Many thanks to Mia for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘Macbeth’ by Jo Nesbo! For my stop today, I have a chapter sampler to share with you all. Enjoy!
JO NESBO: #1 Sunday Times bestseller, #1 New York Times bestseller, 40 million books sold worldwide
He’s the best cop they’ve got.
When a drug bust turns into a bloodbath it’s up to Inspector Macbeth and his team to clean up the mess.
He’s also an ex-drug addict with a troubled past.
He’s rewarded for his success. Power. Money. Respect. They’re all within reach.
But a man like him won’t get to the top.
Plagued by hallucinations and paranoia, Macbeth starts to unravel. He’s convinced he won’t get what is rightfully his.
Unless he kills for it.
Lady walked through the gaming room. The light from the immense chandeliers fell softly on the dark mahogany where they were playing blackjack and poker, on the green felt where the dice would dance later in the evening, on the spear-shaped gold spire that stood up like a minaret in the middle of the spinning roulette wheel. She’d had the chandeliers made as smaller copies of the four- and- a- half-ton chandelier in Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul, while the spire pointing from the middle of the ceiling down to the roulette table was a copy of the spire in the roulette wheel. The chandeliers were anchored with cords tied to the banisters of the mezzanine in such a way that they could be lowered every Monday and the glass cleaned. This was the kind of detail that passed straight over most customers’ heads. Like the small, discreet lilies she’d had sewn into the thick, sound-muffling burgundy carpets she had bought in Italy for a tiny fortune. But they didn’t go over her head, she saw the matching spires and only she knew what the lilies commemorated. That was enough. For this was hers.
The croupiers automatically stood up straight whenever she passed. They knew their jobs, they were efficient and careful, they treated the customers with courtesy but were firm, they had manicured hands, groomed hair and were immaculately dressed in Inverness Casino’s elegant red and black croupier uniform, which was changed every year and tailor-made for every single member of staff.
And, most important of all, they were honest. This wasn’t something she assumed, it was something she saw and heard. Saw it in people’s eyes, involuntary tics, muscular twitches or theatrically relaxed states. Heard it in the tiny distinctions of quivering vocal cords. It was an innate sensitivity she had, inherited from her mother and grandmother. But while this sensitivity had led them as they aged into the dark shadows of insanity, Lady had used her skills to flush out dishonesty. Away from childhood’s vale of woe, up to where she was today. The rounds of inspection had two functions.
One was to keep her employees on their toes that little bit more so that every day, every night, they would show themselves to be at least one class higher than those at the Obelisk. The second was to uncover any dishonesty. Even though they had been honest and honourable yesterday, people were like wet clay: they were shaped by opportunity, motive and what you told them today, and they could blithely do what had been inconceivable the day before. Yes, that was the only thing that was fixed, the only thing you could count on: the heart was greedy. Lady knew that. She had that kind of
heart herself. A heart she alternately cursed and counted herself lucky to have, which had brought her affluence but had also deprived her of everything. But it was the 94 heart that beat in her chest. You can’t change anything, you can’t stop it, all you can do is follow it.
She nodded to the familiar faces gathered around the roulette table. Regular customers. They all had their reasons for coming here and playing. There were those who needed to switch off after a challenging working day and those who, after a boring working day, needed a challenge. And those who had neither work nor a challenge, but money. Those who had none of the above ended up at the Obelisk, where you were given a tasteless but free lunch if you gambled more than five hundred.
You had idiots who thought they had a system which promised long-term gains, a breed that kept dying but curiously never died out. And then you had those who – and no casino-owner would admit this aloud – formed the bedrock of their business. Those who had to. Those who felt compelled to come here because they couldn’t stop themselves risking everything, night after night, fascinated by the roulette ball whizzing around the shiny wheel like a little globe caught in the sun’s gravitational field, the sun that gave them daily life but which in the end, with the inevitability of physics, would also burn them up. The addicted. Lady’s bread and butter.
Talking about addiction. She looked at her watch. Nine. It was still a bit early in the evening, but she wished the tables were fuller. Reports from the Obelisk suggested they were continuing to take business away from her despite the heavy investment she had made in interior design, the kitchen and the upgrade of the hotel rooms. Some thought she was in the process of pricing herself out of the market and, because the three-year-old Obelisk was well established in people’s minds as the more reasonable alternative, she could and should 95 cut down on the standards and expenses. After all, she wouldn’t lose her status as the town’s exclusive option. But they didn’t know Lady.
They didn’t know that for her it wasn’t primarily about the bottom line but being the exclusive option. Not only more elegant than the Obelisk but better, whatever the comparison. Lady’s Inverness Casino should be the place you wanted to be seen, the place you wanted to be associated with. And she, Lady, should be the person you wanted to be seen and associated with. The moneyed came here and the top politicians, actors and sports personalities from the celebrity firmament, writers, beauties, hipsters and intellectuals – everyone came to Lady’s table, bowed respectfully, kissed her hand, met her discreet rejection of their equally discreet enquiry about gambling credit with a smile and gratefully accepted a Bloody Mary on the house. Profit or no profit, she hadn’t
come all this way to run a bloody bordello, as they were doing at the Obelisk, so they could have the dregs, those she would rather not see beneath Inverness Casino’s chandeliers. Genuine chandeliers.
But of course the tide had turned. The creditors had started asking questions. And they hadn’t liked her answer: what the Inverness needed was not cheaper drinks but more and bigger chandeliers.
Business wasn’t on her mind now though. Addiction was. And the fact that Macbeth hadn’t got here yet. He always said if he was going to be late. And what had happened during the Sweno raid had affected him. He didn’t say so, but she could sense it. Sometimes he was strangely soft-hearted, it seemed to her – a man she had seen kill with her own eyes. She had seen the calculated determination before the killing, the cold efficiency during it and the remorseless smile afterwards.
But this had been different, she knew.
(Extract taken from Chapter 5 of ‘Macbeth’ by Jo Nesbo)
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