A Fistful of Knuckles (Life on Mars, Book 2)
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Time to leap into the Cortina as Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt roar back into action in a brand new installment of Life on Mars. DCI Gene Hunt plunges into the boxing underworld – and this time, the gloves are coming off! The travelling fair has rolled into town, but it has brought with it more than just dodgem cars and candy floss. A young boxer is found brutally murdered, and as Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt delve deeper into the case, it leads them behind the gaudy lights and painted caravans of the fairground, into the shadowy underbelly of bare-knuckle gypsy brawlers and bloody illegal fights. But Sam is coping with more than just police work. He is still being plagued by The Test Card Girl with horrifying visions of the terrible doom that awaits he and Annie. What is this monstrous presence that is pursuing them both? Can Sam find a way of defeating this remorseless evil – or are their fates sealed? Violence, murder, betrayal and revenge. Could this be a case so macho that it will see even the mighty Guv himself on the ropes?
‘They’re just cavemen. What’s really scary is something else, something I can’t put my finger on.’ ‘Patsy O’Riordan … Patsy O’Riordan …’ Sam was whispering to himself. ‘Sam? Are you listening to me?’ The image of Stella in her stilettos and zebra-striped top, handcuffed in the Lost & Found room with Gene slapping her about appeared in Sam’s mind. ‘Denzil and Spider went up against some right hard bastards,’ Stella was saying. ‘Names! Names!’ Gene was insisting, smacking her head back and
die a hundred times over if it brought Denny back!’ He meant it. Stella hadn’t exaggerated about Spider and Denzil; neither of them had anyone else in this world. With Denzil gone, Spider’s life was broken; he could go after the man who killed him, he could take revenge – and after that, what? He would still be alone. His world would still be shattered. Seeing him clinging to the side of that grim concrete tower block, it struck Sam how it summed up Spider’s whole existence; precarious – joyless
tell him we’ve got a score to settle with Spider, and we’ve heard that he has too. We tell him we’ll set up a fight between them, but that the whole thing’s a trap, that Spider’ll get there, expecting a fight, and instead he’ll find just us and Patsy. A trap – a chance for Patsy to really go to town on Spider.’ ‘But in reality we will have officers ready to swoop in and nick Patsy first,’ put in Gene. ‘Sounds like a right laff, Sammy, but your imagination’s starting to run away with you in your
mind. She wears a blindfold, Sam, but don’t think she ain’t got her eyes on you and me.’ Beep! Beeeeeep! In his own time, Gene settled back in his seat, put the Cortina into gear, and calmly moved on. He turned right. ‘You’re going the wrong way,’ said Sam. ‘No I’m not.’ ‘The hospital’s straight on the left.’ ‘Correct.’ ‘Then why aren’t we going straight on and then left, guv?’ ‘Because we’re not going to the hospital, you dollop. God, Tyler, for a professional copper you can be
over and over to the end of time. As the flame sprang from the lighter and danced there, cupped by Patsy’s small, narrow, iron-hard, murderous hand, Sam all at once found his thoughts flowing very clearly through his mind: Nothing I can say will stop Patsy burning Spider in front of me. But my duty is to stop him. If words and reason mean nothing to him, then I will have to use force. Regardless of the odds ranged against me, I have no choice. I simply have no choice. Sam aimed a swift kick.