Sophomania by Danielle Zinn @daniellezinn4 @rararesources #blogtour #extract

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Wooo hoooo! I’ve got a day off!! Oh wait no, that’s not what we’re here for. No, today, I’m welcoming the blog tour for Danielle Zinn’s Sophomania and I’ve got an extract that should pique your interest!

Many thanks to Rachel Gibley of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on the blog tour.

The Blurb

When Detective Inspector Nathaniel Thomas is presented with an anonymous letter and three unexplained deaths in less than twenty-four hours, he realizes that his idyllic home village Crottendorf masks a turbulent reality. Summoning his trusted colleague, DS Ann Collins, Thomas begins to unravel what quickly becomes an overwhelming mountain of conflicting evidence.

So many secrets. So many lies. So many attempts to cover things up.

All is not as it first appears and it proves a lot harder to pin down the killer who prides himself on being more than one step ahead of the DI.

A deeply rooted family tragedy, greed and vengeance are at the core of this crime novel. The twists and turns of Sophomania leave you wondering to the very end who the real murderer is—or if there may actually be more than one killer on the loose in the anything-but-sleepy village of Crottendorf.

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The Extract

A siren – an ambulance or police car perhaps – echoed its wails in the distance, reverberating against the low-range mountains surrounding them.

His father finally rescued the paper plane and was about to hand it back, when Thomas heard a branch snap and felt the firmness beneath his feet give way. He tried frantically to grab hold of the skinny tree, but seconds later, he landed uncomfortably on the forest floor with a thud …

The scenery changed. Thomas was no longer in the warm, sunny forest, but was still crouching on the floor.

In the distance, the siren continued to wail.

Thomas was at home, in his tiny attic bedroom with the minuscule window, sitting on the cold, carpeted floor, his knees pulled tightly against his chest.

Hands on hips, his father glowered down at him, and Thomas wasn’t sure what he had or had not done this time. It didn’t matter anyway. As the flow of insults and abuse pelted down on young Thomas, he felt another flow starting – one that, for the life of him, he did not want his father to notice. But there was nothing he could do; nothing in his might could stop it. The surprisingly cool wetness soaked the fabric of his trousers and began to spread rapidly across his crotch before moving to his upper legs and backside.

He pulled his legs even closer to his chest and used his feet to try to hide the now surely visible wet patch in front of him, but the disgusted look on his father’s face spoke volumes. Thomas could now abandon his efforts.

The relentless lament of the siren grew louder.

Thomas relaxed the grip of his hands around his knees. The wetness of his crotch had turned ice-cold. His dad was laughing as he looked down at him. But it was not a teasing laugh. No, it was, rather, a mean, wrathful roar.

A high-pitched smash cut through the air.

He yanked his eyes open … The scene had changed again.

Breathing rapidly, he blinked several times before slowly wiggling the fingers of his right hand. Insects floated lazily through the air, and the abundance of scents and colours from the flowers, bushes and trees was nearly suffocating.

Sat in his beloved homemade Adirondack chair in the safety of his summer garden, he was sure this must be reality now. He had been so deep in thought that he had dozed off for a second and lost touch with the real world.

But three things made Detective Inspector Nathaniel Thomas question this supposedly real world: the siren was still wailing, his crotch was definitely wet, and liquid was running down his leg. He took a deep, steadying breath and looked down the front of his upper body to find the source of the sogginess. During his daydream, he had let go of his vodka tonic glass, which lay shattered on the hard patio floor, ice cubes pooling between his legs. Voracious, the hot July sun had already drunk most of the spilt beverage.

Thomas got up, shook the remaining ice cubes into his sunflower bed and leaned against the palisade, which shielded his patio from his prying neighbour’s eyes. He felt confused and shaky but didn’t want to waste a single thought on what had just happened in his mind. He bundled his images, put them on an imaginary boat set on an imaginary river in his head and let them float away.

He looked at his surroundings. He loved his garden and had put a lot of effort and money into it in the spring, although the outcome had been humiliating. The plum tree he had planted in the centre of a patch of grass the previous year had not borne a single plum. The summer forsythia looked like a neglected hemp bush, and the various summer plants he had bought at an online shop for the two rows of flowerbeds didn’t look remotely like their glossy Internet parents. Not even his holly had produced a single flower, let alone turned into its strong, dark green after winter – the colour he had fallen in love with at the nursery. Apparently, they could live for three hundred years; he doubted his would survive another season.

His neighbour, Richard Cunningham, had advised him to get fresh soil and a wheelbarrow full of manure – preferably horse manure – to use as fertiliser. Thomas began to wonder whether he should have listened.

The mail van had turned from Station Street into ‘his’ little alleyway that ran by the front of his house and was just wide enough for one car. When he heard the driver kill the engine, Thomas pushed himself off the palisade. He wanted to walk down the slightly sloping lawn to receive the mail in person, but the vodka tonic had left a telltale sticky mark on his trousers. So, he waited until the engine started again and the van rolled around the corner past the electronics store.

There were the usual supermarket leaflets and a holiday postcard from his cousin. And then there was an oddly shaped letter which looked like those that charity organisations sent begging for money and which usually had a free pen or something similar inside. But this envelope was white and had no charity logo. His name and address were written in black typewriter print with the ‘L’ half crossed out like the Polish ‘Ł’. He turned the letter around; it had been sent anonymously. The stamp showed a red cornflower and the previous day’s date.

Thomas held the crisp white envelope up to his nose and sniffed it. Nothing. He shook his head. What did he expect really? He tore the top open and peered inside. A small, thin blackish object was pointing directly at his face.

Who Is Danielle Zinn?

Sophomania - PHOTOGRAPH_black white_Danielle Zinn

Danielle Zinn is a German author, born and raised in a small village in the Ore Mountains/Germany where not only her debut crime novel Snow Light is set but also her second book, Sophomania.

She holds a BA (Hons) degree in Business and Management from New College Durham/UK and has settled down in Leipzig/Germany where she works as a Financial Controller at an IT Consultancy.

She was introduced to the world of English literature and writing from an early age on through her mother – an English teacher. Over the last years, she circumnavigated the globe and loves visiting her friends scattered all over the world.

You can follow Danielle on Twitter and Facebook:

Twitter: @DanielleZinn4 https://twitter.com/daniellezinn4

Facebook: Danielle.zinn.7 https://www.facebook.com/danielle.zinn.7