AN UNLIKELY BETRAYAL: JAKE TANNER PREQUEL NOVELLA

Three brutal murders.
One kidnapped daughter. 
No murder weapon.


When a neighbour discovers the dead bodies of a wealthy family inside their north London home, seasoned homicide Detective Jake Tanner is called in to assist the investigation.

With no suspects and no murder weapon, Jake and the newest addition to CID, Ashley Rivers, must work together to catch the killer.

The dynamic of the case is changed when they learn the eldest daughter has been kidnapped. And if they want her back, there's a fee to pay.

With the missing girl acting as a constant reminder of his own daughter, Jake puts his ego aside and places everything on the line to save her – including his career.

 

As time runs out, and the pressure from his boss to succeed mounts, the case may turn out to be Jake's last...

What People Are Saying About An Unlikely Betrayal...

"Keeps the reader captivated... Compelling characters and an enthralling storyline... Exceptional novel will entertain and delight fans of thrillers, suspense, and murder mysteries." - Readers' Favourite

"Full of twists and turns from the first page!" - Amazon Review

"Intriguing, well-written, and full of surprises." - Amazon Review

"You will not be disappointed if you buy this book!" - Amazon Review

CHAPTER EXCERPT

The atmosphere inside the office buzzed. General chatter filled the room, competing with the sound of typing and the monotonous hum of computer monitors. Jake Tanner was perusing through his inbox, avoiding his menial tasks for the day. Admin. The one part of the job he hated. The one part of the job he tried to put off for as long as possible. But it needed to be done; there were mouths to feed and bills to pay.

 

Jake was a Detective Constable in the Criminal Investigation Department of the London Metropolitan Police, and he absolutely loved his job. Protecting people from criminals. Catching them and removing them from the streets. It was his duty, and he had a real passion for it. He was devoted — much more than could be said for some of his colleagues.

 

Jake looked up from his screen. Ashley Rivers, one of the most recent additions to the department, walked towards him.

 

‘Morning,’ she said, placing her fingertips on the edge of his desk. ‘Darryl wants to know if you’ve got a case report for him? I don’t know which one he’s on about, but he said you’d know.’

 

Jake relaxed. The one pressing and most important task sat at the top of his To-Do List was completed. He fished through a pile of documents and passed Ashley a brown folder. ‘Finished it last night,’ he told her.

 

‘Well aren’t you just a superstar for doing what you’re paid to do.’ Ashley smiled sarcastically as she snatched the folder from Jake.

 

He watched her leave. Her long, flowing brown hair tied in a ponytail. Her blazer wrapped tightly around her body. Her walk that suggested she knew how to take control of herself in any situation.

 

After she rounded the corner, Jake returned his attention to his emails.

 

His phone vibrated on his desk. An image of Elizabeth, his wife, appeared on the screen. Her blue eyes and sun-kissed blonde hair stared back at him.

 

‘Hi, Honey,’ Jake said, answering the call.

 

‘Hey, Jakey. How’s work?’ Elizabeth said, her voice delicate and soft. Her sweet tones brought a smile to his face. He was just as infatuated with her now as he was when they first met at university ten years ago.

 

‘Not too bad, just doing the boring parts that nobody wants to do.’ Jake hesitated. ‘Is something wrong?’

 

‘No, no.’ She paused. ‘Well, yes. Maisie’s been sent home from school for bullying someone in her class. I’ve brought her back, and she’s in her room at the moment. But I thought I’d let you know before you get home, so you can come up with a suitable punishment.’ Maisie was their eldest daughter and their first “little miracle”. For reasons unknown to medical professionals, Elizabeth was neither able to conceive nor carry a child, and when they found out she was pregnant, Jake — and the doctors — were overjoyed. Nine months later, Maisie, was born.

 

‘Seems out of character for her. What did she do?’ Jake asked.

 

‘Apparently, she’s been calling a girl names. I don’t know the full story — she wouldn’t tell me — but it appears they got into a fight this morning. She’s got a bruise on her lip.’

 

‘What about the other girl? Did she get sent home, too?’

 

‘Yes, she was worse off than Mais.’

 

That’s my girl, Jake thought. He’d always taught his girls never to get into fights, but if such an occasion arose, then they should always throw the hardest punch. No matter the size difference. Ellie, his youngest daughter, and their second “little miracle”, had made certain to test the theory out on Maisie when they were growing up. Two years separated them, but Ellie was always the more boisterous of the two, as she regularly bested her sister in play fights.

 

Before Jake could respond, the office door slammed open. DCI Darryl Hughes, Jake’s manager, entered the room. In his hands he held his mobile phone, and two large folders, the contents of which Jake assumed to be his own handiwork.

 

‘Listen, Liz — I’ve got to go. Darryl’s just walked in. I don’t think I’ll be coming home on time tonight. Could be a big one. I’ll keep you updated, though.’

