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The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings

Put on your dancing shoes and step into New Orleans as you’ve never seen it before in this vibrant and imaginative debut.

Nola is a city of wonders. An alternate New Orleans made of music and magic, where spirits dance the night away and Wise Women help keep the order. To those from Away, Nola might seem strange. To failed magician Perilous Graves, it’s simply home.

Then the rhythm of the city stutters.

Nine songs of power have escaped from the magical piano that maintains the city’s beat, and without them, Nola will fail. Unwilling to watch his home be destroyed, Perry will sacrifice everything to save it. But a storm is brewing and even if they capture the songs, Nola’s time might be coming to an end.


I really loved the concept of this book and so I was eager to get started. I have to admit I was a little lost for the first section and I couldn’t see how the two different stories were going to come together but once it clicked I really enjoyed following the story.

The use of children as the hero’s of the book worked really well and I loved the idea of art coming to life and music taking on the form of humans.

I loved the New Orleans setting and the strong female characters within this book and would definitely look out for more by this author.

Thank you to Orbit Books for my spot on the blog tour.
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Magic. Revolution. Identity.

The Emperor is Dead. Long live the Emperor.

Lin Sukai finally sits on the throne she won at so much cost, but her struggles are only just beginning. Her people don’t trust her. Her political alliances are weak. And in a far corner of the Empire a rebel army of constructs is gathering, its leader determined to take the throne by force.

Yet an even greater threat is on the horizon, for the Alanga – the powerful magicians of legend – have returned to the Empire. Lin may need their help to defeat the rebels and restore order.

But can she trust them?


I absolutely loved The Bone Shard Daughter, its such an original story where instructions are carved into bone which can then command constructs, so I was very excited to see where the story went. I liked that this book picked up exactly where the first book finished as I immediately felt transported back into the bone shard world.

As in book one we get multiple points of view which I really liked as I felt like we got to see the empire from all sides. This book was a lot more political than the first book that contained all the history and world building, it gave us more of an insight into ruling different lands and how fragile loyalties can be. The ending was explosive and left me wanting book three now!

I cannot finish this review without mentioning Mephi, I think he might be my favourite none human character from any book, I just love him.

Thank you to @Tr4cyF3nt0n and @orbitbooks for my space on the blog tour tour.

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Thora and Santi have met before…

Under the clocktower in central Cologne, with nothing but the stars above and their futures ahead.

They will meet again…

They don’t know it yet, but they’ll meet again: in numerous lives they will become friends, colleagues, lovers, enemies – meeting over and over for the first time, every time; each coming to know every version of the other.

But as they’re endlessly drawn together and the lines between their different lives begin to blur, they are faced with one question: why?

They must discover the truth of their strange attachment before this, and all their lives, are lost forever.

This was unlike anything I have read before. Once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down, I thought it was going in the direction of a romance similar to time travelers wife but it couldn’t have been further away from that. This story was about love as concept not romantic love.

We see the two main characters lives intersecting in a multitude of different ways and each time we learn a little but more about them as they unravel what’s happening to them. Santi believes that everyone has a path set out for them, whereas Thora believes that life changes based on the decisions you make. Santi is religious, Thora is not. We follow them through different iterations of their lives together and seeing how those beliefs were challenged was so interesting to read.

I honestly couldn’t tell you where I thought it was going but I was not expecting that ending at all but I absolutely loved it, I think it worked brilliantly and really cemented the read as a 5 star for me.

Thank you @randomttours and @harpervoyageruk for my spot on the blog tour.

About the Author:

Catriona Silvey was born in Glasgow and grew up in Perthshire and Derbyshire, which left her with a strange accent and a distrust of flat places. She overcame the latter to do a BA in English at Cambridge, and spent the next few years there working in scientific publishing. After that she did a PhD in language evolution, in the hope of finding out where all these words came from in the first place.

Following stints in Edinburgh and Chicago, she returned to Cambridge, where she lives with her husband and a very peculiar cat. When she’s not working as a researcher studying meaning in language, she writes. Her short stories have been performed at the Edinburgh Literary Festival and shortlisted for the Bridport Prize.

