• Title: Forgotten Lives
  • Author: Ray Britain
  • Publisher: Nielsen on January 10, 2021
  • Genre: Crime Mystery
  • Pages: 422
  • Available Formats: Paperback and Digital editions

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Forgotten Lives Blurb

A man is murdered with quiet efficiency on his doorstep. A strange emblem left behind suggests a gang killing but when more bodies are found with the same emblem, and one of them a cop, DCI Doug Stirling’s investigation takes a sinister turn. But what linked the victims in life, and now in death?

When more deaths are uncovered, miles away and years ago, all with the same emblem left behind, pressure mounts on Stirling. Is it the work of the same person? If so, why are they killing again, and why here? One thing is clear, the killer is highly skilled, ruthless, and always one step ahead of the investigation. Is someone feeding information to them?

Working in a crippling heatwave with too few investigators, too many questions and not enough answers, when wild media speculation of a vigilante at work sparks copycat attacks, demonstrations for justice and with politicians fearing riots, Stirling needs a result – fast!
Meanwhile, Stirling’s private life is falling apart, not helped when Lena Novak of the National Crime Agency is assigned to his team. But is she all that she seems?

Things could not get worse. Stirling takes a call from a retired cop. Things just got worse!
When Stirling closes in on the killer he finds the killer’s trademark inside his home. – he is being targeted.

Provided by Emma at Damppebbles Blog Tours


Anxious that she would be late again, the woman checked her watch. The foreman wasn’t interested that she was a single mum with two kids who she’d had to leave to get their own breakfast and, she hoped, would keep out of trouble during the school holidays. She could be claiming benefits, but she had her pride, and what sort of example would that be to her kids? Pregnant at sixteen, she wanted them to do better with their lives. 

She ignored the damp grass soaking through her worn trainers and took the short-cut across the park, heading for the alleyway that would save her five minutes. She would never dream of using it in the dark mornings of winter but now, in high summer, it was bright already and she felt safer. She hesitated at the entrance of the alley to peer along its curving length to where the path disappeared from sight. With a quick glance behind to be sure no one was following her, she started down the narrow path, walking purposefully like she had read in a magazine; never look like a victim. 

With the right side of the alley lined by high railings, she concentrated on peering into the trees and scrubby bushes which lined the left side, always wary in case someone was lying in wait. Aware of a growing tightness in her chest caused by shallow breathing, she gripped her shoulder bag a little tighter and glanced over her shoulder back down the alley to see if anyone had followed her in. Empty, the only sound the soft scuff of her trainers. Chiding herself for being so silly, she began to relax as the far end of the alley came into view.

A sudden, raucous cawing of a crow and the clatter of wings low overhead stopped the woman in her tracks. Her heart racing, she instinctively crouched away from the noise and looked up for the source. Only then did she see two trainer-clad feet against the railings, the toes pointed to the ground. 

Frightened, but compelled to look, her eyes travelled up soiled jeans to see a body caught by its neck between two spiked railing uprights, its face turned to greet the morning sun as it rose above the trees to illuminate empty eye sockets, shiny with blood and fluid which trickled down a hollowed cheek.

The woman screamed and ran.

About the Author – Ray Britain

Ray Britain’s second novel ‘Forgotten Lives’ follows closely on from ‘The Last Thread’ (2017) with a new investigation for DCI Doug Stirling, the toughest of his career. 

As a police Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) Ray led specialist investigations. He was also a Hostage & Crisis Intervention Negotiator – a voluntary role –  responding to hostage situations, many firearms incidents and numerous suicide interventions, not all of which ended happily. His roles took him to the USA, India, Europe, Australia and elsewhere, receiving Commendations in recognition for his work.

Ray’s real-world experience puts the reader at the heart of a complex, fast moving investigation with all of its uncertainties, stresses  and frustrations, and of the dark, bitter sadness’s of people’s lives. 

Ray also worked with the Serious Fraud Office and the Home Office, London, and with the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate. 

When not writing, Ray might be found mountain hiking, following rugby, skiing, reading, sailing, or generally keeping fit..

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