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‘Broken Dolls’ by Sarah Flint
The Blog Tour

Today I am lucky enough to be co-hosting the first stop on this extensive Blog Tour and once again thanks go out to the lovely Vicky at Aria Fiction for bringing things together and the ever efficient NetGalley for providing the download facility.

If you enjoy reading the extract I am sharing, why not visit some of the other Blog Tour participants, over the coming days. I know they would be pleased to meet you and there are sure to be a varied and comprehensive selection of posts, with something to please everyone.

Image Of The Blog Tour Banner For The Book 'Broken Dolls' By Author Sarah Flint

BROKEN DOLLS‘ (DC Charlotte Stafford #4)

Cover Image Of The Book 'Broken Dolls' By Author Sarah FlintThe all NEW heart-stopping, un-put-downable serial killer thriller from the bestselling author of Mummy’s Favourite. Perfect for the fans of Angela Marsons.

A baby lies abandoned amongst the rubbish; her tiny face as white as alabaster, her body as stiff as a miniature doll. 

A young prostitute lies beaten, her figure lying like a mannequin on the frozen concrete, her blood spilt, her life ebbing away.

As DC ‘Charlie’ Stafford and her boss DI Hunter struggle to identify the victim from the violator their hunt brings them to the crack houses of Lambeth, littered with damaged people, their lives scarred by tragedy and violence, most broken beyond repair. 

As further lives hang in the balance Charlie must enpower the weak to speak out against those who seek to cause harm.

But can a broken doll ever truly be mended; or will the wounds of the past, fashion the events of the future?

SARAH FLINT

Alternative Image Of Author Sarah Flint Updated December 2017With a Metropolitan Police career spanning 35 years, Sarah has spent much of her adulthood surrounded by victims, criminals and police officers.

She continues to work and live in London with her partner and she has three older daughters.

Sarah is a lover of ice cream and marmite – but not together!

Sarah is currently ‘seeing off’ (her words, not mine) breast cancer, so I am sure that your comments and reviews will help her along the way.

You can connect with Sarah on Facebook

You can follow Sarah on Twitter

If you have a passion, feed it. Sometimes the passion will wane and you won’t have time for it. Sometimes it will flourish and you won’t have enough hours in the day to harvest it. If it takes twenty years, so be it. Whatever happens though, if writing is something you love, don’t give up. If ‘it’ happens you will be the happiest person on earth. If ‘it’ doesn’t, it will still be a great legacy, if only on your own bookshelf at home.

Cover Image Of The Book 'Broken Dolls' By Author Sarah Flint

As my contribution to this extensive Blog Tour, Aria Fiction and Sarah Flint, have asked that I share this extract from ‘Broken Dolls’

The doctor held out his hand and Hunter shook it firmly. He was similar to Hunter in nature; straight to the point and with no frills, but he was the exact opposite physically; tall, lean, fit and with a thick head of hair. Charlie had crossed paths with him both professionally and off-duty, whilst running, most recently in her first triathlon. She stood to one side, not quite sure whether to offer her hand but deciding in the end not to. They knew each other well enough to dispense with formalities.

‘Hi, Dr Finch,’ she said instead. ‘It would be good to know if it was a boy or girl.’

Hunter nodded. ‘We need life pronounced formally, but try not to move the body any more than is necessary. Photos have been taken, but the forensics team are yet to start. I’ll arrange for the coroner’s officer to sort out the removal once everything is concluded.’

Dr Finch dipped his head and pulled on his gloves. Carefully he peeled the towel back, completely exposing the tiny shape. It was a baby girl, clearly dead for some time; her body, just over twelve inches in length, silent and still like a fragile white doll. Gently he placed a stethoscope on her chest, the pad of the scope covering far too much of her little frame than seemed right. Charlie watched as the doctor completed his checks with a tenderness that moved her almost to tears. He needed to do the tests before formally pronouncing life extinct, but it was clear the job was difficult.

Finally Dr Finch straightened, looking at them both. ‘Well it’s female. Life pronounced extinct at 22.05. She is premature and I would estimate from her size that she’s probably around the twenty-six to twenty-eight week mark of gestation, but that can be confirmed at the full examination. By this stage of pregnancy her lungs and digestive tract should be pretty much fully developed, but, in the absence of any medical assistance, she would have struggled to survive, if, indeed, she was able to breathe independently at all.’

‘So could she have survived if the mother had been in hospital?’ Charlie asked immediately.

He turned towards her. ‘It’s difficult to say. She’s on the very limit of survival. If she was very lucky and had medical intervention straight away it’s possible, but it’s also likely that she would have had some pretty severe medical issues to contend with.’

‘How long has she been dead?’ Hunter stepped forward, peering towards the baby.

‘I can’t say, I’m afraid boss, much as I’d like to help.’ He bent towards the body with a thermometer. ‘Rigor mortis is difficult to assess in infants and children, and even though she looks fully formed she’s still technically a foetus. Newborn or pre-term babies have very little muscle mass and as it’s the amount of lactic acid in the muscles that cause rigor mortis, it’ll be extremely difficult to determine when exactly she died. Judging by her appearance and temperature though, I would say that she’s been here for some time.’

