A few years ago, I was reading Peter Temple’s crime thriller The Broken Shore and found it so inspiring, I decided to write some fan fiction. It was good, very good, but I got sidetracked by other projects and forgot to ring back the many many publishing houses who had asked me to turn it into a novel, or any of the Hollywood studios who had enquired as to whether I would give them the film options.
Only since the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, the book that began as erotic Twilight fan fiction and became an international best seller, have I revisited my work. I discovered that what I had – its working title was Cold Comfort – was undoubtedly first-class prose, but it was single-genre prose.
I’m a trendsetter by nature, but I’m also a brilliant entrepreneur and I know when to start from scratch and when to take a proven idea and make it even better. So Cold Comfort became Cold Tequila Comfort, an erotic crime thriller no longer based on Peter Temple characters.
Here’s an excerpt for your delectation.
(If you like it, I might post some more again soon.
Let’s be honest, I’m going to be posting some more again soon.)
(From Chapter 3, titled ‘Big Time’)
Boyd looked out his window. The city was cold. Cold like Boyd’s heart. Cold like the iceblock in the tumbler of whiskey that sat on his desk. A triple – Boyd didn’t do half measures. Like Jensen used to say, if you wanted to do half measures, you should join the rodeo as a clown at the rodeo.
He’d never understood that advice, as taking half measures at a rodeo could lead to serious internal organ and brain injuries, but Jensen was a multi-layered character and probably hadn’t meant it strictly literally.
It was Davis.
“Davis. You scared the shit out of me. I was thinking about Jensen.”
“Multi-layered man, Jensen,” said Davis.
“Yes he was. Now he’s dead.”
Davis nodded slowly, quietly, thoughtfully. He nodded like a man in deep thought. Hell – he was.
“What do you want? Make it quick. I’m busy.”
Davis could tell this was a lie. Boyd had been looking out the window. Again. Possibly for up to eighty consecutive minutes. But he let it slide.
“What about him?”
“He drank thirty-eight alcopops, got slightly tipsy and fell into a pool.”
“No, someone had put three blue ringed octopuses into the pool and, well… one found the mark.”
“Jensen always said King would be bitten on the genitals by an octopus and die from the poison of the octopus.”
“We can’t think about Jensen now. He’s long dead. King, on the other hand, is still warm.”
“You are right, Davis. As usual. How warm?”
“Pathology thinks it happened between eight and nine minutes ago.” Davis was talking in between deep breaths. He had obviously run to the office. He had some sweat on his face. It glistened like salt water on a statue. In many ways, that’s exactly what it was.
“Any suspects at this stage?”
“Who’s your prime?” asked Boyd, using the terse, cold idiomatic language of the Homicide Squad. It was just his way. The only way he’d ever known, since being kicked out of a state school in Form 4 and being told by a teacher he’d never amount to anything. (Ha! Where was Ms Cuthbertson now? Almost certainly dead, as she had been in her mid sixties at the time she had made the comment, which meant she would be nearly one hundred and ten now and very few people lived that long.)
“A guy called Hank. Hank Brunden.”
“Talk to him. And do it now, goddamn it, before he leaves the country!”
Davis turned to leave the office.
Boyd picked up his whiskey, went to sip, then said “Davis.”
Davis was at the door. He turned to face the rugged head of the Homicide Squad, who hadn’t shaved for a few days. “Yes boss?”
“The King is dead. Long live the king.”
Davis didn’t need to respond. But he did. He said “Mm.”
Hank Brunden had a broad mind, a broad chest and a broad share portfolio. He loved women, but more than that he loved accountancy. And accountancy was what he was doing right now, at 10.45 in the evening, in bed. He was doing some work for a very special client. The client was himself. You see, Hank had a passion for accountancy that transcended work hours. He “did the math”, as he called it, like someone else might do a soduko puzzle (or “sudaki” as his dim-witted brother would say).
Hank’s bed had satin sheets.
Hank completed a difficult equation and yelled with satisfaction, as he sometimes did while exercising his gift for arithmetic. It must have been loud, because he could hear Dierdre, the thirty-four year old divorcee who lived in the apartment next door wake up and ask herself groggily, “Wh-what’s going on?”
Then suddenly it was on.
Dierdre was at the door with all her clothes on and a duffel coat and a prim early 19th century replica bonnet, then she was about halfway between the door and the bed without her duffel coat and only some of her clothes on, but the bonnet still on in a coquettish manner. Then she was straddling Hank Brunden completely naked, her gulf throbbing like a frightened mouse’s heart. It had been like watching a very early, very amateurish attempt at stop motion cinema.
As Dierdre reached for Hank’s burgeoning groin trunk – his poppet head purpling with the same uncontrolled urgency as his doltish brother the time he’d been on the inane 1980s game show that challenged you to run around a faux supermarket putting as many consumer items into a trolley as you could in thirty seconds – Detective Inspector Gary Davis kicked the door down and charged into the room, gun drawn. He had the look in his eye of a man on a mission, a mission that didn’t come with very many protocols or instructions. Or exit strategies.
Davis had size 9 shoes.
“No knock, Detective Inspector?” asked Hank, smiling broadly, as his embarrassed neighbour covered his still-engorged jabberwocky (and she did see it as a mythical creature) with her prim bonnet.
“Oh, for fuck’s sake, Brunden!” Davis growled. He fired two rounds into the roof. “Finish off here, get dressed, brush your teeth, eat some toast and meet me downstairs. We’re goin’ downtown.”
Davis and Brunden had form.
I’m thinking of releasing an audio version with me as the narrator.
Haught fact of the day:
When Boyd asks Davis who his “prime” is, he means prime suspect.