Trigger Mortis Returns: UK Paperback Cover Revealed

FINAL trigger mortis

Orion has today released the new cover artwork for the UK paperback edition of Trigger Mortis released on the 19th of May later this year. The cover depicts Bond’s mysterious accomplice, Jeopardy Lane, moments after her leap of faith with Bond in the dead of night. If you’ve not yet read Horowitz’ ‘almost too good’ take on Bond, or if you wouldn’t mind stepping back into his world, read on for an extract from the source inspiration for the cover;

 

From Chapter Nine: A Leap in the Dark – 

‘They were at the very top of the tower, trapped in a circular space with a low wall and the lake three floors or about fifty yards below. It was a long way but Bond was remembering what Sin had told him. “The lake is very cold and very deep.” Well, the second part of that equation would be useful to him now. He already knew he was going to have to jump. If the tower were a clock face, then from midnight until four o’clock was clear, with the water directly below. From where he was standing, he could see the jetty and the main entrance. Just as he had expected, several guards had taken up their positions outside but there were two elements in his favour. First of all, they were gazing into the castle, waiting to challenge anyone who came out. None of them was looking up or out towards the lake. And the band was still playing. Bond could hear the music seeping out into the darkness. That was a mistake. Provided he could enter the water without making too much of a splash, there was every chance that he wouldn’t be heard.

He stepped closer to the edge. Next to him, the girl understood what he intended.

“I can’t do this,” she said, simply. “It’s too high.”

“What’s your name?” Bond demanded.

The girl hesitated. Then she answered. “It’s Jeopardy. Jeopardy Lane.”

Bond took this in. He knew that, this time, she was telling the truth. “All right, Jeopardy” he said. “It’s a simple choice. You can come with me. Or you’re on your own.”

“You can’t leave me here.”

“I can and I will. It’s been nice meeting you. I hope you get a good story for your magazine – although it might help if you learn a thing or two about racing cars.”

Bond turned his back on her and went over to the wall. The girl was right. It was a hell of a long way down and in the moonlight the surface of the water looked like polished steel.

“Wait for me, you bastard,” Jeopardy said.

Bond looked back. She was already walking over to him. The two stood together on the edge. If she was afraid, she wasn’t showing it. If anything, she was angry, as if this was his fault.

“After you,” Bond said.

“Hell with that,” Jeopardy growled.

They leapt together. Bond was aware of the rush of air, the great expanse of the lake filling his vision as he plunged towards it. He was going to enter feet first. There had been no question of attempting a dive. But he tried to make himself as streamlined as he could, stretching his legs and clutching his hands above his head, so as to enter the water more cleanly, like a knife. Only now, when it was far too late, did the thought flash through his mind that Sin could have been wrong, that the lake might be much shallower than he had suggested. There could be rocks, debris of some sort hidden beneath the surface. This adventure could end with Bond shattering his legs…or worse. How long can three seconds last? A whole world of pain and different possibilities suggested itself to Bond as he fell and then came the shock of impact, his feet smashing the black mirror, cleaving a hole for the rest of his body to follow. Down and down he went into a darkness that was absolute, unyielding and a coldness that was not so very different from death. He had been holding his breath but it was almost punched out of him. The lake might actually be a thousand feet deep, fed with the meltwater of glaciers a million years old. Its grip was lethal. Bond’s entire body went into shock, the heart palpitating, the lungs shrinking, every nerve screaming in outrage. Was he rising or falling? He could feel nothing. He could not even be certain he was still conscious.

He felt he had stopped moving, hanging in the water as if suspended there, and kicked out with his arms and legs, his jacket and shirt ballooning around him. He needed to breathe. A few more seconds and he would suck in water involuntarily. He kicked again and then, somehow, he had re-emerged. He was breathing air, shards of water falling off his face, the blinding light of the moon in his eyes. He had to remind himself not to thrash around, not to make any noise. If any of Sin’s men had heard them, they could be picked off from the castle…fish in a barrel indeed. He twisted round. Jeopardy had made it. Water was streaming out of her fair hair which was plastered across her skull like a bathing cap. Her eyes seemed abnormally large. He could hear the short, uneven rasps of her breathing but otherwise she was silent. Had anyone heard? Had anyone seen? For a few seconds, Bond trod water, aware of the dreadful cavern beneath him. There was nothing. He signalled to Jeopardy and slowly they began to swim, away from the main entrance, away from the causeway. That was where Sin’s people would be looking for them but with every stroke Bond put a little more distance between himself and the castle and that thought alone spurred him on.

The cold was numbing, sucking all his strength. It was as if the lake, having failed to kill him one way, was determined to do it another. He couldn’t feel his fingers or his hands and his teeth were chattering so loudly they sounded like castanets. At first it seemed that the shoreline refused to get any nearer. Jeopardy was struggling to keep up and it occurred to Bond that she should have taken off her dress before she jumped. The fabric was dragging her down. But there was nothing he could do to help her. He concentrated on what he was doing. At this temperature, he might survive five or six minutes. Any longer and he would be finished….’

The Trigger Mortis UK paperback will be published by Orion on May 19th 2016