‘Are we talking hours or days? Just so I know how long to go back for hospital checks. We need to find the mother.’

‘More likely days, but I really can’t say Hunter. What I can say is that the mother will have gone through full labour. The chances are, as you rightly intimate, she’ll need medical assistance.’

He pulled the towel back over the tiny girl, gently covering her body, as if tucking her into a cot. Charlie was again touched by this small act of humanity. They started to walk back towards their cars, pausing briefly to leave their protective suits, overshoes and gloves with the uniformed officer at the cordon. Hunter stopped to issue further instructions, while Charlie and Rob Finch went ahead.

She waited while the doctor opened the boot of his car and placed his briefcase carefully beside a pair of running shoes and an overflowing holdall, from which a towel and pair of swimming goggles spilt.

‘Dr Crane at the path lab should be able to tell you more when he’s done the post-mortem, Charlie. Hopefully you’ll get the identity of the mother from a DNA test on the dried blood on the baby’s head. I’m presuming that must be the mother’s as there are no obvious injuries to the baby.’ He paused, before slamming the boot shut and explaining further. ‘The mother’s blood supply is totally separate to that of the foetus so it will have different DNA, although the blood type might be the same.’

Charlie watched as Rob Finch folded himself into the driver’s seat, turning towards her with a frown.

‘You need to find the mother, Charlie. We don’t know as yet how this baby was miscarried and it’s highly likely her life could be in danger if any kind of infection sets in.’

Charlie pursed her lips. It was a thought they’d acknowledged earlier, especially should the baby have been forcefully removed. If the mother wasn’t tracked down swiftly, then potentially they could soon be investigating two deaths, rather than just the one.

Alternative Image Of Author Sarah Flint Updated December 2017

Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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6 comments
  • This is a rather grim excerpt, but then I guess that’s no different from real life at times.

    Not a series I’ve read any from, but it does sound interesting.

    • These days I am generally influenced more by the ratings and reviews on Goodreads, rather than Amazon, who I have rather fallen out of love with.

      With all three of the previous books in the DC Charlotte Stafford series, having amassed higher than 4 out of 5 stars, I should think that author Sarah Flint would be more than pleased with their success to date.

      Sarah has also intimated that Charlotte’s cases are loosely based on real-life cases she has been involved with in her own work, so this is a genuine case of an author writing with inside knowledge and authenticity, which is all good from where I am sat!

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that all is well with you 🙂

  • her tiny face as white as alabaster, her body as stiff as a miniature doll. her figure lying like a mannequin … Ooh! This promises to be a wonderfully descriptive book.

    Not an author I’m familiar with but I hope to rectify this as despite my agreeing with Kelly that the book sounds rather grim it really does appeal to me.

    A great tour stop, hopefully I’ll get around to visiting some of the other blogs. Oh and I too have fallen out with Amazon.

    • I’m not too sure from exactly how far into the book this extract is taken (that’s the one minor niggle I have with publishers who organise Blog Tours), but I am assuming that it must be quite close to the beginning, although it certainly isn’t the first chapter.

      If you want to know the inside track about the series, I’ll leave a link to an excellent Guest Post which author Sarah Flint provided as copy for my Blog Tour stop for the previous book in the series. She really does speak candidly and openly about the perils and pitfalls of becoming a newly published author and offers a great insight into the series and characters…

      https://www.fiction-books.biz/new-titles/past-present-and-future-a-guest-post-by-sarah-flint/

      I have owned an Amazon account for more than a decade, albeit a sellers Marketplace account, with hubbie having the main purchasing account.. I have always published my book reviews to NetGalley, Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com – that is until last week. When I went to publish my latest review to Amazon, imagine my surprise to have found my account blocked and suspended, as apparently I can now only post a review if I can show purchase of the book from Amazon! Publisher and author review copies, sent out to enhance sales of a book on sites such as the Amazon’s of this world, obviously no longer count!!

      Rant over, I hope that all is well with you and I hope that you decide to read the DC Charlotte Stafford series, as it really does sound good 🙂

  • Hi Yvonne, from the passage you shared here, Broken Dolls sounds sad and grim. I don’t think it would be one I could read with the whole baby thing. Best of luck to Sarah, she’s right about following your passion.

    • I have to be honest and say that all the story lines from Sarah’s books are quite dark and menacing, each in their own way.

      I also know that this can be accentuated and the fear level heightened, when babies and children are involved. The statistics surrounding child abuse and paedophilia, are appalling and as a so say civilized society, we should be truly ashamed of ourselves.

      However, I don’t believe that real life is any less threatening or dangerous these days, which, given Sarah’s long-term service career in the Metropolitan Police Force, I am sure offers her plenty of material for her stories.

      The amount of drugs being taken across the population in general, not solely by those on the margins of society, is what bothers me the most and will probably make the most difficult reading for me personally.

      I can quite understand why reading more mainstream fiction, as a way to de-stress and wind down, might be so much more appealing, so thank you for taking the time to stop by 🙂

Written by Yvonne

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