Today we get a sneak peek of author John Barlow’s newest novel, the first release in the LS9 Crime Series – Hope Road:
John Ray, son of crime boss Antonio ‘Tony’ Ray, is the straight one of the family. With a successful business and a lifestyle to match, he wants nothing to do with his father’s criminal world. But what does that world want with him?
A young prostitute is found dead in John’s car, and Freddy Metcalfe, his best friend and employee, is framed for her death. Freddy denies everything but it’s an open and shut case: he’s going down for murder. John sets out to find the real killer.
But things get complicated. A stash of counterfeit money was also found in John’s car, and the police seem more interested in that than in the dead girl. Then Lanny Bride turns up; one of the north’s most ruthless criminals (and an old friend of the Ray family), Lanny is desperate to know who killed the girl. But why? Meanwhile, Freddy is too scared to talk to anyone, even his lawyer.
John’s police detective girlfriend, Denise Danson, has been warned off the case by her boss. But she doesn’t believe Freddy is guilty, and secretly helps John look for the murderer. The problem, though, is that uncovering the shocking truth about the girl’s death will force John to confront his own criminal past and risk destroying his future, as well as losing the only woman he’s ever loved.
And now, from Hope Road:
He tells the cab to wait. Walks up the drive. There are For Sale and To Let signs next to each other in the garden. Kids’ toys lying in the flowerbeds. The lawn a few weeks away from a good cut.
She’s already at the door, hands running down the front of a blue print dress, flattening her stomach. She’d been jumpy on the phone. Eager to please.
I don’t like this.
Through the door comes the noise of children shouting and a TV turned up way too loud. In the hall he sees a small wooden table piled high with brown envelopes, and more envelopes on the floor.
Then she’s down the steps to meet him. Smiling.
He looks at the large detached house. Can’t be more than five years old. Tidy place. Nice area too. Very nice.
“Hi,” she says, arm outstretched. “The car?”
He nods, shakes her hand. It trembles a fraction and her finger ends are pink, raw.
“Pleased to meet you.”
They look across at the car, parked up close to the side of the house. Sleek, black, pristine. Then again, Porsche GT3s, a couple of years old? They’re all pristine.
“The asking price, it’s, y’know, I’m open to offers.”
An escalation of noise from the house.
“Ah, kids!” she says, trying to laugh.
“One careful lady owner?” he asks, still looking at the motor.
She lets the question find its mark.
“It’s in my husband’s name, but…”
She glances at the For Sale sign at the edge of the garden.
For Sale, To Let.
He’s already turning.
“Not what I’m after. Sorry.”
Flashes her a clipped smile and he’s away down the drive.
“What the hell you come for, then?” she says as she watches him go, the softness gone from her voice.
You don’t want my money. You really don’t.
“Bloody time waster!”
He hears the house door slam shut, the screams from within.
As the cab moves away he pulls out a Nokia, fast dials.
“The last one, Porsche GT3? No good. We’re done. I’m going home. I’ve got a date.”[subscribe2]