Cover of Fatal Blow by Brian Price

Front Page Fridays Week-2

Front Page Fridays Week-2

Welcome to Front Page Fridays Week-2. Every Friday I highlight a recently published book by showcasing the first page.

My Front Page Fridays Week-2 guest is Brian Price and his latest book Fatal Blow. Here’s the explosive first page:


Karel lifted the barrier and let the sandwich van into the police station car park, unaware that he had only moments to live. He started to wonder why the driver ran out of the car park, instead of ringing the bell for entry, but his musings were cut short by a thunderous roar as the van exploded. He barely had time to register the flash before the blast wave pulped his body, killing him instantly.

A column of orange-brown smoke rose swiftly into the air, quickly followed by black billows as the van’s vaporised diesel ignited. Vehicles were overturned and those running on petrol added their fuel to the flames. The back wall of the police station began to collapse and windows were sucked out as the blast wind pulled debris back towards the site of the explosion. A brief, eerie silence was followed by screaming.

* * *

Two minutes earlier

On the other side of the building, the incident room was packed. DI Emma Thorpe’s colleagues gathered round to wish her well as she began her maternity leave. Detective Superintendent Gorman presented her with an envelope of gift vouchers and made a slightly embarrassing speech, during which he attempted to say he hoped she would be producing another little constable. Unfortunately, he sneezed half way through the last word, which remained incomplete.

‘You’ll be next,’ grinned DC Martin Rowse, nudging DC Mel Cotton, who had never publicly expressed any aspirations to maternity. ‘Where’s Tom, by the way? I thought he’d be here.’

‘He’s getting some flowers for the guv from the car. He’ll just be a minute.’

The chuckles at Gorman’s faux pas were cut off abruptly as the shock wave from the blast ripped through the station. Furniture shifted, glasses fell over and the coffee machine tumbled from the worktop. Light fittings fell from the false ceiling, which bulged ominously. Smoke alarms shrieked. Officers stumbled, windows rattled and acrid, choking smoke poured into the room. And a single thought crashed its way into Mel’s brain. Where was Tom? Where the fuck was Tom?

Fatal Blow by Brian Price. Published October 2023 by Hobeck Books.


 About the Book

A shattering revenge attack

Mexton’s Major Crimes team is targeted by an Albanian crime gang as an explosion rips through the unit’s base.

For DC Mel Cotton – the attack is all too personal

DC Tom Ferris is seriously injured in the blast. His fiancée, Mel, may be physically unharmed but she’s dealing with wounds you can’t see. She’s determined to return to work, but is she ready?

Death on her doorstep

Mel’s latest case is close to home – investigating a body found in her and Tom’s garden, the body of someone last heard of in Australia. Can she catch the murderer? And can anyone stop the Albanian crime gang on their ruthless campaign of revenge?


About the Author

Brian Price is the author of the DC Mel Cotton thrillers, published by Hobeck books, and Crime writing: How to write the science, a guide for authors on how to avoid scientific mistakes. A chemist and biologist by training, he has worked in a hospital pharmacy, as an environmental consultant, as an Open University tutor and for the Environment Agency. As well as writing thrillers, he advises other authors on such matters as poisons, knockouts, and DNA. Four DC Cotton novels are in print and a fifth is due later this year.

Websites and Social Media

Twitter/X @crimewritersci


To find out how Brian became a published author, you can read his story at this link: Brian Price’s Publication Journey – Rachel Sargeant


I hope you enjoyed Front Page Fridays Week-2. Come along next Friday for another post.

And please take a look at last week’s first post in the Front Page Fridays series:

Blood Ribbons by Lin Le Versha –



By Rachel Sargeant

Rachel Sargeant is a British author. She writes the Gloucestershire Crime Series, published by Hobeck Books. The first title is Her Deadly Friend, and the second is Her Charming Man. Her titles with HarperCollins are: The Roommates, a psychological thriller set in a university during freshers' week; The Good Teacher, a detective mystery, featuring DC Pippa “Agatha” Adams, and The Perfect Neighbours, a psychological thriller set in Germany. Rachel studied at Aberystwyth University, spent several years living in Germany and now lives in Gloucestershire with her family. She holds a PhD from the University of Birmingham.

Comments (0)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *