Raise the Blade

NEW! You can now buy 'Raise the Blade' direct from the publisher's website. Simply head for Tess's author page at Caffeine Nights, scroll down, and click the big cheerful 'buy here' button at the bottom!

Would you go, alone and unarmed, into the home of a murderer? This darkly humorous novella examines the theory that certain people contribute to their own downfall through the choices they make, whilst referencing Pink Floyd's brilliant track Brain Damage - and the odd elephant or two.

"...gloriously gruesome..." Ian Ayris

"A short, sharp and very tasty read." Michael J Malone

"...this deliciously clever novella will appeal to those who enjoy the likes of ‘The Wasp Factory’." BA Morton

Scroll down for blurb, excerpt, creepy video and links to various articles about the book.

More details

Like a spider wrapping flies... When psychopath Duncan leaves a trail of duct-tape-wrapped bodies scattered across the suburbs of Birmingham, there's nothing to link the victims except his own name and address, carefully placed on each new corpse. Six very different people follow his clues, each convinced they can use Duncan to further their own selfish or naive ends. Is there a reason Duncan's driven to target these particular individuals, or does their very nature contribute to their fate? Will any of them be strong enough to break the cycle and avoid a painful death? Or will Duncan reel them in and rearrange them to his own insane ideal?



Duncan raises the blade and watches the parcel squirm. He's going to love the next few hours. The pain, the fear, the pleading. Not that the parcel can speak, of course - he always makes sure of that. But the eyes: he can tell from the state of the eyes. That's why he leaves those till last. So they can watch him watching them. So they can watch his work.

The first cut. Not the deepest, in spite of what Cat Stevens says. Just a little scratch, through the tape, barely enough to mark the skin. The victim whimpers. Duncan bends low over the table, catching the sound, the very breath, and taking it in. It feels good. In many ways this is the best bit, before it gets messy, before the tape stains scarlet and the body fluids flow. He sometimes wishes it could stay like this, while he still has hope, before it all goes wrong. But that would leave his work unfinished, and he can't allow that.

He can't quite believe that his plan worked so well, that they keep on coming to him. He felt sure someone would tell the police; that he'd wake up at dawn to find blue lights outside the house. Or worse, that one would think to bring something more powerful than a knife - a baseball bat, or a gun. But nobody's done that yet. They're like lambs to the slaughter, he thinks. Or the flies he experimented on as a child.


'Raise the Blade' has featured in a number of guest blog posts and articles. To find out more, check these out:

Nicholas Kaufmann's The Scariest Part blog.

Character in the Spotlight: Gillian

Location photos on Tess's blog

Ostentatious showing off

Don't just take Tess's word for it - other people have enjoyed her writing too. Here's what they've been kind enough to say:

"Tess Makovesky writes with an immediacy that pulls you instantly into the story."
Michael J Malone, author of 'Blood Tears' and 'Bad Samaritan'

"Another great new author to the crime scene."
Sheila Quigley, author of the Seahills series and the Holy Island trilogy

"[...one of] a group of writers that live by a formula for creating unexpected twists at the ends of their stories."
Dana Kabel, author

"...splendidly crafted to mislead readers about who the protagonist is and what he does for a living before kicking them in the gut with the truth at the end."
William E Wallace, author, on 'Singing From the Same Sheet'


international thriller writers logoTess is a member of International Thriller Writers.