Thursday, September 14, 2023

First Paragraph

The worst smell in the world is dead badger. He'd encountered it on his morning walk down a green lane; had caught the odour without seeing the corpse, but had guessed what it was before returning later with a shovel. Whether they all smelled that bad or whether this one had expired of noxious causes he didn't know. As it turned out, he couldn't do anything about it either  - the creature had crawled into a tangled nest of roots to die, and it would require heavy machinery and a strong stomach to recover it. Lacking the former, and not wanting to put the latter to the test, Max opted for a third way: he'd walk a different route for a while, and see if one of the local farmers shifted it in the meantime. Which was why he wasn't sure the badger would still be there a couple of nights later, when he was running for his life.

- From The Secret Hours by Mick Herron

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