Crime

Detective Inspector Ray Lennox has fled to Miami to escape the aftermath of a mental breakdown induced by occupational stress and cocaine abuse, and a harrowing child-sex murder case back in Edinburgh. But his fiancée Trudi is only interested in planning their wedding, and soon Lennox cast adrift, alone in Florida. A coke-fuelled binge brings him into contact with another victim of sexual predation, ten-year-old Tianna, and Lennox flees across the state with his terrified charge, determined to protect her at any cost. But can Lennox trust his own instincts? And can he handle Tianna, while still trying to get to grips with the Edinburgh murder?

Extract

Trudi’s elbow digs his ribs. Her voice now a low whisper. The faintest of downy hair on the top of her glossy pink lips. -It’s just that it shocked me at first. It was trying to reconcile the fact that you’re a normal, red-blooded, heterosexual male with you wanting to be…penetrated in that way...

Lennox fortifies himself with another swig of the Bloody Mary. It’s all but gone. -I never want you to do anything you’re uncomfortable with, he says, pulling his features into a shallow smile.

-You’re a honey, she kisses him on the side of the face, the kiss of an aunt, he thinks. She holds open Perfect Bride, at a page displaying, in several script styles, the same announcement of a fictitious wedding. -What do you reckon about these for the invitations? Her big nail thuds at a blue script in Charles Rennie Mackintosh eclat.

Glancing at them, Lennox thinks with mild parochial resentment, of Glasgow. -Too Weedgie, he then points at the gothic illustrations, -I like this one better.

-Oh my God, no way! She gasps and laughs, -You are totally bonkers, Raymond Lennox! These are like funeral invitations! I’m not the Bride of Frankenstein, she raises her eyes and fills her wine beaker. -Just as well you’ve got me organising this wedding. I dread to think what kind of a joke it would be if it was left up to you, she turns to the old girl who’s cheery, intrusive smile is beginning to nauseate Lennox. –Men. Honestly! Good for nothing!

Reviews

“A triumph... A great, redemptive book... It leaves you wanting more, much more”

- Observer

“Powerful, passionate writing... Welsh gets it just right”

- Literary Review

“Powerful... A bracing and engaging read”

- Daily Telegraph

Crime