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The summer’s must read is here MARY JANE by Jessica Anya Blau is perfect for fans o f the 1970s nostalgia captured by Daisy Jones and the Six as well as readers of Judy Blume With hints of Almost Famous MARY JANE is a charming coming of age novel that perfectly captures that era of American culture, from rock music on the radio to family therapy on the beach.

Set in 1975 suburban Baltimore Blau’s breakout novel introduces Mary Jane, a sheltered teenage girl whose world opens up when she lands a summer job as the nanny for the daughter of a local doctor A respectable job Mary Jane’s mother says in a respectable house. The Cone house may look respectable on the outside, but inside it’s a literal and figurative mess: clutter on every surface, Impeachment: Now More Than Ever bumper stickers on the doors, cereal and take away for dinner. And even more troublesome (were Mary Jane’s mother to know, which she does not): the doctor is a psychiatrist who has cleared his summer for one important job helping a famous
rock star dry out. A week after Mary Jane starts, the rock star and his movie star wife Jimmy and
Sheba move in.

Over the course of the summer, Mary Jane introduces her new household to crisply ironed clothes and a family dinner schedule and has a front row seat to a liberal world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll (not to mention group therapy). Caught between the lifestyle she’s always known and the future she’s only just realized is possible, Mary Jane will arrive at September with a new idea about what she wants out of life, and what kind of person she’s going to be.

A nostalgic trip into the 1970’s MARY JANE is a timeless coming of age story about finding yourself, all wrapped up with lots of humour, a dash of teenage rebellion and plenty of rock and roll.

This was a great coming of age story set in 1975. Mary Jane is hired as a nanny for the summer but ends up helping the family in more than her paid role as nanny.

I absolutely loved getting lost in the 70’s in this book, it really felt like I was travelling back in time with each page. I adored Mary Jane’s character, she was just such a lovely young girl thrown into a world she had no clue about but still tried to do her best for Izzy.

I thought Izzy was a brilliant character and enabled the innocent questions that child ask to be included in the story which I think really added to the narrative. I also really liked the rock star couple they bought music and glamour to the book that made it a joy to read. The group dynamic together had me laughing many a time.

I love how it showed the idea of family not necessarily being who you are born into but who supports you and looks out for you. A really great, heart warming read.

Thank you to @harper360uk and @randomttours for my spot on the blog tour

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Lucy Vine Millie is a perfectionist. She’s happy, she’s successful and, with a great support network of friends and family (and a very grumpy cat), she’s never lonely. She loves working at a big tech firm and is on track be promoted to her dream role. The last thing she needs is romance messing up her perfectly organised world. Besides, normal people just don’t have romantic relationships. Everyone knows that being in a couple is a bit . . . well, odd. You know, like having a pet snake or referring to yourself in the third person. Why rely on another person for your own happiness? Why risk the humiliation of unrequited love or the agony of a break-up? No, Millie is more than happy with her conventional single life.

So, when Millie lands a new project at work, launching a pill that prevents you falling in love, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. That is, until she starts working with Ben. He’s charming and funny, and Millie feels an instant connection to him. Will Millie sacrifice everything she believes in for love?

I read this authors debut book, The Shelf, last summer and really enjoyed it so when the chance to read her latest novel came around I jumped at the chance. I love how easy this authors work is to read even though it is always packing some big punches.

I really enjoyed how the author flipped the norm and really exposed how much is put on marriage in our culture, things I didn’t even really think about like the tax benefits to being married or even just in a couple is something that I have always just taken as a given but really why are people being penalized for being single?

The chemistry between the two main characters felt real and I could feel the tension simmering between them. The concept of Oxytoxin pill was frightening and yet such a clever idea, I really hope it never gets invented 🤣

For me the ending felt at odds with the whole tone of the book although saying that I would have been disappointed if it didn’t end that way so I think I must have been in a contrary mood!

This is definitely one your going to want to pick up this summer and I can’t wait to see what this author brings us next.

Thank you to @zaffrebooks and @tr4cyf3nt0n for my spot on the blog tour!

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Sebastian James Murphy is twenty years, six months and two days
old. He loves swimming, fried eggs and Billy Ocean. Sebastian
is autistic. And lonely. Veronica wants her son Sebastian to be
happy, and she wants the world to accept him for who he is. She
is also thinking about paying a professional to give him what he
desperately wants.

Violetta is a high-class escort, who steps out into the night thinking
only of money. Of her nursing degree. Paying for her dad’s care.
Getting through the dark.

When these three lives collide, and intertwine in unexpected ways,
everything changes. For everyone.

Both heartbreaking and heartwarming, This Is How We Are
Human is a powerful, moving and thoughtful drama about a
mother’s love for her son, about getting it wrong when we think
we know what’s best, about the lengths we go to care for family
and to survive.

This is my 3rd Louise Beech Book and this one cements her in my auto-buy author list. I love that she can write so powerfully across genres so you never know what’s coming next!

In this story Sebastian wants nothing more than to meet a woman, and have sex, but he’s autistic which for him makes forming any kind of relationship difficult. His mother just wants him to be happy and thinks the solution is to hire a escort. Violetta has responsibilities to take care of and a nursing qualification to pay for, she is just trying to keep it all together.

I really loved Sebastian’s character, I thought he was a very loveable man with a good sense of right and wrong and he just felt so real to me, as did all the characters! I really felt for his mum as she really was jut trying to do her best but being on her own with no one to talk through raising a child with made her feel so alone. I loved the surprise twist, it was really clever and made me question my own judgements I might have made in that situation.

Reading the authors note I saw that Louise had worked hard to research and make sure that Sebastian’s character was right and that it actually based on a true story!!

Another moving tale from a master story teller who can weave emotion in to anything. Thank you @orendabooks and @randomttours for letting me be part of the blog tour!

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave
was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The follow-up, The Mountain in My Shoe
was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Both of her previous books Maria in the
Moon and The Lion Tamer Who Lost were widely reviewed, critically acclaimed
and number-one bestsellers on Kindle. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was shortlisted
for the RNA Most Popular Romantic Novel Award in 2019. Her 2019 novel Call Me
Star Girl won Best magazine Book of the Year, and was followed by I Am Dust.

Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice. Louise lives with her husband on the outskirts of Hull, and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012.

#jubilantjune #blogtour

Posted in Blog Tours


As Princesses of Crete and daughters of the fearsome King Minos, Ariadne and her sister Phaedra grow up hearing the hoofbeats and bellows of the Minotaur echo from the Labyrinth beneath the palace. The Minotaur – Minos’s greatest shame and Ariadne’s brother – demands blood every year.

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives in Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him. But helping Theseus kill the monster means betraying her family and country, and Ariadne knows only too well that in a world ruled by mercurial gods – drawing their attention can cost you everything.

In a world where women are nothing more than the pawns of powerful men, will Ariadne’s decision to betray Crete for Theseus ensure her happy ending? Or will she find herself sacrificed for her lover’s ambition?

ARIADNE gives a voice to the forgotten women of one of the most famous Greek myths, and speaks to their strength in the face of angry, petulant Gods. Beautifully written and completely immersive, this is an exceptional debut novel.

“What I did not know was that I had hit upon the truth of womanhood: however blameless a life we led, the passions and the greed of men could bring us to ruin, and there was nothing we could do.”⁠

I absolutely adored this book, it was everything I hoped it would be and more. They way the author writes these forgotten women of history was just incredible. I was fascinating to read Adriane’s point of view but also to see some of the other women of history depicted in a different light.⁠

This was very easy to follow despite not having an in depth knowledge of Greek mythology, everything that needed explaining was described in a clear way without being to simplified or on the flip side not being overly wordy. ⁠

The characters were brought to life on the page in a way that was tender and heart-breaking and so many lines really spoke to me, “I would not let a man who knew the value of nothing make make me doubt the value of myself.” The story touches on many aspects of female life that remain relevant today: unfaithful spouses, innocence of children, jilted lovers, unhappy marriages, maternal bliss, postpartum depression and the list continues.⁠

If you loved Circe or even just books about fierce women then this is going to be a must have for your shelves!

Due to a lifelong fascination with Ancient Greek mythology,
Jennifer Saint read Classical Studies at King’s College, London. She
spent the next thirteen years as an English teacher, sharing a love
of literature and creative writing with her students. ARIADNE is
her first novel and she is working on another retelling of ancient
myth for her second. @jennysaint

Jennifer Saint on her inspiration for the novel:

The inspiration for Ariadne first sparked when I was at university and studied the
Roman poet Ovid for the first time. When I read the Heroides, a collection of
letters written by the women of myth to the men who had wronged them in various
ways, I was captivated by seeing these familiar stories from a different perspective.
Ariadne writes a powerful letter to Theseus after she has given him the clue to
lead him safely from the Labyrinth, lair of the Minotaur, betraying her father and
kingdom to do so. Her younger sister Phaedra writes a letter of her own, full of
clever rhetoric and persuasion and we see that they are intelligent and passionate
women trying to carve out their own destiny in a world where the odds are stacked
against them. Years later, I would read my children the Greek myths I had always
loved and I was reminded of Ovid when I came to the story of the Minotaur in
which Ariadne’s crucial role was reduced to a couple of sentences in the background
of Theseus’ legend. I felt that Ariadne deserved her own voice and I wanted to put
her in the spotlight where she belongs.
Although Phaedra had her own individual story, I also wanted to explore the
relationship between the sisters and how growing up in the shadow of the Minotaur
shaped their experiences. I felt that the myths I had encountered about Ariadne and
Phaedra were focused on the men in their lives and I wanted to make their sisterhood
central in my book. The richness and complexity of female relationships, especially
that of sisters, is so interesting and the two sisters of the Minotaur, whose fates
were so devastatingly interlinked, offered such a compelling story that I was really
excited by the idea of telling it.
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When she was thirteen, Lizzie lost her best friend in what she always believed was a terrible accident.

Even though she was with Alice when she died, Lizzie has no memory of the accident itself. Now there is doubt around if it was in fact an accident at all.

Alice’s friends and relatives seem to suspect Lizzie had a part to play in Alice’s death, but Lizzie knows that can’t be true. She would never have hurt Alice.

Twelve years later, unpacking boxes in the new home she shares with her fiancé, Lizzie is finally beginning to feel like she can move on with her life.

But someone has other ideas.

Twelve years is a long time to wait, when you’re planning the perfect revenge.

Lizzie has no memory of what happened in the moments before her best friend Alice died, she only knows that it must have been a tragic accident. Skip ahead to 12 years later and Lizzie is moving on with her life, she has moved in with her fiancé and is going to go back to college. But strange things keep happening, is she being haunted by the past or is someone out for revenge.

This is the second thriller I have read by Lesley Kara as I was on the blog tour for who did you tell, and I think this is even better than the last. I read it in just a few sittings and was thinking about it when I was I put it down. The tension the author creates oozed off the page and at times I just wanted to shake Lizzie and say ‘can’t you see what’s happening here!!’

I did predict two of the main twists but in no way did this detract from my reading pleasure, in fact it enhanced it as it played out as I wanted it to in my head which gave me a whole separate sense of satisfaction.

Thank you to @randomttours and @lesleykara for my review copy of the book.

Lesley’s debut The Rumour was the bestselling crime thriller debut of 2019. It was a Sunday Times bestseller in both hardback and paperback, a Kindle No.1 bestseller, and has now sold over 350,000 copies globally. The Rumour has been optioned for TV by Cuba Pictures, and has sold in 15+ territories to date. Who Did You Tell? her critically acclaimed second novel was also a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller.

Lesley is an alumna of the Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course. She lives on the North Essex coast, inspiration for the locations in her novels.

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When she was thirteen years old, Ada Howell lost not just her father, but the life she felt she was destined to lead. Now, at eighteen, Ada is given a second chance when her wealthy godmother gifts
her with an extravagant art history trip to Italy.

In the palazzos of Venice, the cathedrals of Florence and the villas of Rome, she finally finds herself among the kind of people she aspires to be: sophisticated, cultured, privileged. Ada does everything in her power to prove she is one of them. And when a member of the group dies in suspicious
circumstances, she seizes the opportunity to permanently bind herself to this gilded set.

But everything hidden must eventually surface, and when it does, Ada discovers she’s been keeping a far darker secret than she could ever have imagined…

This book really transported me to Venice, Florence and Rome and also into to the life of the rich and entitled, the tension was just right and I was dying to see where it would go from the first few pages.⁠ I loved all all the rich descriptions of the architecture and art, so vivid that I could really see it in my mind so much so that I almost felt like I would be able to reach out and touch it.

It was a great look at the elite, how people long to be part of it and how one split second choice can shape a life. I loved the character study of Ada’s character and how she was constantly deceiving people in order to make herself happy but never quite getting there. I also loved the ending as I genuinely wasn’t expecting it and overall really enjoyed the book.

I also listened to some of this as audio and the I think the narrator really got the vibe and tone right.⁠

Laura Vaughan grew up in rural Wales and studied Art History in Italy and Classics at Bristol and Oxford. She got her first book deal aged twenty-two and went on to write eleven books for children and young adults. is her first novel for adults. She lives in South London with her husband and two children.

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Jeremiah O’Connell made his name solving problems in London and now does the same in LA. The problems other people can’t or won’t touch? They’re the ones that end up at Jerry’s door.

Suddenly Jeremiah has problems of his own when he sets out to right a wrong and finds himself on the hitlist of one of LA’s most feared drug gangs.

As the stakes rise, so does the body count, and Jerry has the fight of his life on his hands. Now, with high-class escort Noah in tow, Jeremiah must revisit his old London stomping grounds and assemble his team in order to wage all-out war on the streets on Tinseltown…

Jerry ambled towards the strip club entrance, pulled open a

door and moved into a vestibule area, where a doorman sat

on a bar stool looking at his phone. Jerry tried to hide his

contempt, resisting the urge to tell the guy to get his arse

outside, which was where he should be. Standing. Watching.

Being a fucking doorman. Not sitting inside texting like a


The guy looked up at Jerry, down at his phone and then,

in a double take, back at Jerry. In the next second, he was

scrambling to his feet, broadening his shoulders and narrowing

his eyes. ‘What up?’ he croaked.

From behind him came the muffled thump of the strip

club music. The phone went away, hands into the pockets of

his bomber jacket. Making it clear to Jerry where he kept his

weapon – whatever that might be.

‘All right, mate?’ said Jerry. ‘You open for business, are

you?’ He was taking the piss, but it went clean over the head

of the doorman.

‘Always, always,’ nodded the doorman, ‘just as long as

you’re not after trouble . . .’

Jerry held up his hands. ‘Just here for the booze and the

birds, mate.’

The doorman held the door open for him and he moved

through into the foyer. A woman in a booth took his money.

He passed into the main club and took in the scene: dancers

gyrating at poles on a central stage; sleepyeyed

waiting staff;

a clientele who looked like part of the furniture. The overall

feel was one of lethargy, boredom. The afternoon after a

heavy night when the world has nothing more to show you.

He took a seat, ordered from a waitress who introduced

herself as Ashley, and then, when she returned with the

bottle, asked her, ‘You got a girl here called Commodore?’

Commodore. Fucksake. What a stupid name.

‘Yeah, Commodore’s here,’ replied Ashley warily. ‘Who

wants to know?’

‘A fan. I’ve been told her dancing is utterly sublime,’ said

Jerry, tongueincheek,

affecting the voice of a connoisseur.

Taking the piss again. He kissed his fingers. Grinned.

Ashley wasn’t having it. ‘She’s new.’

‘Word travels fast.’

‘All right. Well, you’re in luck, she’s on soon.’

Jerry sat back, drank his beer in three long slugs and then

ordered another one, Ashley even more wary now, which

was just as he intended. Sure enough, from the corner of

his eye, he watched the arrival of a guy he decided was

probably the duty manager. Jerry knew the type: scrawny

little guy with a wispy beard, cheap, shit suit and shoes that

didn’t match. The kind of guy who’d take advantage of the


In turn, the duty manager beckoned to Ashley to join him.

They spoke briefly, the waitress glancing over at Jerry, nodding,

before the manager was joined by a bouncer in black

‘You’ve got a girl here called Commodore, yeah?’ began

cargo pants and trainers. More conversation. More glances

towards Jerry. Ashley departed to go about her business. The

Jerry. ‘Don’t answer that, it’s a rhetorical question. I know

bouncer and the duty manager remained, just at the periphery

of Jerry’s vision but staring his way.

Now Jerry looked over, maintaining eye contact. Next,

he stood, turned and very deliberately repositioned his chair

so that instead of facing the stage, it now faced the two men.

He regained his seat, lifted his beer bottle and saluted them,

mouthing Cheers.

They gave no response, just stared. The manager said

something to the bouncer. The bouncer nodded and made

his way over to Jerry.

He was a big guy: goatee beard, thick dark eyebrows.

Probably knew his way around a fight. As he arrived at Jerry’s

table, Jerry stood, reached for a chair, pulled it out. For a

moment or so, the two men faced one another, and then the

bouncer sat, Jerry doing the same.

‘What can I do for you?’ asked the bouncer. His gaze was

steady, but light glanced off a line of sweat on his forehead.

you have. Thing is, she’s leaving with me, so I’d appreciate it

if you’d let Commodore know that we’re going, like, now.

Tell her to pack a bag, take anything that’s hers. She’s not

coming back.’ Jerry checked his watch, the flash of his gold

Rolex not lost on the bouncer.

The bouncer regarded him. His expression barely changed.

‘Fallen in love, have we?’ he said.

 ‘It makes not a blind bit of difference to you why I’m taking

her. Just: I’m taking her.’

The bouncer pulled a face, shook his head. ‘Commodore’s

not free to leave. We set her up here, which means she works

for us until such time as she’s paid off her front money, and

she’s nowhere near doing that. What I’m saying is, she ain’t

going nowhere.’

Another bouncer had appeared and was standing a few

tables away, hands clasped in front of him, still as a statue.

Jerry gave him the onceover,

reflecting that you could

always tell if a geezer knew what he was doing by the way he

held his hands. Behind his back or down by his sides? Forget

it, guy was an amateur, you might as well have them in your

pockets. In front was a bit better, but the real pros had them

up high to make it easy to deflect.

Meantime, the girls on the poles were still dancing, but at

the same time were looking across. Even the few customers

had raised their eyes, their attention arrested by something

that was only slightly less commonplace than the sight of

‘And now,’ said the bouncer, as though he had regained

naked flesh and the taste of warm beer – the threat of imminent

A moment passed. Their eyes locked. Jerry didn’t move.


‘I’ll tell you what, I’m going to give you my card,’ said

the upper hand, ‘I’ll have to ask you to go.’

Jerry. It was already on the table. He slid it over.

‘Just says “Jeremiah O’Connell”, and a number,’ said the

bouncer without picking it up.

‘That’s all you need,’ said Jerry. ‘Make a few calls. I’ll wait

for you to speak to whoever you need to speak to.’

It took about ten minutes or so. Then the bouncer with

the goatee returned. ‘Commodore will be out in a moment,’

he said flatly. His eyes betrayed nothing, but Jerry saw the

tension in his shoulders. A vein that stood out on his neck.

Both tells that Jerry knew well – signs of one predator sizing

up another.

‘Well done, mate,’ replied Jerry.

The bouncer gave him an appraising look, seemed about to

say something, but thought better of it and then moved away.

Moments later, Commodore appeared, pale and drawn. Her

eyes were tired, and she wore streetwalker clothes.

‘They say I have to come with you,’ she said blankly.

‘They’re right, darlin’.’

Hope for the best, plan for the worst – that was what they

always said. He was prepared for a fuss. Tears. Screaming,

maybe even fists, and he was ready to carry her bodily out of

the door if needs be.

Instead, she just looked at him with tired, darkrimmed

eyes that no amount of caked on


could disguise.

She might be beautiful again, maybe, at some point in the

future. But right now her world had robbed her of looks and

life. Drugs had brought her low, and when she asked, ‘Did

my father send you?’ and he told her yes, the look on her face

was one of relief.

In short order, he made the call, drove to The Saddle

Ranch further along and delivered the girl into the grateful

arms of her father. An envelope was handed over. ‘There’s a

lot of money in there,’ said the father.

Jerry shrugged. ‘Price was agreed. Twenty grand for her

safe return. You got her back, you pay up. Simple as that.’

His face darkened. ‘Not planning on quibbling about it now,

are you?’

The man seemed to remember himself, shook his head,

and when he handed over the envelope, it was with a look of

gratitude, of relief. He watched as Jerry stowed the envelope

in his inside jacket pocket, got in the car and took off.

For his part, as he took off along Cedar Tree Avenue in

the shitty Prius, Jerry was looking forward to a drink at the

Naughty Pig on the Strip.

Which was when it happened.