Today on SS I’m pleased to be hosting K.C. Finn, author of the Caecilius Rex Novella Series! The Atomic Circus and Counterclockwise are the first two parts in the Caecilius Rex detective novella series. It is a four part series set in a post-apocalyptic society in which the outside atmosphere is consumed by a deadly, toxic smog, a perfect breeding ground for crime and conspiracy.
“A story is never a good story unless it starts with a murder. The more unusual the murder, the better the story, generally speaking. Meet Caecilius (KAI-KILL-EE-USS) Rex, a young detective in the not-too-distant future, a smog-filled post apocalyptic world riddled with crime and conspiracy. When a new case quite literally falls at Rex’s feet, he teams up with his neighbour and associate Kendra Nai, an ex-army sergeant recently dismissed, to investigate. Little do they know that the events of The Atomic Circus will be the first step to solving the case of a lifetime.”
“I found this book gripping and really enjoyable; I couldn’t put it down and it had a really nice twist at the end. I will certainly buy the next one.”
“Awesome book, couldn’t put it down! Really good concept and brilliantly written. Love all of the characters. Can’t wait for the next book. :)”
“Am looking forward to reading the next three books in this series. The main characters are easily imagined and the book is quite easy to read. Hurry up and give us the next case to solve.”
Excerpt (The Atomic Circus):
“Death?” Kendra says under her breath. “Oh sure, I feel like taking a little drop of DEATH today, don’t you?”
She and Cae are at the back of a very large crowd, waiting to reach the traders at the front.
“I would suggest,” answers Cae as he is shoved further forward by the increasingly large mass behind him. “That DEATH is a substance one would give to other people.”
“What do you do, put a spoonful in their coffee?” She replies.
“That works,” says a suited man behind her. “But it’s getting them to stay dead afterwards that’s the trick.”
Cae is heavily disturbed by the pleasant and calm tone of the man, but he doesn’t have time to judge. “This stuff wears off pretty fast, then?” He asks.
“An hour for every five grams,” answers the man, “it takes about sixty grams to make sure they’re actually dead.”
“Thanks for the tip,” says Cae.
“Any time,” the cheerful murderer replies with a smile.
As they near the front of the stall the effects of the various powders on sale become more and more apparent. A very short man barges past Kendra forcefully, clutching a bottle of POWERFUL. Two young women float past absently after him, sharing out powder-bags full of FORGET. Rather worryingly, several people pass by with dark looks and copious handfuls of FEAR, PAIN and DEATH. Cae makes a silent note to himself to review the mysterious poisonings of last September with Damian when he gets back to work.
“It’s not all bad, you know,” says a young girl dressed in rags when she passes Kendra. “Some things in life are good.” Kendra gives her a sad look, catching sight of a carton of HOPE big enough for a whole family.
Cae suddenly sees how easy it might have been for Brooks to get hooked into this place. If these drugs really do what they say, then one taste of BLISS or JOY would never be enough. The detective observes the pricings and quantities when he gets close enough to the front. The happiest emotions are extortionately priced, as are the opposite extremes. DEATH is the most expensive, closely followed by LOVE, which is apparently sold out until February.
A moment later he and Kendra reach the front. A young girl in a lab coat and a brilliant white gasmask looks them up and down.
“What can I get you?” Asks the girl, holding what looks like a scoop for confectionary.
“Following the events of The Atomic Circus, Detective Caecilius Rex returns with a whole new mystery to solve. A series of stranglings spark a new intrigue for the young detective that is fraught with danger, along with an unlikely alliance and a startling discovery that will turn Rex’s world upside down. Continue the mysterious journey with the second volume in the Caecilius Rex saga.”
You know who your friends are when you suddenly become homeless. Kendra had all too cheerfully informed Cae that her repairman would not be back to fix the filtration system in her house until Monday, which meant six more nights on the couch for the young detective. At the breakfast table on Wednesday morning Cae nurses his aching back while Kendra paws through the forensic reports from both crime scenes.
“Clear finger-marks, but no finger-prints on the necks of the deceased,” she reads. “So whoever did it was wearing gloves.”
At the last word she can’t help but glance at Cae’s hands, or more specifically the one hand that is currently un-gloved. His right hand still bears the faint marks where the stitches along his fingers have dissolved, but other than a rough line here and there, the skin is relatively smooth. It almost looks like a normal hand now. More natural lines have formed around his knuckles and fingers; it is only his cuticles that bear the tell-tale signs of the shiny, red acid marks that still reside across the rest of his top half.
Cae puts his hand under the table, starting to use his cereal spoon clumsily from his left instead. Kendra takes this as a sign to read on.
“There’s an inventory of what was destroyed at the lab… No traces of DNA found anywhere near either body. These kills were completely clean.” Kendra looks up from the papers. “Remind me why we’re not doing this at the station?” She asks.
Cae scowls. “Because the other DI’s are poking their noses into my case,” he replies. “Yours is the only nose I want involved.”
Kendra gives him a small smirk. She returns her gaze to the papers, scanning with her dark brown eyes, and a few minutes pass.
“Oh no,” she says quietly.
“What?” Asks Cae, his spoon slipping out of his grasp. It lands in his bowl with a clang.
Kendra holds up one piece of paper. “This inventory’s not just about destroyed items. Some things are missing.”
“Some things like what?” Cae questions, forgetting about his right hand as he uses it to take the paper.
“Third block down,” Kendra guides.
He finds the place, blue eyes widening. “Two blood samples unaccounted for,” he says as he reads the longwinded paragraph. “No evidence to suggest they were smashed in the attack.” Cae pauses to look up at Kendra. “Wonder whose they were?” He muses.
“Read on,” she says in a serious tone.
And after a moment, Cae echoes her “Oh no” with one of his own.
“They’re our blood samples,” Kendra says. “Just yours and mine are missing. That kid must’ve taken them.”
“Well I won’t get another word out of him,” Cae sighs. “He just keeps saying he can’t betray his family’s secrets.” Cae puts down the paper and rubs his face with the un-gloved hand, ruffling his black hair. “You know what this means, don’t you?” He questions.
Kendra raises a dark brow.
“Somebody’s trying to kill us again,” Cae completes.
Born in South Wales to Raymond and Jennifer Finn, Kimberley Charlotte Elisabeth Finn (known to readers as K.C., otherwise it’d be too much of a mouthful) was one of those corny little kids who always wanted to be a writer. She was also incredibly stubborn, and so has finally achieved that dream in 2013 with the release of her first two novellas in the four-part Caecilius Rex saga.
As a sufferer with the medical condition M.E./C.F.S., Kim works part time as a private tutor and a teacher of creative writing, devoting the remainder of her time to writing novels and studying for an MA in Education and Linguistics.