I've recently started to get involved with the Goodreads community (my profile). Since Turner has an entry there I decided to also add a quote from my novel to its record. Selecting just one turned out to be a difficult decision! So I gathered a long-list of my favourite short passages from the novel before making my final selection. Since I only posted one on Goodreads I thought I'd include the full long-list below. Obviously these may contain spoilers, so don't read them if you intend to read the novel in the near future.
Let the quotage begin...
Velocity. It was like flying three feet above the tarmac. Wind rushed against him, roared in his ears, and he let out a whoop of excitement. This was living: taking the turns in the road at high speed, every one a risk and a reward.
He had cheated on her and she felt doubly betrayed, because it was one of her own sixth-formers he was sleeping with.
Why? Megan was athletic and had a small, tidy body; she thought she was fairly attractive. She worked hard but loved affection. She was intelligent, and could speak German, French and Spanish (as well as English). She admitted that she could be quick-tempered sometimes, but couldn’t everyone?
Her conclusion was just this: she was thirty years old; Janine was seventeen.
Men. She was better off on her own.
My grandfather’s invention. Eyescrews. Each turn of the nut takes them closer to the eyeballs. Eventually they puncture them – and on through the optic nerve, if you really keep twisting the screws. Impressive, yes? And people said he was mad! Well, some people did, until he tied them up and disciplined them.
She began to cry, huge sobs, her whole body shaking, and although he was covered in blood he hugged her for a long time, comforting her, while his own eyes just stared ahead.
“You’re a brave girl, Megan Norris. Are you ready to go?”
“No! But I once read a book called Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway. I can feel the fear.”
Rain ran down her face and hid her tears.
And in the flow of expletives that surprised even him, he calmed his breathing and let the moments fold up into one, throwing the unwanted, distracting thought of what a twat-monkey might look like away, so that he could focus, because the big guy had taken two steps and was hunched forwards, not centred at all. Only a bit more, Chris thought
Grey light and agony.
He sat up in panic, at first unsure of where he was. Then the panic was because he remembered where he was.
He stood upright and looked out onto the shingle beach.
There is no-one there, he thought with relief.
He scanned the sea’s edge.
There is no-one there.
There is no-one there…
He limped to the edge of the sea and double-checked, looking for clothes, or marks of dragging, or anything.
A light drizzle was falling but the rain had stopped.
The storm was over.
The storm was over, but she wasn’t there.
Sad-looking brown eyes, they wrenched his heart like a gut punch. Worse – hell, worse – a bloke could punch him in the head but he’d stay up, and grin through the bloody split lip, intimidating his attacker; but there was no honour in wounds inside, wounds that only you could deal with.
Real or not, she was the most alive he’d seen her since she died, and he prayed that it was really her and not something to do with the blurred room or the feeling that his body was stretching away from him. She said she loved me; it had been her,
and he let himself cry even though he knew she wouldn’t be back
and he cried
and time passed
and he stared up at the camera
“Stitch this,” replied Chris, slamming a fist into his face. “You see, I got my own kind of turning – my way of turning a situation round.” He hit him again with a pleasurable crack.
“It’s what I did on you just now; what I did on that big red-coated motherfucker on the lighthouse; what I’ve done to many others that deserved it over the years. Thing is, my name’s Turner, and it has been all my life – so I’m better at it than you. I’m Chris Turner. And you shouldn’t have fucked with me.”
“Come on, dog. Everybody needs somebody.”