Paul JohnstonPaul Johnston
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The Death List


Jawinder turned and almost dropped Raul. She managed to stifle the scream that burst from her throat, but not before her son started whimpering. She moved him round to keep his eyes from what was on the sofa.

'Steven?' she repeated, her voice nothing more than a whisper.

But her husband didn't answer. He couldn't answer. A red scarf had been tied tightly around his mouth, making his cheeks pouch out above it. His eyes, the dark blue that had attracted her so much when they met in the bank five years ago - she'd gone to negotiate a loan for the partnership - that beautiful blue was an awful parody of what it had been now that his eyes were bulging like an octopus's.

Jawinder's knees were weak, her body racked by spasms that turned
Raul's complaints to bleats of fear. She mouthed her husband's name, her
voice completely gone.

Steven Newton was sprawled on the sofa, his legs wide. He'd kicked over the coffee table and a can of beer had drained on to the carpet. But the smell of alcohol that Jawinder disliked so much was not the one making her stomach heave. That was a visceral, far more repellent stench.

It came from her husband's midriff. His shirt had been wrenched apart and his abdomen cut open…

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