cars still crawling, slowly forward, through the orange and pink murk of the ghostly winter’s night.
The middle-aged man who was sat behind the wheel of the forty four tonne articulated lorry reached across to the CD player and turned off Motorhead’s Jailbait so he could radio in to base in peace and quiet.
When the voice of the young girl in the office eventually crackled back down the line he smiled. She was well aware of the weather reports coming in and could only agree with his assessment of the atrocious driving conditions.
‘Yeh, lots of pointy triangles heading your way my dear, probably be best if you get out of the snow and off the road as soon as possible,’ she advised.
‘Ten four to that love, will do,’ he replied, grinning to himself.
The forecast wasn’t actually that bad, but as they got it wrong so often these days it was better to be safe than sorry.
A few minutes after the call, and with his favourite heavy metal music blasting out of the speakers once again, it wasn’t long before he saw the welcoming sign for the services home into view through the gathering gloom.
Without checking his mirrors he hastily pulled over one lane. His huge truck cut up a small saloon car that contained a young mother and child, desperate to get home to refuge.
This dangerous manoeuvre caused her to slam on her brakes, skid briefly on the highway that began to resemble an ice skating rink, before she eventually steadied herself and carried on north.
‘Silly cow,’ said the driver of the truck, still smirking.
He quickly went down through the gears and reduced his speed so his mammoth rig could smoothly exit the main road. He then made his way carefully around to the back of the service area where he could park up for the remainder of the night.
That was over three hours ago, when he’d jogged into the services and just managed to catch last orders in what passed for a restaurant in these isolated parts.
He’d no problems wolfing down yet another greasy fry-up to add to his expenses and cholesterol level, and after this hearty last supper the overweight man with the five o’clock shadow had then visited the toilets for his third dump of the day and a quick freshen up.
He had a quick browse around the 24hr shop, picked up a few chocolate bars, two cans of Tango, a packet of twenty fags and a pretty tame, top-shelf magazine before finally exiting the building. He leaned on the wall outside the deserted café and smoked a few fags as he watched the snowflakes grow reassuringly in size and frequency. He wouldn’t be doing any more driving until after breakfast that was for sure.
Gazing out, somewhat absentmindedly, into the eerie night he was surprised to see what looked like another truck driver stood in the middle of the snow-covered car park, a few hundred yards away. He couldn’t make out much through the gathering mist but the short figure in the thick, lumberjack coat and baseball cap seemed to be staring straight at him. He turned away, not wanting to invite trouble at this ungodly hour. He took a few more drags on his cigarette before tossing it into the snow at his feet, and watched the red glow quickly die in the cold dampness.
His curiosity finally got the better of him though, and he couldn’t resist looking out into the darkness again. But when he did the stranger had vanished and all that remained was an empty parking lot carpeted in white.
Thinking no more about this random sighting he leisurely headed back to the warmth of his cab. As he approached the door to his artic he paused momentarily and took out a small laminated card from his jacket pocket. It was a card he’d kept from a week ago. Someone had stuck it under one of his windscreen wiper blades. It happened a lot when you were on the road.
The picture on the front certainly left nothing to the imagination, a beautiful busty blonde, topless of course, with just a miniscule pair of shiny, silver knickers to cover what was left of her modesty. The mobile number beamed out invitingly under the caption ‘the ride of your life’.
Peter Harrison, fifty eight, flabby and unfit, long distance lorry driver, wasted no time at all. Forever lonely, forever horny, he took out his brand new Samsung touchscreen phone and dialled the number on the card.
As luck would have it the girl of his dreams, who’d been following him for three days if the truth be told, was only five miles away and promised to come over shortly. After a brief, business-like conversation with the girl was finished, where the figure of fifty pounds was mentioned, he was soon chuckling away to himself and imagining what sordid things he could make her do for him. He pressed the end call key on his phone and hung up.
‘Mmm, what a sexy voice, and Welsh if I’m not very much mistaken. I wonder what she’s doing this far north? Ha ha, soon find out. Yeh, result!’ he laughed aloud to himself again.
In just a few short minutes he would know exactly why the woman on the card had left the small, friendly community she lived in, to be sat beside him on this stinking night.
The great big ugly bloke, inside his great big ugly HGV. But sadly, for Peter Harrison the answer was definitely not going to be to his liking…
The freshly fallen snow was over four inches deep now. Outside the truck it was sticking well and getting thicker by the minute. The windscreen of the vehicle was almost completely covered, and Peter Harrison took this as his cue to start getting undressed.
As the sweaty trucker was putting the finishing touches to his far from welcoming bed at the back of the cab he heard a loud knock on the heavy metallic door.
