The Silent Brother by Simon Van der Velde is published today by Northodox Press and can be purchased at Amazon, Waterstones, and Northodox.
Today I have an extract to share.
…She falls against me. Her sandal goes skidding across the stone. The breath stops in my throat. My legs start to go, but Annie doesn’t give a toss. She bounces off me, running again, laughing and spluttering like that dodgy tap. She kicks out, sending her other sandal up into the air ahead of us. I watch it turn, silver and gold against the dark blue clouds. And another lorry comes roaring in.
We jump the metal barrier together. Her plaits whip my face. I catch the smell of peaches, and we’re over the other side, through the Raby Gate, and away into the Byker Wall with my cheeks still tingling from whip of her hair. We run close, breathing hard in the hot night. I feel the sweat between our palms, and the flimsy nothingness of her dress brushes against the back of my hand.
I know they’re going to kill me, but they’ll have to catch me first, and they never will, not in this maze. We’re running down towards the river, past a wooden fence, when I hear Carl shout. It isn’t even a word, but he’s close. Annie lights up under a streetlight, dress high on her long brown legs. Then she disappears.
I stumble another step, alone.
‘Fuckin Bandit.’ I hear Frogga’s panting voice, his feet thudding closer.
An arm jerks out of the darkness, grabbing my hair, pulling me through the broken fence. A hand clamps across my mouth, and Frogga’s footsteps fade away down the hill.
Annie’s breath is hot on my neck, her hair soft on my cheek, her body tight against mine. I hold her, searching for the smell at her throat. She pulls away, but her hand is on my shirt, tearing, dragging me off the fence. She walks backwards over this square of grass, and stops. My hands go out around her, feeling the cracked bark of this massive tree behind. I press in.
‘No,’ she whispers, breath gushing in my ear.
Her hand slides inside my shirt, holding me back, drawing me forward. I can see the softness in her eyes, that fat line of concentration down her forehead, lit up under the orange streetlight. Her lip lifts, showing me a flash of teeth. I feel her heart hammer. Her lips are wet and sweet, her tongue hot and strong. Her knee presses in, between my thighs. All that’s left between us is her flimsy dress.
When his beloved little brother is stolen away, five-year-old Tommy Farrier is left alone with his alcoholic mam, his violent step-dad and his guilt. Too young to understand what has really happened, Tommy is sure of only one thing. He is to blame.
Tommy tries to be good, to live-up to his brother’s increasingly hazy memory, but trapped in a world of shame and degradation he grows up with just two options; poverty or crime. And crime pays.
Or so he thinks.
A teenage drug-dealer for the vicious Burns gang, Tommy’s life is headed for disaster, until, in the place he least expects, Tommy sees a familiar face…
And then things get a whole lot worse.
Simon Van der Velde was born and educated in Newcastle upon Tyne where he trained and practiced as a lawyer. Writing, however, was always the real passion, and Simon has now left the legal profession in order to concentrate on his writing.
Since completing a creative writing M.A. (with distinction) at University of Northumbria in 2011, Simon’s work has won and been short-listed for numerous awards including; The Yeovil Literary Prize, (twice), The Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal, The Wasafiri New Writing Prize, The Luke Bitmead Bursary, The Frome Short Story Prize, The Writers’ and Artists’ Short Story Prize, The Harry Bowling Prize, The Henshaw Press Short Story Competition and The National Association of Writers’ Groups Open Competition.
Simon is the founder and chair of Gosforth Writers Group and author of the widely acclaimed, Amazon bestseller, Backstories, ‘the stand-out most original book of the year’ in 2021. His literary crime novel, The Silent Brother is published on 16th June, 2022 by Northodox Press. Simon is currently working on both Backstories II and his follow-up crime novel, Dogwood.
Having travelled throughout Europe and South America, Simon now lives in Newcastle upon Tyne with his wife, labradoodle and two tyrannical children.