Book Extract: The Blood Promise by Liz Mistry

I’m pleased to welcoming Liz Mistry to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her novel, The Blood Promise. 

A deadly gift

Imogen Clark wakes up on her 16th birthday to find her parents dead at the breakfast table, along with a message from their killer.

A twist of fate

Detectives Jazzy Solanki and Annie McQueen join the investigation, but the more they discover, the more Jazzy suspects that the killing is a twisted message for her. Jazzy shares the same birthday as Imogen, and believes that this is more than a coincidence.

A race to catch a killer

When Jazzy discovers the connection between the killer and the stalker who has been following her for years, she is forced to confront the dark past she was desperate to keep hidden. She must stop at nothing to solve the case, before she becomes the next victim…

Liz has shared an extract for us today. We hope you enjoy. 

*****beginning of extract*****

Detectives Jazzy Solanki and her partner Annie ‘Queenie’ McQueen have been demoted from detective sergeants to detective constables for separate incidents. They haven’t worked together before but, as a punishment they have been thrust together to do an overnight surveillance on a pub in a small isolated village known for its distrust of the police. Whilst Queenie sleeps, Jazzy reflects on her situation until something quite scary happens …


Discordant snuffles followed by seconds of blissful silence, abruptly broken by rough guttural snorts played on repeat. It did Jazzy’s head in and she was beginning to regret offering to keep watch whilst Queenie slept. If the sounds from her mouth were bad, the ones from her backside were the real killer. She took farting to a whole new level, filling the police car with noxious fumes, forcing Jazzy to crack the windows every so often. She was gross. At least if Queenie was sleeping, she wasn’t hassling Jazzy, which was why she hadn’t wakened her yet. Besides, she wouldn’t sleep. No matter how knackered she was, Jazzy couldn’t snooze on a stakeout. It was part of her overzealous nature. A symptom, according to her therapist, of her past experiences and one that she needed to work on if she ever wanted to form meaningful trusting relationships.

Jazzy scowled. She wasn’t keen on forming relationships of any description and trusting ones seemed a step too far. Last thing she needed was folk inserting themselves into her life and making demands on her time. No, she was perfectly fine on her tod. Besides, she had relationships. She had her mum and dad, didn’t she? And Elliot. That was more than enough. How many relationships did her therapist expect her to maintain? Jazzy suspected the answer was a number significantly higher than three.

She glanced at her watch. Nearly half two. God, it had been a long and freezing night. Layers of clothing and the fleece blanket she’d wrapped around herself, cocoon style, hadn’t taken the edge off her numb toes and fingers. She glanced at Queenie. How could she look so restful? With her mouth hanging open, her short spiky grey hair peeking out from under an appallingly misshaped bobble hat – which Jazzy suspected she’d knitted herself – Jazzy would waken her at first light.

For the last hour, Jazzy had intermittently cleared the windscreen of snow in order to peer through the dark abyss that was the Badlands. So far there had been no nefarious activity near the Argy Bargy, unless you counted the kids leaving the pub at closing time. They’d indulged in a drunken snowball fight that ended when they skited across the potholed street using their arses as sledges, whilst belting out a tuneless chorus of ‘Frosty the Snowman’. Laughing, they’d split up to enter three of the houses closest to the pub.

Shortly afterwards, the pub’s lights had gone off, leaving Jazzy bereft. Somehow, the glow from the pub had created the illusion of warmth. Now, with only the snow turning to drizzle and the gloomy moonless night for company, a shiver hurtled up Jazzy’s spine. She drew her blanket tighter and wondered if she could risk putting the engine on to heat them up. Another one of Queenie’s lethal farts rent the air and Jazzy groaned, covering her nose with her hands as she opened the window.

Thankfully the vibration of her phone against her thigh offered a distraction. Recognising the tone as the one from her motion-activated home security system, Jazzy dragged off her glove to access the notification. After being alerted a few times over the past week by a fox stealing through her back garden to access the children’s play area and the fields adjacent to it, she looked forward to seeing what Mr Fox was up to tonight. She pressed play on the most recent recording. The light above her back door was on, activated by movement from the far side of the fence surrounding her garden. Rather than the fox with its baleful eyes and limp tail, a figure dressed entirely in black sidled over the lawn area leaving footprints in the snow.

Jazzy brought the phone closer to her face and pressed pause, her heart hammering a tattoo against her chest. On instinct her fingers searched for the small glass Ganesh statue she carried in her pocket. Running them over its familiar contours soothed her as she studied the hunched figure wearing a hoodie pulled completely over his head. Wrapped around his mouth was a scarf or balaclava. Dark glasses or goggles covered his eyes. As fear surged through Jazzy’s body, the colour drained from her face.

*****end of extract*****


About Liz Mistry   –

Liz Mistry moved to West Yorkshire in the late 1980s. Her gritty crime fiction police procedural novels set in Bradford embrace the city she describes as ‘Warm, Rich and Fearless’ whilst exploring the darkness that lurks beneath. Yet, her heart remains in Scotland, where childhood tales of bogey men, Bible John and grey lady ghosts fed her imagination.

Her latest work, The Solanki and McQueen crime series is set around West Lothian, where she uses the distinctive landscape, historic heritage and Scottish culture as a backdrop to her gritty yet often humorous stories.

Struggling with clinical depression and anxiety for many years, Liz often includes mental health themes in her writing. She credits her MA in Creative Writing from Leeds Trinity University with helping her find a way of using her writing to navigate her ongoing mental health struggles. The synergy been creative and academic writing led Liz to complete a doctorate in creative writing researching the importance of representation of marginalised groups within the genre she loves.

Her husband, three children and huge extended British Indian family are a constant support to her. In her spare time, Liz loves visiting the varied Scottish and Yorkshire landscape, travelling, listening to music, reading and blogging about all things crime fiction on her website blog, The Crime Warp.

Say hi to Liz via her website, X (Twitter), and Facebook.

The Blood Promise is book one in The Solanki and McQueen Crime series and was released by HQ Digital on 23rd May 2024. Click to buy on Amazon UK, Waterstones and Amazon US


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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