This is from the opening of a novel. It impressed me. Your only clues are: British author; UK-based thriller, set in the south west; second in a series featuring the character named; to be published in October in the UK. Anyone want to offer a guess? (Educated and researched or not as the case may be…)
…And they were talking. Nothing he could distinguish clearly, but Joe tuned into the coarse estuary accents – voices that always put him on guard. He crouched down, choosing that moment to refresh the paint on his brush. One of the men called out: ‘Oy, mate?’
The shout made Joe’s stomach tighten. He stayed low as the men closed in. Heard a tiny metallic clink as someone’s watch or ring made contact with the scaffolding pole.
Joe leaned over, just enough to catch a glimpse of the two men standing beneath him. One of the faces he didn’t recognise at all, but the other was grimly familiar.
It was the face of a man he had killed.
Did I mention the south west earlier? That opening was a hook to grab me faster than Dyson could suck me back east to Wiltshire. (Another clue.) So, any guesses folks?