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Author(s): Ray Clark

Location(s): West Yorkshire

Genre(s): Crime, Mystery

Era(s): Present day

A ruthless criminal is picking off the inhabitants of a Yorkshire town. As the methods increase in cruelty, the pressure on the police mounts.

A police constable ventures out in the middle of the night after a report about suspicious activity at a hardware store in a small town.

The light is on, but no one seems to be around. Just a ringing phone that will start a manhunt.

When DI Gardener turns up to investigate further, he discovers a man in some difficulty. The kind of difficulties you experience when you’ve been screwed, crucifixion-style, to a wall.

With the unfortunate victim – the nephew of the hardware shop’s owner – beyond help, the town is put under lock down. And every possible suspect, including the uncle, brought in.

This is not an isolated incident, and the killer has more in store. The detectives are soon led to another situation where a woman is perilously close to death. So close that it’s a matter of millimetres.

Getting further in the case will require careful inspection of the crime scenes and the murderer’s torturous methods. In fact, they have been taunting the police by leaving a strange calling card. But only by working out the motive will DI Gardener catch the cruel killer.

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021