He quickly swung it open to reveal a bulging beer belly to the glamorous creature who gazed up from the ground below. With his drooping stomach hung down low over the top of his dirty, stained Y-fronts he wasn’t the most enchanting sight a young lady could encounter on a cold damp night.
‘Oh yes, small and vulnerable, just how I like ‘em, heh heh, just kidding luv,’ he mumbled to himself.
‘What’s that?’ replied the girl.
‘Oh nowt my love. Shw mae babe, come on up, it’s much warmer in ‘ere,’ he letched, as the heat from inside the cab quickly rushed out into the freezing air and offered to lure the young woman closer.
Peter Harrison was struck by how different the girl looked to her photograph, the one on the card. They never did look the same of course, but she wasn’t bad, looked a real blonde, and appeared to have a great stack under her tight blouse.
She passed him a small pink rucksack, which he threw in the front, and then she held her hand out. Always the gentleman, Mr Harrison helped the petite, young woman clamber up the steps then moved back to allow her access to the front passenger seat and gave her a few seconds in which to admire his manly domain.
He thought about moving towards her but something in her steely blue eyes made him hesitate.
‘The money,’ she demanded.
He handed over two twenties and a ten and watched as she quickly stuffed it into the top of her girly rucksack.
‘Get in the back,’ she ordered.
‘OK, don’t rush me mun,’ he said, reverting to his Welsh accent again.
‘Aye, all in good time eh,’ he could tell she was nervous.
‘On your front.’
‘Oh but babe, what about a little cuddle first,’ moaned Harrison.
‘I want to lick your arse,’ she replied, matter of factly.
Peter Harrison just stared at her face, familiar somehow, and tried to decipher her features. As he looked on the last of the snowflakes that were still clinging to her long yellow hair melted and dripped down onto her top in the warmth of the cabin.
‘OK, have it your way, you dirty bitch,’ he replied, moving quickly to the rear of the truck, turning his fat frame over and laying down flat on his stomach in the soft warm bed.
The girl wasted no time and began to slowly rub his back and shoulders with her cold hands before slowly but surely moving down to his smelly and stomach-churning pants. She tweaked the loose elastic as he fidgeted beneath her. Then she straddled his soft, pink legs and carefully moved her loose fitting skirt up higher to reveal a pair of muscular thighs.
Continuing to massage Peter Harrison’s back with one hand the young woman slowly pulled out a SOG Seal Pup Elite knife from a holster strapped to her upper leg.
Moving her left hand seductively upwards she felt around for the little indentation on the back of his head, where the neck meets the skull. She kneaded this area gently for a few moments, feeling for the gap in the vertebrae, before suddenly and without warning plunging the five inch blade, with all the force she could muster, straight in.
Peter Harrison immediately felt faint. He rapidly lost the ability to breathe, speak, or feel any physical sensations at all. He was still very much conscious and aware but didn’t feel anything when the woman used her left hand to grab a large handful of his thinning grey hair to jerk his head back sharply. She then leaned in close to him and whispered in his ear.
‘This is for leaving mammy and me to all those low-life, disgusting men. Men like you!’
After twisting the knife around for a bit she swiftly withdrew it and forcefully pushed his head forwards and downwards into the pillow. Still holding his hair she expertly sliced through the sagging skin on the left side of his neck, severing the carotid artery in a few brief seconds. She continued to rip the blade across the front of his throat, feeling the gristle of cartilage in the larynx crack as her powerful stroke penetrated deeper.
Like this sample? Read more here.
Music soundtrack – Listen on Spotify
‘Great sequel. I opted to read Ctrl-Alt-Delete again to get into the characters! Enjoyed it a second time around & couldn’t wait to find time to read Raising Skinny Elephants. Thoroughly enjoyed, gutted when the book ended, great talented author, can’t wait for his next book. First book has to be read first to appreciate the plot/characters. Well done Dave!’ – clairy
‘Brilliant book. Could not wait to read this after reading Ctrl-Alt-Delete. I bought it immediately so I could continue the story. Did not want to put it down. It was so well written and the suspense was great all the way though. I would definitely recommend this to anyone.’ – Eirwen Thomas
‘Thoroughly good read. Old and new characters worked well. Kept me wanting to know what happened up to the end, definately worth reading, I think even better than Ctrl Alt Del.’ – KHL
‘Raising Skinny Elephants takes the reader further in the saga of Hagar, a great story and some interesting insights into Africa. It would help if Ctrl-Alt-Delete was read first, that being a great read too. I finished the book in a matter of a couple of days, a real page turner (or button pusher for kindle fans). Buy it read and enjoy it.’ – MR JM Nash
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