I am so excited to be taking part in Marnie Riches’ blog tour today for ‘Tightrope’, many thanks to Orion for my invite. I was hoping to review the book today, however I didn’t receive a copy until too late so I will be sharing an extract from the book inside. I will be reading and reviewing as soon as i can though!
‘Tightrope’ will be published by Orion on the 11th July and can be pre-ordered now from Amazon
‘Balls to Dr Mo and his group-therapy cobblers,’ she said, savouring the sight of the object of her desire. Endorphins
fizzed in her bloodstream. The rush of a conquest was always a narcotic, numbing the jab, jab, jab of her conscience that insisted she was derailing her own fasttrain back to a future worth having. With a quick glance up the double-parked street of elegant Edwardian brick terraces, she negotiated a traffic hump. The car shuddered and her teeth clacked. OK, perhaps she was going a little too fast. Eyes back on the prize. ‘Oh, Mama. I cannot wait to get you home and rip off your—’
When the 4×4 ploughed into her at speed, Beverley Saunders’ little VW Polo lurched improbably to the right, missing the parked Audi on the opposite side of the road by only inches. Her airbag inflated immediately.
‘Jesuf pft.’ A muffled outcry was all she could manage until the bag deflated, leaving her gripping the steering wheel with white-knuckled, shaking hands. Stunned, she stared at the bag that now looked like an oversized, spent johnny. ‘What bastard . . . ?’
Flushed through with adrenaline, she applied her handbrake, punched her hazard warning lights into life and
stepped out of the car. The culprit was looking down at her from the elevated vantage point of an Overfinch Range
Rover. Staring directly at Bev open-mouthed as though she
couldn’t quite believe what had just come to pass.
Bev took in the devastation wrought on her beloved little VW by the unforgiving bulk of this pimped-up Chelsea Tractor – or rather, Hale Tractor in this overpriced pocket of Cheshire. Enraged, she marched up to the driver’s side window of the 4×4, expecting to find some washed up soap
actress or footballer’s wife.
‘Get out of the fucking car, lady !’ she yelled.
The woman raised her hand to her mouth, but otherwise didn’t move.
She didn’t seem to be a celebrity, but Bev knew her type well. High blonde ponytail. Pearl earrings. Expensive looking fur gilet that showed off the owner’s reed-like arms, accented with a shitty taupe silk scarf that chimed
in perfect harmony with the Farrow and Ball-painted doors and window frames of the surrounding houses. Rocks on those bony fingers that could fund a developing country.
That much she could see through the glass.
‘Entitled shitbag. I’m talking to you !’
Bev eyed the stoved-in passenger side of her Polo, noticing how the tyre was facing inwards at an untenable angle. A flicker of guilt strobed at the back of her mind, telling her that a crash was karmic payback for being weak. But that didn’t excuse this stupid cow. She thumped the bonnet of the Range Rover.
‘You killed my car !’
Shutters were twitching either side of the street. Cleaners and nannies peered out at the scene, no doubt making
morality judgements as Bev cursed and the blonde finally emerged, tugging at the ties of her gilet.
‘I’m so, so sorry. My foot slipped and I just shot out.’
The blonde looked back regretfully at the give-way markings on the road.
‘I take it you’re not hurt.’ Bev eyed the pristine white Range Rover. It didn’t have a single dent in it. Naturally.
And those gleaming black alloys were intact. Naturally. Only the Polo looked like it had been in a fight with
Godzilla. ‘Details !’ Her heartbeat was thunderous as she proffered the brown envelope from a recent, terrifying
HMRC communiqué and a pencil she’d stolen from IKEA.
‘I think we’ve got to call the police, get a reference number or something, but first, we exchange details.’
‘Yes. Of course.’ The blonde dithered, clearly looking for something to lean on. Opted for her bonnet. She wrote,
‘Angela Fitzwilliam’ in a shaky hand.
The crash threatened to send Bev careening to the rock bottom of a cliff face she had already been struggling to cling to, let alone scale. She was just about to subject the woman to another tirade of expletives, when the guilt flickered on again ; brighter and steadier, this time, like a searchlight
shining on her shortcomings. She privately acknowledged that she hadn’t really been paying attention either. Too busy staring at the extremely rare, mint origami kit she’d bought off the old guy in Rusholme. A moment of eBay madness, indulging in the very compulsion she had sworn she would eschew. Dr Mo would remind her that she had taken four steps backwards in the board game of her life, sliding down yet another damned snake at a point where she’d hoped to climb the next ladder. Well, the self-appointed saviour of the obsessive, the compulsive and the habitually disorderly would have to damn well find out first.
Maybe she was equally to blame for being unobservant. But this woman looked loaded. She could almost certainly afford to lose her no claims bonus and pay the excess. Bev, on the other hand, had a stack of unopened bills waiting on the side in her crappy flat, not to mention the tax demand. Screw it.
‘So, you admit, it was your fault ?’
The woman closed her large, deep-set eyes and held up hands that were beautifully manicured. ‘Oh, absolutely.
A fixed-up car, a month or two of lovely physio, being pummelled with warm oils by some beefcake – the nearest Bev would get to a massage now that she was permanently broke. A couple of grand in damages would clear some of those debts. Bish, bash, bosh. Bev mentally rubbed her hands together and thanked God for silver linings.