Please welcome author Dylan Young to Alternative-Read.com
Book Extract :
On Friday, his fifth day of being remanded in custody, another, unsmiling prison officer escorts him to the cream-walled room where Gerry is waiting, standing at the table, his briefcase open. He looks up as Dan enters, and there is something in the way he forces his mouth into a parody of his normal, welcoming smile that chills Dan.
‘Dan, sit down,’ he says. Dan doesn’t comply. He stands, frozen, four feet away, and asks urgently, ‘What is it?’
Uncharacteristically, Gerry hesitates.
‘What?’ demands Dan.
‘They faxed through the DNA profiling this afternoon.’
Dan yelps and makes a fist of triumph. ‘Yesss.’ He squeezes his eyes shut and when he opens them, they’re shining with relief. ‘Christ, I thought they’d never come. You have no idea how long I’ve waited to hear you say those words. And you, being so bloody po-faced, too. I suppose it’s pretty quick, really. Must have been expensive? But, what do I care? I don’t give a shit as long as it helps me get out of here–’
‘Dan,’ Gerry breaks in with gentle insistence.
Dan ignores him. ‘You know what I’m going to do first? Have a decent meal. You and me, Gerry. Anywhere you like. Anywhere at–’
It is only then that the pained expression on Gerry’s face catches Dan’s attention properly. ‘Gerry, come on, lighten up. Look, I know it’s not the be all and end all, I did hear you. Even so, it’s what we’ve been waiting for, isn’t it?’
‘No, Dan, it isn’t.’ Gerry’s blunt statement freezes the moment.
‘You mean the tests aren’t back?’
‘They’re back, all right. The problem is that it’s a positive match.’
Dan frowns. ‘What does that mean, a positive match?’
Gerry explains, in a low, authoritative voice. ‘It means the DNA in the semen they found on Jean Middleton matches your DNA.’
It strikes Dan like a fist. The room darkens momentarily and it’s as if the walls creep inwards around him. He feels Gerry’s big hands on his arm, guiding him to a seat. He hears the chair scrape as his weight falls into it. In the corner of the big room, the prison officer peers across, alerted by the sudden noise. Gerry waves him back before sitting opposite Dan and leaning low over the table.
Dan’s face is deathly white, his eyes sunken in their sockets. It’s a full three minutes before his stunned brain allows his mouth to speak.
‘How …? I don’t understand.’
‘It’s an identical match.’
Dan shakes his head. ‘It’s a mistake, it must be…’
‘The chance of someone else having the same pattern, in a twenty-band match, is a million to one, Dan.’
Dan looks up at Gerry but stares right through him. ‘Twenty bands?’ he mumbles but knows what it implies. ‘It can’t be,’ says Dan hollowly. ‘It can’t be.’ He reaches out convulsively for Gerry’s arm. ‘I didn’t do this, Gerry.’
‘I can’t explain it either, Dan.’
‘There must have been a mistake.’
‘I used the London Medicolegal Centre. They are meant to be the best.’
‘Even the best make mistakes, don’t they?’
‘I’ll get it rechecked, of course.’
Dan stares around him, taking in the flaking cream walls and the spying warder, irrationally convinced he is going to spend the rest of his life in this one room. He has been so sure, so totally sure.
Gerry sees that look and says, ‘Dan, don’t give up now. You’re right. Everyone makes mistakes. I’ll get it all double, triple checked. But you have to hang in there. Don’t let it slide.’
Dan’s eyes lock back on Gerry’s. It’s beyond belief. There must be a huge maw of doubt in the solicitor’s mind. There must be because there certainly is in his own. He’s numb, his body oddly detached. His head buzzes with confusion. Gerry is speaking again, ordinary words meant to soothe, but Dan hears nothing except the roar of chaos in his head and only snatches of what Gerry is saying.
‘…met a friend of yours, yesterday … Burton. A nice woman, she gave me these … for you to look at later.’
Dan vaguely remembers Gerry handing over some papers and taking his reluctant leave. Then he is on his feet, his brain still full of cotton wool as they march him back to his cell. There is one memorable thing about that journey along the starkly lit corridors, something that brings home the dreadful reality of his situation. It happens in the transit area between wings, as he stands waiting for the iron door to swing open and allow him and his guards through. On the other side, a prisoner is standing between two officers. This one is uniformed, in the washed-out grey that labels him a prisoner, and not on remand. As his jailers pull Dan to one side to let the others pass, a hot gob of saliva hits his cheek as the prisoner leans into his face. Three seconds of glaring hostility follow before the officers roughly yank him back, but Dan sees the black glint of violent loathing in a pair of flat-grey eyes and smells the hot, sour breath of hate.
‘We’ll f****ing castrate you, you scum.’
There’s no scuffle, the officers simply move on, as his own guards push him forward. Both sets of jailers keep their eyes ahead, allowing no comment or emotion to escape. It strikes him later that this was orchestrated, and that, more than the incident itself, sends a ripple of fear coursing through him. Is that how it would be? In the exercise yard, or the recreation room, would they conveniently turn a blind eye as some violent hard-timer stuck a sharpened toothbrush handle into his guts?
The Appointment Blurb
He’s a doctor…but can you trust him?
With his marriage collapsing and grief-stricken following the death of his baby son,
surgeon Dan Lewis is struggling to make sense of it all.
His work is his lifeline. But when he fixates on a child patient he thinks has a
potentially lethal disease, no one believes the diagnosis. They all think he’s losing his
When one of Dan’s critics is senselessly murdered and the evidence points to the
damaged doctor as the prime suspect, his bad situation becomes desperate.
But there’s a dark secret linking the ill child and the murder victim. One that no one
other than Dan can see.
Can he overcome his paralyzing despair to reveal the truth and clear himself?
And if he does, will he be in time to save an innocent child from a terrifying fate?
The Appointment is a tense and utterly compelling psychological thriller which will have you gripped from page 1. If you are a fan of authors like Mark Edwards, John Marrs and Lisa Stone, you’ll love this heart-pounding thriller.
UK // USA
Dylan Young grew up in a mining village in South Wales before boarding a train for
London. A 35-year career in the NHS followed, the last 27 as a consultant
ophthalmologist. Three dark psychological thrillers for Random House emerged in
the late nineties and over the last decade, under different pseudonyms, he’s written
children’s books and an adult contemporary fantasy series. But retiring from the NHS
has allowed Dylan to spend (even) more time in his writing office — a shed in the
Amazon : https://amzn.to/3142RvK