Today I’m closing out the blog tour for Motherland by G. D. Abson and I’ll be sharing an extract with you all!
About the author:
G.D. Abson was born in County Durham and grew up on army bases in Germany and Singapore before returning to the North-East. He is the author of Motherland, the first in a series featuring Senior Investigator Natalya Ivanova, and was shortlisted for a Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger.
About the book:
Student Zena Dahl, the daughter of a Swedish millionaire, has gone missing in St Petersburg (or Piter as the city is colloquially known) after a night out with a friend. Captain Natalya Ivanova is assigned the case, making a change for Natalya from her usual fare of domestic violence work, but, because of the family’s wealth, there’s pressure for a quick result. As she investigates she discovers that the case is not as straightforward as it may seem. Dark, violent and insightful, Motherland twists and turns to a satisfyingly dramatic conclusion.
Two hours had gone by since they’d left the city behind. The heater was on full but still she shivered. Out here, away from the water and heading north to Finland, forests threatened the road and the temperature dropped to minus thirty in winter. Ksenia stirred with the noise of the engine and Kristina shifted position, bringing circulation to her numb right arm. The silence was oppressive in the Zhiguli and he broke it by turning on the radio; there was nothing except static and he switched to long-wave. She heard the President’s voice and was stunned.
There had been the horror of Chechnya, then everyone’s savings had been wiped out when the rouble crashed. And still Yeltsin survived, propped up by Berezovksy and the other oligarchs. He’d gone to America and been discovered drunk outside the White House in his underwear. On the TV puppet show, Kukly, she had cringed as he was humiliated again and again.
‘He’s leaving,’ she said in shock. ‘Boris Yeltsin is resigning.’
She twisted the volume control to hear it over the Zhiguli’s engine and caught phrases:
“I want to ask for your forgiveness because many of our dreams didn’t come true… the pain of every one of you, I feel in myself, in my heart… in saying goodbye, I want to say to every one of you: be happy. You deserve happiness. You deserve happiness, and peace.”
The old buffoon had made her cry. She dipped her head forwards to dab her tears on the arm of her jacket.
Now the Acting President, a KGB goon called Putin, was promising freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. She wondered if he was smirking while he spoke. At least he didn’t drink, maybe he was what the country needed now: someone serious and sober.
They were travelling faster, a hundred kilometres an hour on the empty carriageway; the Zhiguli’s lights illuminating cones of snowflakes. She wanted to tell him to slow down but she was just as impatient to get away. The radio announcer cut to a live broadcast outside the Kremlin and they sat in silence as the bells of Spasskaya Tower clock chimed.
‘Happy New Year, darling.’ She reached across to squeeze his hand. ‘To our happiness and peace.’
‘I love you,’ he said.
‘I love you too.’ She offered a smile to cover up the white lie.
He yanked his hand from hers.
She looked at him, confused, and saw him gripping the steering wheel; his mouth had fallen open.
The Zhiguli slid silently along the iced road. He stamped on the brake pedal; the car jerked to the left. She held Ksenia tightly against her chest. The Zhiguli cut across the opposite carriageway and there was a smashing of steel that thrust her forwards. She floated in clear air and screamed all the way down.
Catch up with the tour: