Today it is my turn on this blog tour and ill be sharing a extract from the book and my review at a later date . Do check out the other fantastic blogs taking part .
The thing was I had to start somewhere. There was no game plan as such. No obvious clues to follow up. I only had a bunch of names and a list of unanswered questions. But it would have to be enough. If I could just stir things up then maybe I’d get a result.
I’d spent four years going over it in my mind. Bracing myself for the day when Lizzie Wells would embark on a new career as an amateur sleuth.
Scar was right, of course. It was madness. I really had no idea what I was doing, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me doing it. I’d waited too long for this.
‘Let’s start with the flat you asked me to rent,’ Scar said. ‘As you know I’ve taken a one-bedroom place on a six-month lease, all paid up front. It’s in a part of Southampton called Bevois Valley. Nothing fancy, but it’s tidy and decently furnished.’
‘That’s good,’ I said. ‘I know the Valley. It’s where I used to live.’
‘I’ve also made a reservation for tonight at The Court Hotel. Room eighty-three. The one you wanted. Check in any time after two o’clock today. I didn’t tell them we’ll only be popping in and out.’
She reached into her handbag and took out a mobile phone.
‘As requested. It’s a pay-as-you-go smartphone. High-end model.’
I took the phone from her. It was slim and metallic grey.
‘Your number will show up in the display window when you switch it on,’ she explained. ‘I’ve put my own number in the contacts list.’
She then flipped over the first page of her notebook. ‘I checked up on the four names you gave me. They’re all still living in Southampton, which is what you suspected.’
‘Right, so let’s start with Ruby Gillespie.’
Scar took a sip of champagne and leaned forward across the table. Her breath smelled yeasty and sweet.
‘Ruby is still doing the same old shit,’ she said. ‘But I gather business is not as brisk as it used to be. There’s more competition from other escort agencies in the city and she’s found it hard to recruit new girls. That’s partly because the drink problem you told me about has got much worse. Word is she’s now an alcoholic and taken her eye off the ball.’
‘It was on the cards,’ I said.
‘The address you gave me near the Common checks out,’ Scar said. ‘She’s still living there by herself, and the house doubles as a brothel at times.’
I’d first met Ruby Gillespie at that very house after responding to one of her newspaper ads. A curvy brunette with dark Mediterranean features, Ruby was actually more attractive than most of the girls who worked for her. She exuded a charm that was natural and an air of sophistication that was not. I liked her at first and I was taken in by all the talk of being part of ‘a big happy family’ and having her full support if ever I got into trouble.
But when I did get into trouble she threw me to the wolves like a piece of stale meat. She refused to answer my calls while I was being held, and then in court she appeared as a witness for the prosecution. She claimed I’d once told her that I always carried a knife in my bag for protection. It was a lie, but the judge believed her.