Absent – Emma Salisbury

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About the book header

When he stopped a serial killer in his tracks the year before, AbsentDS Kevin Coupland had thought that would be the end of it, little realising his own personal nightmare has only just begun.

A child’s body is discovered in a sports bag, kicking off a major investigation for Salford Precinct’s murder squad. Soon the National Crime Agency roll into town and Coupland is under strict instructions to play nice. He’s got enough on his plate to worry about politics. A shock discovery in his personal life is starting to take its toll, causing him to make decisions that bring him to the attention of the powers that be for all the wrong reasons.

DS Alex Moreton returns from maternity leave to find her partner deeply troubled, but with a cold case to review she’s in no position to prevent him hitting the self-destruct button. As he hunts down the child’s killer Coupland is forced to reflect upon his own life and find an answer to a question he’s long been avoiding…

From best-selling author Emma Salisbury comes a gripping warts and all police procedural which will hook fans of Angela Marsons and Ed James.

Book Extract

He is running towards his target yelling every profanity under the sun. The sound of helicopter blades overhead wipes out his threats but his enemy gets the gist of it, can already tell what is coming.

Fear is not an option.
He is a killing machine.
His mind is his greatest weapon.
He will not be defeated.

He tightens the grip on his gun before dropping onto one knee to take aim. He shoots at them indiscriminately, enjoying the sound of metal ripping through skin, the thud as each victim hits the ground. He sits back on his heels to survey his work and smiles. He’s good at this and each day he gets better. He just needs to keep up the practice. He leans forward on his haunches, takes aim once more.

‘For God’s sake, there you are!’

Startled, Jason smiled at the young woman standing in the doorway balancing a packing box on her hips. ‘I’ve only just picked up the controls, honest!’ he said, dropping them as he got to his feet hastily, like a teenager caught watching porn. He still had his headset on, which meant he’d been playing long enough to check in with his on-line pals

‘We’ve still got boxes to unpack, Jase,’ she sighed, ‘masses of them, if you haven’t noticed; can’t the X-box wait a while?’

‘Just taking a bit of downtime, Ali,’ he grinned in the way that stopped her getting angry with him. Or at least it had until now.

‘That only makes sense if you’ve actually done something this morning, hun,’ Ali pouted, her eyes giving lie to the scowl on her lips. Fair enough he’d driven them across town that morning and lugged the heaviest boxes up the steep flight of stairs, but since then he’d avoided actually opening any of them.

‘I want this place to look good by the time Mum and Dad get here,’ she reminded him. Frown lines creased his brow as he shook his head.

‘They’re coming to help us move in, Ali, what’s the point of getting everything unpacked before they get here? I thought the general idea of people coming to help was that they actually pitched in.’ The look on Ali’s face told him his opinion was superfluous. He spoke into the mouthpiece of his headset: ‘Talk to you later buddy,’ he said to his online team mate before taking it off, dropping it onto the bean bag he’d been slouched against before following her out of the room.


About the Author

Emma Salisbury-5I write gritty, crime fiction that focuses on the ‘why’dunnit as well as the ‘who’. I worked for a housing association supporting socially excluded men and women with their return into society, which provided me with a lot of inspiration. If you like hard-boiled crime writers Stuart MacBride, Denise Mina AND Ed James then my Scottish crime series is for you. Fans of Ian Rankin or Mark Billingham-style police procedurals should try my Salford detective series. Like living on the edge? Why not try both…

ABSENT is the fourth in my Salford crime series and is available to pre-order now.

ONE BAD TURN is the third in my Salford crime series – No sooner has Detective Sergeant Kevin Coupland stepped off the plane from a family holiday than he gets the call that a woman’s body has been found on a path beside a recreation park in a smart suburb in Salford. Account Manager Sharon Mathers suffered a brutal blow to the head following a night out with friends from work. As the body count rises Coupland makes a startling discovery – the killings are linked to a murder in ’92. Coupland was a probationer back in the nineties – could he be linked in some way to the killer?

A PLACE OF SAFETY is the second of my Salford crime series and opens with a drive-by shooting that leaves a witness in fear for her life. DS Coupland and Moreton return to investigate what looks like a turf war gone wrong when a local gang does everything it can to cover the killer’s tracks. Why is a young woman who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time such a threat to them? Or as Coupland suspects, is there more to their guilt than meets the eye?

FRAGILE CORD is the first in my Salford Detective series introducing Alex Moreton and Kevin Coupland as they investigate the murder-suicide of a mother and her son. Alex is under pressure from her partner to have another child, but they’re happy as they are, aren’t they? Coupland’s wife is behaving oddly, is he right to be worried?

My Edinburgh crime series featuring Davy Johnson:

THE SILENCE BEFORE THE SCREAM When the daughter of Edinburgh’s most powerful crime lord is kidnapped all hell breaks loose in the city. Determined to find her without the hindrance of the police Gus McEwan summons his most reliable men to track her down. Davy Johnson, still reeling from witnessing an horrific suicide is in no position to refuse. As the violence escalates but no ransom note emerges Davy must convince Edinburgh’s most fearsome gangsters that this isn’t about money or power, but something far more primitive.

TRUTH LIES WAITING, the first in my Scottish crime fiction series introduces anti-hero Davy Johnson as his life is thrown into turmoil when a killer strikes in Edinburgh’s underbelly – framing him in the process. TRUTH LIES WAITING will tackle your perception of good v. evil forever.

Fans of Ed James, Stuart Macbride and Ian Rankin will be gripped by the rollercoaster ride through Edinburgh’s colourful underbelly.

Most evenings I can be found walking the family dog on the beach near our home in East Lothian, Scotland. You can find out more on my website http://www.emmasalisbury.com and I can be found on twitter @emmasauthor


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