List Price: $ 14.00
Save 16 % off List Price
Stolen Souls : A Jack Lennon Investigation Set in Northern Ireland
Detective Inspector Jack Lennon of the Belfast Police has watched the developing cooperation between Northern Ireland's Loyalist gangs and immigrant Lithuanian criminals with unease. The Lithuanians traffic women from Eastern Europe and Asia for the Loyalists' brothels, and they're all making big money in spite of the recession that has stopped Northern Ireland's peace boom in its tracks. Lennon has a more intimate knowledge of the city's brothels than he'll ever admit, but the surge in trafficked girls makes him question his lifestyle, especially considering he has his daughter, Ellen, to care for now. When a Lithuanian trafficker turns up dead on Christmas Eve with a shard of glass embedded in his throat, Lennon's plans to spend the holiday with Ellen are put in jeopardy. The dead man was the younger brother of a ruthless Lithuanian crime boss, Arturas Strazdas, and the young Ukrainian woman who killed him has escaped her captors. Now Strazdas holds the Loyalists responsible and won't let up until everyone involved has paid. A bloody gang war erupts across the city. Meanwhile, somewhere in Belfast, Galya, the Ukrainian girl, is running for her life, alone and scared, clinging to the darkest corners as the frozen streets empty for the holiday. Galya's captors told her how the police deal with illegal immigrants, that she is a criminal in a foreign land, and the law will not help her. And now she is also a murderer. She cannot be discovered by anyone, not the cops, not the gang who held her prisoner. There is only one person she can go to: a man she met on her first day as a prostitute, a friend who gave her a crucifix and an address to run to if she ever got away. He'd saved four prostitutes before her, he's told her, and she can be his fifth. But when Galya arrives at the address, she finds something more evil than she had ever imagined.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
October 04, 2011
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Stolen Souls by Stuart Neville
Blood hot on her hands. Red. The brightest red Galya had ever seen. Her mind tilted, her vision disappearing down a black tunnel.
No, don't faint.
She gasped, pulled air in, and with it a copper smell that went to her stomach and grabbed it like a fist. Bile rose to her throat. She swallowed.
The man's legs shook as she tried to withdraw the shard of glass, a strip of bed sheet wrapped around one end to form a grip for the improvised knife. She jerked. His eyes gaped. She twisted, feeling the glass grind against a hardness deep inside his neck until something snapped. The blade slipped free of the new mouth it had opened beneath his chin. Red bubbled from it and spread across his Lithuania football shirt, swamping the bright yellow.
Galya stepped back as the blood advanced across the linoleum flooring toward her bare feet. It licked at her toes, warm kisses from the dying man who slid down the wall as his eyes dimmed.
A scream rushed up from her belly, but she clamped her free hand over mouth, trapped it behind her teeth. The hand was slick on her lips, and then she tasted it.
Galya's gut flexed, and vomit streamed between her fingers. Her legs dissolved. The floor came at her like a train. She sprawled in the wetness and the heat, tried to scramble away from it, but it was too slippery against her bare skin.
The scream came again, and this time she could not hold it back. Even though she knew it would kill her, Galya let it burst free, a terrified bird escaping from the cage of her chest.
The howl dragged every last swallow of air from her lungs. She inhaled, coughed, breathed in again, brought her mind back under control.
Galya listened through the rushing in her ears.
Silence, save for the choked bubbling from the man's throat. Then a knock on the bedroom door. Tears came to her eyes, frightened little girl tears, but she blinked them away. She was not a little girl, hadn't been since Papa died almost a decade ago.
Think, think, think.
The glass blade still rested in her bloodied fingers, the tip missing, the rag grip soaked through. Maybe she could keep them back. They would see their dead friend and know she could do the same to them.
Another knock, louder. The door handle rattled.
Fear cut through her. No, she could not keep them back with this piece of glass. Again, the urge to weep. She pushed it away once more.
"Tomas?" The voice slurred out some more words. She knew a little Lithuanian, but not enough to understand the drunken questions coming from the other side of the door.
"You all right in there?" Another voice, the English spoken with the hard twang of this strange, cold place. "Don't be leaving any marks on that girl."
How many were there? Galya had listened to the voices as they arrived. Two spoke Lithuanian. One of whom now lay beside her on the floor. The other English with an accent strong enough for her to hear he was Irish. One of the two brothers, she thought. After a week of listening to their conversations through the locked door, she had learned one was named Mark, the other Sam. Only one of them was here tonight.
"Tomas?" A fist hammered the wood. "Listen, stop fucking about in there. I'm going to kick this door in if you don't come and open it."
Galya got to her knees, then up on her feet, the air chilling the wetness on her stomach and thighs. The plain gray sweatshirt and pair of jogging bottoms they'd given her lay on the dressing table. She grabbed them, juggled the glass from hand to hand as she pulled them on, feeling the fabric stick to the blood. Foolish, perhaps, but she felt safer clothed.
The door rattled with each thump. The other Lithuanian cursed beyond it.
"Fuck's sake," the Irishman said.
Galya blinked as the door jerked in its frame, the noise booming in the bedroom. She backed toward the corner, gripping the glass knife in front of her. Another boom, and the light bulb swayed on its cord above her head. She wedged herself into the angle where the two walls met. The glass quivered in front of her eyes.
She prayed to her grandmother, the woman who had always protected her and her brother, ever since they had been orphaned. The old woman had been Mama to them for as long as Galya could remember. Now Mama lay in the ground hundreds of miles away where she could no longer give protection. Galya prayed to Mama's departed soul, even though she did not believe in such things. She prayed that Mama would look down on her granddaughter and take pity, Oh please Mama, come down and take me away please Mama oh pl--
The door burst inward, slammed against the wall and bounced back. The Lithuanian blocked it with his shoulder as he entered. The Irishman followed. They stopped when they saw the dead man.
The Lithuanian made the sign of the cross.
The Irishman said, "Fuck me."