The Cleaner by Mark Dawson @pbackwriter @WelbeckPublish @Ed_PR #extract #blogtour

The Cleaner cover

Whoop whoop! The weekend is here!! So if you’re looking for a new book to settle down with, I’ve got a treat for you! Bestselling e-book The Cleaner by Mark Dawson is out in paperback and I’ve got an extract that should pique your interest!

Big thanks to Megan Denholm of ed pr for inviting me on the blog tour.

The Blurb

JOHN MILTON IS THE MAN THE GOVERNMENT CALL WHEN THEY WANT A PROBLEM TO VANISH. BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN HE’S THE ONE THAT NEEDS TO DISAPPEAR?

After a job goes wrong and leaves an unplanned, bloody trail, government assassin John Milton does something he has never done before – he hides.

Melting into the bustle of London’s East End and holing up in a vacant flat, John meets Sharon, mother to a troubled boy called Elijah. They are caught up in the middle of a violent turf war between rival gangs.

John’s instinct to protect means he unwittingly becomes involved in the gang rivalry and this puts him in sight of the government’s next best hitman. Before long, his fight to protect a mother and her child go to a whole new level. Now he’s fighting to stay alive.

The Cleaner is the first in a high-octane thriller series. After over 2 million e-book sales worldwide, the long awaited print edition is here.

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The Extract

Milton paused. There was another sound. 

A second car approaching. 

Hiding would have been pointless; the bloody tableau would give him away. The car emerged from the mouth of the forest. 

It was a Renault Mégane painted blue with white and red chevrons screen-printed across the bonnet. The policeman in the front of the car must have seen him immediately. The Mégane came to a sudden stop fifty feet away. 

Milton did not pause to think. His reaction was hard-wired, a response that had been so drilled into him across years of combat that now it was automatic, an expression of muscle memory without conscience, sudden and terribly deadly.  

He swung the rifle around and squeezed the trigger for a longer burst. The car was peppered with bullets, half a dozen slamming into the radiator and bonnet, another handful into the windscreen. The officer was struck in the face and chest, stumbling backwards and then dropping onto his back, where he lay for a moment, twitching horribly. 

Milton walked towards him, the gun cradled low, and put a final bullet into his head. Finally, the man lay still. 

Peacefulness returned, ornamented now by the sound of the shards of glass that fell to shatter on the road from the breached windscreen. 

Milton crossed the road to the Renault. He opened the boot and wrapped the rifle in its blanket, then stowed it away carefully beneath the spare wheel in the false floor. He pulled on a pair of latex gloves and collected the ejected shell casings from the rifle. There were forty of them, and they were still hot to the touch. He dropped them into a small evidence bag. He crouched by Najeeb’s body and frisked her quickly and efficiently. He found her smartphone and a USB stick and bagged them both.

He went around to the other side of the car and lowered himself to examine al Moussa. The door was open, and as he raised his gaze from the body to peer inside, he saw a small, pale face staring back out at him. Milton did not rush. There was no need. The face belonged to a young boy, perhaps five or six years old. His skin and his hair were dark, and his features recalled those of his parents. He was cowering in the foot space, a streak of blood across his forehead as if it was paint that had been thrown over him. It was not his blood: it was blowback from his father.

Milton reached for the Sig Sauer he carried in his shoulder holster, his fingers brushing against the butt. The boy held his eyes.

His face was white and quivering with fright, but he did not look away. He was brave. Milton felt a swell of vomit in his throat as his memory cast him back twenty years and a thousand miles away. He remembered another young boy, a similar age, the face peaceful despite the obscenity of his death. 

He lowered his hand from the Sig and stepped back. He gently pulled the man’s body onto the muddy surface of the lay-by and went back to the car.

“Stay there,” he told the boy. “Help is coming.”

He closed the door. He checked that he had removed the evidence of his presence and, satisfied, got into the Renault, put it into gear and drove away.

Who Is Mark Dawson?

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Mark Dawson is the bestselling author of the Beatrix Rose, Isabella Rose and John Milton series, and has sold over 3 million books. He lives in Wiltshire with his family. www.markjdawson.com