 

‘OK. Be safe.’

 

‘I will. I’ll deal with Maisie later, and I’ll think of some form of punishment.’

 

‘Good. Now, go and save the day my superhero. Don’t get yourself killed.’

 

Jake told her he loved her and hung up the phone just as Darryl spoke to the office.

 

‘Morning, team,’ he began, standing at the head of the room. Everyone stopped and sat to attention. ‘Reports are coming in of a triple homicide in the north London area. I’ll be the SIO. Rivers, Tanner — I want you both to come with me. Carmichael, Dennan — I want you to set up shop in Incident Room 42.’

 

SIO stood for Senior Investigating Officer and meant that Darryl would oversee the entire investigation. Whatever Darryl says goes, and that was something Jake could never fully get to grips with, despite the numerous amount of cases he had worked on since his tenure with CID over six years ago. He always thought to himself, what if the SIO was wrong? What if they had overlooked a vital piece of information, but Jake hadn’t? What if he wanted to follow a lead he knew would be the right one, but wasn’t allowed because someone else’s ego got in the way? It had happened before, and he didn’t doubt for a second it wouldn’t happen again.

 

‘Is that going to be enough of us, Sir?’ Ashley asked, already on her feet.

 

‘It’s all we can afford to use. We’re stretched as it is. I’ll send you both the address and I’ll meet you there. You only need one car, so decide amongst yourselves who’s driving,’ Darryl said before leaving the room.

 

Jake looked to Ashley, who returned his gaze. She advanced towards him.

 

‘Looks like it’s our first time together, Jake. Don’t look too scared — I don’t bite. If you need me for support, then just let me know.’

 

‘Is that emotional, physical, or mental?’

Ashley didn’t respond; she shot him an evil glare that told him to stop at once. It was their first time working together, and Jake was excited. Not because of Ashley, but because it meant that he could get away from his administrative responsibilities.

 

‘I’m driving,’ Ashley said, picking up her keys. ‘Shotgun.’

 

‘Aren’t I supposed to say that?’

 

‘Only if you want me to run you over.’

 

Jake was beginning to like Ashley’s fierce side; it meant she was easy to annoy and wind up. Someone he could have banter with was important.

Before departing the office, Jake grabbed his phone, wallet, and keys — his Holy Trinity. They headed downstairs to the underground car park at New Scotland Yard and jumped into Ashley’s BMW X5. The engine roared beneath Jake’s feet, and he wished he was the one behind the wheel, feeling the full force of the V8’s ferocity.

 

Both Jake and Ashley’s phones vibrated at the same time. It was the location of the crime scene. Ashley looked at it, memorised it, and turned to Jake. ‘Ready?’

 

Jake nodded, the adrenaline already surging through his body. ‘Ready.’

 

Ashley floored the accelerator and ripped out of the underground car park, the flashing blue lights and siren parting the traffic with ease.

Interview with the author, Jack Probyn

 

Q - Can Jake Tanner be compared to any other crime thriller heroes out there?

 

A - You know, I wouldn't say Jake Tanner is like any of the other crime thriller heroes currently out there. He’s not like the Jack Reachers’ or the Alex Cross’ of these worlds. Sure, he has some similar characteristics, but Jake Tanner is very unique. Jake is a very heavily family-centered man. Anything and everything he does is done for them. But this does, in no way, mean that he is like Alex Cross who, readers familiar with James Patterson’s star, will know is a lean, mean, fighting machine. Instead, Jake Tanner is simply an everyday man. The one you see on the train to and from work everyday. That's what makes Detective Jake Tanner different.

 

Q - What makes the Detective Jake Tanner series special?

 

A - A mix of things, I would say. When I first set out to write the series, I wanted something that would “Wow!” readers, something that is going to make them think, “What if that ever happened to me? What if I ever experienced something like that?” And so I mirrored the Jake Tanner series on something I would like to have read myself. 

With this in mind, I set about making sure the Jake Tanner detective crime thriller series has a bit of everything: there are some police procedural novels in there, crime thrillers, terrorism thrillers, kidnapping thrillers, and maybe even a few serial killer thrillers to keep things interesting! But all of them feature the big question: “What if… what if that ever happened to me?” And, once you've read them, you’ll never feel the same way about certain things again. 

 

Q - Why should readers give this book a try?

 

A - Because they enjoy fast-paced action, gripping crime/terror/kidnap thrillers that never stop until the very last page. 

Because they don't mind spending the majority of their time highly-engrossed in these novels, eagerly awaiting the next page or next book. Because they’re avid readers that adore plot twists and turns, similar to the ones we receive in life. 

 

Thank you, and happy reading! 

ALSO IN THE SERIES

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Pulsating thrillers that will have your heart racing...
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