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      Closer Than Blood


Killer Reads Logo

      A division of HarperCollinsPublishers



      an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd

      1 London Bridge Street

      London SE1 9GF


      First published in Great Britain by HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 2019

      Copyright © Paul Grzegorzek 2019

      Cover design by Andrew Davis © HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 2019

      Cover photograph © Shutterstock.com

      Paul Grzegorzek asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

      A catalogue copy of this book is available from the British Library.

      This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.

      All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins.

      Ebook Edition © August 2019 ISBN: 9780008329990

      Version: 2019-07-16

       To all those who dedicate their lives to saving ours

      Table of Contents


       Title Page



      Chapter 1

      Chapter 2

      Chapter 3

      Chapter 4

      Chapter 5

      Chapter 6

       Chapter 14

       Chapter 15

       Chapter 16

       Chapter 17

       Chapter 18

       Chapter 19

       Chapter 20

       Chapter 21

       Chapter 22

       Chapter 23

       Chapter 24

       Chapter 25

       Chapter 26

       Chapter 27

       Chapter 28

       Chapter 29

       Chapter 30

       Chapter 31

       Chapter 32

       Chapter 33

       Chapter 34

       Chapter 35

       Chapter 36

       Chapter 37

       Chapter 38

       Chapter 39

       Chapter 40

       Chapter 41

       Chapter 42

       Chapter 43

       Chapter 44

       Chapter 45

       Chapter 46

       Chapter 47

       Chapter 48

       Chapter 49

       Chapter 50

       Chapter 51

       Chapter 52

       Chapter 53

       Chapter 54

       Chapter 55

       Chapter 56

       Author’s Note

       Keep Reading …

       Also by Paul Grzegorzek

       About the Author

       About the Publisher

       Chapter 1

      It’s been ten years since I killed a man. Not in cold blood, but in hot rage born of fear for those I loved. Ten years of terrible dreams by night and frustration by day. Ten years of watching those younger and less capable than me get promoted, while I remain an eternal sergeant, a relic at the back of the office no one is sure what to do with.

      Killing a man tarnishes your soul as well as your reputation. I used to live by the creed that if I could look myself in the eye every morning and not feel ashamed then I was doing things right. Now, when I look at myself in the mirror I see a killer, a man who knows what he’s capable of when the chains come off.

      After this long I’ve made some measure of peace with it, but I still have moments when the darkness rears up, trying to drag me back into those old memories of pain and blood and death.

      “Contact, contact, we have eyeball on the X-ray.”

      The voice jerked me back to the present and I straightened up behind the wheel, glancing across to my colleague, Tom. He was younger than me, somewhere in his mid-twenties, and he still had the fire and zeal that coppers radiate before they get burned out.

      “Should we move, Sarge?” he asked, almost bouncing on the edge of his seat. No wonder; we’d been after our target for months now,

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