When the crow moon rises, the darkness is unleashed… Crow Moon by Suzy Aspley #blogtour #extract #CrowMoon #RandomThingsTours

Hi and welcome to FromBelgiumWithBookLove where it is my absolute pleasure to share with you an extract from Crow Moon! Check out my review here if you missed it the first time around, but the long and short of it is, is that Crow Moon is an accomplished debut that grabbed me from the first page and simmered in my mind long after finishing it. It’s not only an engrossing thriller and a riveting mystery but it also broke my heart a couple of times, and I would highly recommend it.

Many thanks to Anne Cater for having me on the tour, and to Orenda Books for the excerpt.

Let’s have a quick look at the blurb first:

When the crow moon rises, the darkness is unleashed…
Martha Strangeways is struggling to find purpose in her life, after giving up her career as an investigative reporter when her young twins died in a house fire.
Overwhelmed by guilt and grief, her life changes when she stumbles across the body of a missing teenager – a tragedy that turns even more sinister when a poem about crows is discovered inked onto his back…
When another teenager goes missing in the remote landscape, Martha is drawn into the investigation, teaming up with DI Derek Summers, as malevolent rumours begin to spread and paranoia grows.
As darkness descends on the village of Strathbran, it soon becomes clear that no one is safe, including Martha…
Both a nerve-shattering, enthralling and atmospheric thriller and a moving tale of grief and psychological damage, Crow Moon is a staggeringly accomplished debut and the start of an addictive, unforgettable series.

Okay, you ready? Let’s head to Scotland!

She’d told him to take the boy. Said it was the only way. 

All three would have to pay for what they had unbound with their ceremony that night. He had to make sure the thing that pursued him was sent back. He didn’t want it in his head, talking the way it did. And he knew a way to rid himself of the curse. It was in the lines he’d been forced to write, over and over as a child. If he did what those lines told him, the voice would be gone for good. 

He knelt down next to the boy. Blood trickled from the gash in his head. Despite the shadow of pale hairs across his jaw, he looked younger now, his face relaxed in uneasy slumber. Faint, shallow breaths came from his nose; his eyelids flickered in the gloom. 

The man sighed, feeling her menace hovering. He wanted to take his time. This was the first one, after all. It was important to get it right. He’d been practising the writing on paper at home; the old ink had worked well on it, and he’d thinned it by adding a few drops of fresh crow’s blood, still warm. His own magic. He’d even bought a side of pork from the butcher’s and tried the writing on that. It had worked surprisingly well. Afterwards he cooked the joint till the fat crackled, and ate it with apple sauce. No point in wasting good meat. He’d heard human and pig skin had similar textures, but the flesh needed to be cool and dry. 

He expected her to say something else, something unpleasant, but all he heard was the noise of the wind whistling through the slatted tin sides of the shed as he prepared. 

He had no idea how long the drugs might last; once the ink was dry, he would have to haul Fraser out and back onto the trailer. He collected his equipment, pen and ink bottle clinking inside the bag. It was time for the next stage. 

The teen was still as he approached. He rolled him over so he was face down on the earth floor, his left cheek pressed into the dirt. He pulled the cord lighting the single dusty bulb that hung from the ceiling of the abandoned forester’s shed. Under the dull light he used his knife to slice away the lad’s running top, exposing the muscled flesh beneath. Then he began, the words drilled into his mind for so long translating onto the pale back in front of him. He concentrated hard on keeping a steady hand so the message was clearly visible on the skin. His mother had made him repeat the lines out loud when he wrote them as a child. Over and over again. Sometimes she’d told him a Bible story about God sending ravens to help the prophet Elijah in the desert. She said they were his birds. But then she’d change and mutter about the Feannag Dhubh. When that happened, he always knew to hide if he could. There’d been black shadows in his life ever since. 

‘Are you pleased?’ He said it aloud as he worked. 

No answer. But displeasure fermented in the air close by. It was hard to focus, knowing what lurked. It had clung to him since the night of the ritual.

Eager for more? No problem, Crow Moon is out now! Order it directly from Orenda Books here.

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