a stalker who watches his prey carefully and displays the bodies of
his young female victims brazenly. But Grayson has a problem – only
one lead and scant evidence – and the body count is rising.
hallmarks of the current killings, but he still can’t seem to find
a single, obvious suspect, and he is so far unable to outthink a
intent on completing his macabre collection. But he’s missing a
vital clue, a critical piece of the puzzle. When he finally discovers
the killer’s identity, he’s completely unprepared for the fallout…
He eyed the almost empty champagne bottle, a couple more and he could get quite a bit of information out of her. All the information he would need, in fact.
“We should get another bottle in for good measure,” he said.
“Can give you a lap dance if you like or we can go for a private, if you prefer?” she said, keeping her gaze fixed on him. Her large green eyes seemed to communicate the promise of some kind of sexual satisfaction if he said yes.
He nodded. “Lap dance sounds good.”
“Here then?” He nodded again. He quite enjoyed the whole performance of a public lap dance. It was the theatre of it, the jealous attention you got from the other punters, as a naked or scantily clad woman writhed in your lap.
It was all fake, of course. He knew that. He knew every stripper lied; you could see it barely concealed in their eyes even as they offered up their bodies so seductively, but he didn’t care. For a moment he could pretend it was real, and anyway, he wasn’t particularly discerning when it came to feelings.
Her real name was Marilyn, he learned, and she didn’t have a stage name like some of the other strippers he’d known. It was an apt name for such a pocket Venus.
Marilyn was good at faking it too, her bare breasts thrust in his face, her scantily clad crotch grinding hard against his own. So good, he wondered for just a second if perhaps she wasn’t faking it at all. Could that look in her eyes that told him how much she wanted him be genuine? Apparently not. Three lap dances later and four hundred pounds poorer than he’d gone in, he left the club, alone.
Sexually frustrated, but with the necessary information he needed, he smiled to himself as he made his way to the tube, traces of her perfume clinging to his shirt. The memory of the unpleasant meeting with his Mother temporarily replaced by the recollection of Marilyn’s soft flesh beneath his fingertips.
Marilyn may have been pretending but he was deadly serious. And by the time he was done with her, it wouldn’t matter much what her true feelings were.
His debut novel, The Watcher, was inspired by the London landscape,
and by what can happen when sexual obsession, abuse, and madness
collide. Eli loves reading crime, fantasy, and mystery suspense, and
is an ardent admirer of authors Steven King, Mark Billingham, Harlan
Coben, and Patricia Cornwell.
Eli interned at The Daily Mirror and the BBC before he became a
novelist. A strong supporter of causes that promote equality for all,
in his spare time he loves sailing, camping, hiking, and sketching,
and detests getting up in the morning without several cups of strong
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