Jack Probyn · A Deadly Vice - Sample
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A deadly virus. A crusading scientist. A traumatised detective with one chance to save billions of lives… 

Jake Tanner is tormented by memories of the people he’s failed to save. Hoping to give his spinning mind a break, the detective treats his wife and kids to a fancy meal in London’s tallest building. He never expected that his family time would be cut short by a biological terrorist…


Cut off from outside help and struggling with his PTSD, Jake may be the only man who can save the hostages and thwart the horrific attack. As a deadly game of cat-and-mouse begins, the detective must conquer his own demons to outwit a deranged mastermind. If he fails, the airborne pathogen's devious purpose will decimate humanity's future.


Can Jake defeat a savage psychopath before the virus annihilates humankind?


Floor 68 is the second book in the pulse-pounding Jake Tanner thriller series. If you like edge-of-your-seat action, honourable heroes, and explosive terrorist plots, then you’ll love Jack Probyn’s gripping novel.

What Others Are Saying About FLOOR 68

"Thrilling action. Compelling characters. This story has it all." - Goodreads Reader

"I have to say this is the best so far. - Goodreads Reader

"Wow - from start to finish this one keeps you on the edge of your seat." - Goodreads Reader





August 1, 2017, 22:17
Charlie Paxman was going to change the face of humanity. Forever. It was dying, and he was the cure. He had been for a long time. He just needed a little longer. 

The smell of chemicals smacked him in the face as he entered his small, nondescript one-bedroom flat in Greenwich. The stench clung to his nostrils and the inside of his throat and lingered there. He coughed and convulsed. Chucking his bag on the sofa, he removed his hand from his mouth. It felt moist. 


Lined with something else Charlie had never seen before. An internal fluid he didn’t know existed. Strange. 

Creating the virus was beginning to have serious detrimental effects on his health. But soon it would all be over. His work would be complete, and it would be ready for release. 

Charlie wiped the blood from his hand onto his trouser leg. He moved around his flat, taking off his coat and placing it on the back of the chair in his office, before undressing to his boxers. Feeling his bladder press down hard on him, he went into the bathroom. The tension in his body relaxed as he pissed into the toilet, ignoring the splash back on his feet and legs. Leaving small droplets of urine on the seat, and with the stench of chemicals and poison rising through his nostrils, he decided it was time for his second shower of the day. 

The first was in the morning. The second was when he got home from work, to remove the smell of greasy food and salt from his skin and hair. The third was just before bed, to rid himself of the outermost layer of chemicals in his pores.

Charlie stepped into the shower. The steaming water hugged his body and loosened the tense muscles in his back and shoulders. It had been another stressful shift. His manager had been on his case again, chastising him for serving food to the wrong table. It wasn’t his fault he hated his job. It wasn’t his fault he had been kicked out of a dream career he had yearned for since he was a child. It wasn’t his fault the world’s problems were taking immediate effect. 

But it was his responsibility to fix them. 

He switched off the shower, stepped over the lip of the bathtub and dried off, wiping the condensation away from the mirror so he could look at himself.

The man he saw was different to the one he had been a few months ago when this entire process began. The messy, unkempt blond hair receding at the temples. The high, hollow cheekbones that made him look malnourished. The lines on his forehead. The bushy blond eyebrows nestling above deep-set eyes, which held a haunted look that reflected the fluorescent bathroom light overhead. The five-day post-shave stubble that lined the sharp angles of his jawline. The thin frame, small shoulders, skinny waist and legs miraculously supporting the weight of his torso. The sinewy forearms, skeletal fingers and bony wrists.

It hadn’t been long, and his body was already suffering. The coughing. The bleeding. The vomiting. The fatigue. His immense exposure to the virus had weakened his immune system beyond repair. And when the time came for it to be ready, he hoped he would be in a fit enough state to see it through — he hoped he’d be alive.

A lot had changed since he’d begun. And he had sacrificed even more. But it was necessary. The world needed to change. Humanity didn’t know it yet, but it would thank him later. Even after his death, his name would live in infamy, forever written in the history books. Adored by many. Abhorred by more. But he didn’t care; he believed that what he was doing was right, and he had the technological and scientific know-how to succeed. 

Nothing was going to stand in his way. 

Charlie dressed, shoved the towel in the wash bin, and returned to his desk. He started up his computer and played static noise to help him focus. To his right, quietly humming away, was a large metal cabinet with one glass vial inside, rotating. The glass was green, his favourite colour. He moved to the cabinet, pulled aside its small metal hatch, and peered in. The machine’s harsh pool-blue light almost blinded him at first, but his eyes had long since adjusted. 

Charlie inspected a timer at the top of the machine. Two more hours until today’s incubation period was finished. The device had been running all, silently building the world’s most powerful virus. Fifty millilitres of clear, genetically engineered liquid. He felt proud. His life’s mission in one small container.

Satisfied for the time being that everything was in order, Charlie slid across to his desk and opened the BBC News homepage. Breaking news articles about the worst terrorist attack London had ever seen littered the page. He read through them. Shook his head in disgust. What Adil and Moshat Hakim had done was nothing compared to what he could do. What he was going to do. The attack was minor, insignificant – the needle of destruction amongst the haystack of chaos. 

His work was going to change the world.


Interview with the author, Jack Probyn

Q - Can Jake Tanner be compared to any other crime thriller heroes out there?

A - You know, I wouldn't say Jake Tanner is like any of the other crime thriller heroes currently out there. He’s not like the Jack Reachers’ or the Alex Cross’ of these worlds. Sure, he has some similar characteristics, but Jake Tanner is very unique. Jake is a very heavily family-centered man. Anything and everything he does is done for them. But this does, in no way, mean that he is like Alex Cross who, readers familiar with James Patterson’s star, will know is a lean, mean, fighting machine. Instead, Jake Tanner is simply an everyday man. The one you see on the train to and from work everyday. That's what makes Detective Jake Tanner different.


Q - What makes the Detective Jake Tanner series special?


A - A mix of things. I wanted something that would “Wow!” readers, something that is going to make them think, “What if that ever happened to me?” And so I mirrored the Jake Tanner series on something I would like to read myself. The Jake Tanner terror thriller series has a bit of everything. But all of them feature the big question: “What if…” And, once you've read them, you’ll never feel the same way about certain things again.


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