Wednesday 13 May 2015

Blog Tour: Panther by David Owen

Author: David Owen
Published: 7th May 2015
Publisher: Corsair

So today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Panther by David Owen and I have a great extract from the book to share with you. The other tour stops are listed below, so please do stop by their blogs for some other great content.


‘I need your help with something.’

Tamoor looked him up and down, as if he were sizing up an old enemy. Then he turned to scan the street. A group of kids were hanging around outside the Costcutter a little further on, but otherwise there was no one that might see him talking to the fat kid from school.

‘It better not be what I think it is.’

‘The news that’s been going round today,’ said Derrick. ‘About the panther?’

As he’d searched online it had soon become clear that it wasn't just the local paper that had picked up the story. All the sites for the major papers featured it. It was even on the local TV news, the reporter standing right outside the allotment fence. At the back of the shot you could see the entrance to the alley that led to Derrick’s back gate.

Seeing the panther on TV made Derrick feel weirdly protective. He had almost seen the panther. It had come to him. And now all these vultures were leaping in to get a piece. Derrick had to make sure he got there first.

Tamoor groaned and leaned against the gate. ‘I knew that was going to set you off again.’

Derrick ignored that. ‘I want to find it.’

A lorry thundered by on the road. Its cargo rattled and thumped over the uneven tarmac.

‘That didn't really go so well last time, did it?

‘It’s real!’ said Derrick. ‘The police were out and everything.’

‘Yeah, and they couldn't find it even with a helicopter.’

Derrick picked at a splinter of wood that hung from the fence. ‘It’s important for me to find it. And I've got no one else who can help me.’

The edge of Tamoor’s lip curled into something resembling a sneer. Whenever Derrick tried to speak to him in front of the meatheads, that was the face Tamoor would pull. But now it seemed half-hearted. Almost sad. He flicked his eyes away, as if he didn't like what he was about to say.

‘I’m sorry, but I ain't doing all that again. It made you crazy.’

It wasn't so long ago that Derrick wouldn't have needed to ask, it would have gone without saying. Now his former best friend wouldn't even look at him.

‘Fine,’ said Derrick, and pushed past him to head back home.

‘Hang on.’

Derrick stopped at the edge of the road and turned around on the spot. Tamoor glanced back at his house, and then crossed his arms and hunched his shoulders. Even now he still wouldn't meet Derrick’s eye.

‘Is everything all right?’ he half mumbled into his shirt. ‘With your sister and that?’

The day he had told Tamoor about it the dark interior of the warehouse was filled with flying ants, swarming around the corrugated metal walls like a plague. So they’d sat together out front on the cracked

concrete forecourt, leaning back against the rusted air-conditioning units. In the sun the whole place still smelled like smoke and petrol.

It had been the first time Derrick had spoken to anyone about it.

It was the real end of their friendship.

That was the moment that he was exiled, finally and utterly, from the rest of the world.

Derrick could never forget Tamoor’s reaction. It had put a sudden end to their argument. Tamoor had silently picked at the weeds that grew through the cracks in the concrete. Then, just like now, he’d refused to meet his eye.

Derrick hadn't been back to the warehouse since.

‘I’ll catch the bloody panther without your help!’ he shouted, storming across the road.

Tamoor shouted after him. ‘Why d’you care so much?’

Derrick shoved his hands deep into his pockets and didn't look back. It was a question that he didn't know how to answer.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. This sounds great. A very original idea for a book. Makes me wish I could tame a panther and keep one as a pet! x