Something a tad different to start with today – I have an excerpt for you from a new voice in Scottish crime fiction, Jennifer Lee Thomson. Once I get through my current OU assignment I will to be in a position t to sit down and enjoy it, and then give you my thoughts in a review, but until then I have an excerpt from it to give you all a taster – and hopefully tempt you into buying it! First, though, the BLURB: DI Duncan Waddell is on the brink of a nervous breakdown – he thinks his best pal DC Stevie Campbell, who’s been in a coma since he was attacked by a suspect, is talking to him.
When office worker Shelley rushes to her boyfriend’s aid after he is attacked, she is abducted. She wakes up in a strange room with no memory of how she got there.
On the case, Waddell finds himself in a desperate race against time to uncover the truth behind the abduction.
To do this, he and his team must delve into the seedy underbelly of Scotland’s swingers’ scene and a world where women are tricked into the sex business and traded like cattle.
Stuart was hiding something. Shelley could tell. She was always the one who’d had to wake him because he could block out the shrill of the alarm clock. Nowadays, he was up before her, grabbing the mail whilst she slept. And he’d started making breakfast – nothing much, just tea and toast, more than he’d ever made her in their near three years together.
When she’d ask him if anything was wrong, he’d shrug his shoulders, give her a wee smile and say everything was fine. She knew he was lying because his face went even paler, making his freckles stand out as if they’d been drawn in by a kid with a coloured pencil. She never pushed it, maybe because deep down she was worried that he’d tell her he’d met someone else.
The No.76 bus was empty when they clambered on board – one of the benefits of working until eleven at night in a call centre, was that there was no need to scoot past a sea of legs and become a contortionist to get on and off a bus.
Their cold breath filled the air with ghosts as they walked towards Waterstones, Shelley pausing to peek at the new crime fiction releases showcased in the illuminated windows, whilst Stuart fidgeted with his watch. He was always footering about with something since he’d given up cigarettes and it drove her mad, but at least it didn’t fill his lungs with tar and make the house smell like an overflowing ashtray.
“I need to have a pee,” he announced, as they came to the dimly lit lane off Mitchell Street that reeked of eau de Glasgow: decomposing takeaway, urine and other bodily fluids.
She groaned. “Can’t you wait until we get home, Stuart?” She knew she’d pronounced his name “Stew- art” as she always did when she was annoyed with him. She couldn’t help it.
What made men think it was okay to urinate in public?
Stuart looked pained. “Sorry, I can’t. Too much coffee tonight.”
She let him walk on ahead of her and whilst he scooted down the alley, she stood outside the amusement arcade, pretending to look in so she wouldn’t be mistaken for a prostitute. It’d happened to her once when she’d got off the bus alone. Stuart hadn’t been working that night.
Five minutes later, she was so cold she couldn’t feel her nose and Stuart still wasn’t back.
She turned the corner to look for him, fully expecting to see him ambling back towards her with that jaunty walk that always made her smile. He wasn’t there.
Where was he?
Anger welled up in her chest. Had he started smoking again? He swore he wouldn’t.
There was one way to find out.
Jennifer Lee Thomson is an award-winning Scottish crime writer who has been scribbling away all her life. She also writes non-fiction as Jennifer Thomson and fiction as Jenny Thomson. She’s owned by a giant rescue dog called Harley.
With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me on this Blog Tour,