Max’s criminal career has been going downhill since it began when he was sixteen on an armed robbery job with his father. Now in his mid-forties, he’s spent more time in jail than on criminal endeavours and he’s back inside again. It wasn’t another getaway driver driving away prematurely that’s landed him in jail this time though. No, this time it wasn’t someone else’s mistake. This time it was his…well, the crack. He can’t actually remember doing what they said he did last week or why he did it and for that he could go down for life.
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“Extremely powerful, raw dialogue, characters you just know are real, scarily believable… She writes like a British modern-day Elmore Leonard; every word is packed with force and gritty with the harsh reality of a life you only suspected existed.” Rob Horne, Amazon UK customer review.
Protection – published on Near to the Knuckle
I blot my red lipstick on a tissue then bundle the rest of my make up on the sloping shelf in the bathroom cabinet. I don’t have a proper weapon. Bloody wanker, Jade’s father, went and hid the only gun we had. And he won’t fucking tell me where he’s stashed it cos I can’t be the one to sort out Ivan the nonse. Says all Jade’s got now is her mum and I can’t be doing no murder and getting myself locked up an’ all, not while he’s inside. “Jade’ll end up in care. You know what happens in care to young girls, Trish,” he said on my last visit to the Scrubs. Yeah, I do know, all too well, Tommy, and that’s why I know what needs to be done.
Since it happened, Tommy’s been saying how that cunt needs to be taught a lesson. Said he should’ve known what family he was targeting. Should’ve done his research, the sick fuck, he said. Well, that’s all well and good ain’t it, Tommy, but what you gonna do about it from your prison cell? And where’s your fucking firm? Plastic gangsters, the lot of them. They ain’t been round to see me and Jade once. They ain’t even given us no helping hand. We’re back on the breadline, proper skint. But it ain’t their dough I want. I just want them to sort out that cunt. “All in good time, Trisha. It’ll happen, but we gotta give it time,” they say. “It’ll be too obvious where the hit’s come from if we make our move now.” That’s what they said the day my Tommy went down. And since that afternoon at the Old Bailey, I’ve not heard from one of them once, not even a bleeding phone call.
No, I can’t rely on them, not for nothing. I could rely on Tommy. He’ll see it through but that’s when he gets out. That man says he’ll do something and he’ll do it. Said when we was thirteen in the school playground he’d marry me. And he fucking did, three years later. Said we’d have a house and a garden and a little girl. He came through on all of it. Okay, so he didn’t make his money in the most legal of ways, but he made it. He made a good life for us. Mind you, the last few years have been shit. He’s been in and out of nick, getting caught for most of what he does. He was a top burglar back in the day, but since he went on the charlie, he kept fucking up. And he’s shoved all our savings up his hairy nostrils. That’s why we’re skint now. Might have to sell the house if nothing happens soon.
In North West London it’s all la-di-da. If I look smart, I’ll blend in. So I put on my suit, the black one I wear to court. Think this is the first outing it’s had that ain’t to a court. I’ve got the briefcase, that’ll help too. Of course, Ivan won’t know it’s loaded with a length of rope and a couple of bricks. As long as he lets me in, it’ll be fine. Once I’m in, I reckon it’ll all come natural. In fact, I don’t reckon, I know it will.
From our terraced house in Bow, I drive to Hampstead where the rich cunt lives. I can’t park our old red Cortina on his road so I leave it in the car park on the Heath. It’s free to park there. I know about it cos me and Tommy and Jade have come to the fair here a good few times. Sad though, for the next seven years, it’ll be just me and my Jade.
My poor Jade, she told her teacher before she told us. That’s why the old bill got involved. If she’d have come to me and her dad first, he could’ve taken care of it. Tommy weren’t in prison then, not when we found out. I lug the heavy briefcase up the hill then turn off on Well Road. Houses up here are grand as fuck. Four bleeding stories high. People like him think cos they’ve got money, they’ll get away with anything. Might buy a better brief than we could afford. It fucking did. That’s why the cunt got off. But Ivan’s money won’t buy him jack shit today…. click here to continue reading through to the end of Protection.