No Turning Back (Cathy Connolly book #3) by Sam Blake | Blog Tour Extract #crimethriller


Published by Zaffre

Available in ebook and paperback (17 May 2018)

341 pages

|  About the Book   |


Even perfect families have secrets . . .

Orla and Conor Quinn are the perfect power couple: smart, successful and glamorous. But then the unthinkable happens. Their only son, Tom, is the victim of a deliberate hit-and-run.

Detective Garda Cathy Connolly has just left Tom’s parents when she is called to the discovery of another body, this time in Dillon’s Park, not far from where Tom Quinn was found. What led shy student Lauren O’Reilly to apparently take her own life? She was a friend of Tom’s and they both died on the same night – are their deaths connected and if so, how?

As Cathy delves deeper, she uncovers links to the Dark Web and a catalogue of cold cases, realising that those involved each have their own reasons for hiding things from the police. But events are about to get a lot more frightening . .



‘Come on, girl, you’re not concentrating!’ McIntyre grabbed the punch bag out of Cathy’s reach and slapped the side hard, the sound explosive, ricocheting off the brick walls like a car backfiring. It made her start more than McIntyre could know. But then maybe he did. He’d heard bombs go off more than once. As she tried to still her heart rate, the three Tallaght boys looked up from their squats, startled. Out of the corner of her eye Cathy could see them smirking, enjoying her getting bawled at.

‘You’ve got to focus. Remember, eyes on the prize. Let me hear it.’

‘Jesus, Boss.’

‘You worrying about where Sarah Jane is isn’t going to get this session over any quicker. Let me hear it.’

Cathy danced backwards, her gloves beneath her chin, steadying her breathing. ‘McIntyre’s mantra’ Sarah Jane called it . . . Well, he asked for it . . . She smashed her glove into the bag. Left, right . . .

‘I will be national champion.’

McIntyre steadied the bag as he took the force of the punch through it. Cathy was already saturated with sweat from the session, droplets flying as she went in with a right uppercut.

‘I will be European champion . . .’

Left uppercut. She didn’t look at McIntyre, but could hear him exhale with each strike. It would be a while before she was ready for the Europeans, but he was all about positive thinking and she knew it worked. He’d taught her how to focus, taught her how to win, and that’s what she was going to do.

‘And the rest, girl, let me hear it, you won’t be at this your whole life – what else?’

Cathy danced back again, catching her breath, punched hard ‘I will get my masters.’ Her push kick sent the bag into McIntyre’s chest.

‘What are you working so hard at, girl? What do you want? Let me hear it!’

Hard again with a left jab, another left jab, followed by a right. ‘Forensic psychology. A first.’


She said it under her breath, conscious of the audience, ‘I will be the first female Garda profiler.’

McIntyre grunted, ‘Good. That’s good, girl. Put it here.’ He pushed the bag towards her, bracing himself behind it, ‘Just watch that right, you’re dropping a bit.’

From across the gym Cathy could hear laughter, then the choir boys chimed in, their voices high pitched, ‘I do believe in fairies, I do, I do.’

McIntyre turned on them, his voice echoing through the styrofoam ceiling, ‘Showers. Now. All of you.’

Scattering like rats, they didn’t have to be told twice. It had been a long time since Cathy had seen anyone move that fast.

‘Now, girl, a couple more for me. Push kick, back kick.’ Cathy caught the glint in McIntyre’s eye. She danced back, smiling to herself, imagined the lippy one’s face on the bag, and smashed her left foot straight at it, pivoting to kick the bag again with her right foot, putting all her weight behind it.

‘Not bad, girl. Not bad.’ McIntyre pursed his lips as Cathy pulled at the Velcro on her gloves with her teeth. ‘Keep this up and you’re in with a real shot at getting your title back. That Jordan one is your only worry.’ Striding to the benches running along the wall, McIntyre picked up her towel and threw it at her. She caught it one handed, rubbing the sweat off her neck and chest, spitting out her gum shield.

‘Her brother’s inside for rape; she alibied him. Tried to, anyway.’

McIntyre raised his eyebrows, ‘All the more reason for you to give her a pasting.’

* * *

My thanks to Imogen at Bonnier for the tour invite and extract.



|  Author Bio   |

Sam Blake is a pseudonym for Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, the founder of The Inkwell Group publishing consultancy and the hugely popular national writing resources website She is Ireland’s leading literary scout who has assisted many award winning and bestselling authors to publication. Vanessa has been writing fiction since her husband set sail across the Atlantic for eight weeks and she had an idea for a book.


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