Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Without Rules by Andrew Field! My thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for the invitation to join. I have an extract to share with you today but first, here is what you need to know about Without Rules.
Author : Andrew Field
Title : Without Rules
Pages : 288
Publisher : Boomslang
Publication date : October 15, 2018
When a professional hitman turns up at Candy’s World to hide, China Mackie discovers her plan to flee from her abusive father has tragically backfired. A gruesome bloodbath has left four people dead on the streets of a northern city centre on a cold wet Sunday morning. China knows she’s next to die. Unless she is more ruthless than everyone else. She must improvise fast. Seduce her father’s assassin. Plead her case so he helps her escape in a fight to the death where rules don’t matter but the consequences do.
China ran and she ran and she ran, a lung-busting pace quelled the anxiety inside her. She pushed herself, punished her body and distracted her mind before her guests arrived at Candy’s World. They were already waiting, two wet and cold men huddled outside her front door. China had been running since Karl and Jenny Grant took Rose to room 203 at the Paradise Hills resort.
“I am coming,” she shouted.
She removed the chain, undid the door’s deadlocks, dried herself with a towel. Her two unwanted guests bypassed her as if she was invisible. Normally goat boys barely disguised their urge to download on her software. She noticed the stench of excrement overpowered large pans of chilli and bolognese simmering on her Aga. Switchblade Eddie in badly stained jeans was the culprit. He grabbed a bottle of Lynchburg, Tennessee’s finest sour mash, filled a lead crystal tumbler and swigged from the bottle.
“You want a slug, catch,” said Eddie.
He chucked the Jack Daniels towards the stranger, who made no attempt to catch. As it smashed the stranger looked at her. She noticed ice cold clear blue eyes. China was big on eyes, the windows to the soul if you looked deep and hard enough.
“Drink is the first and last refuge of the gutless. I’ll take that as an offer of a friendly drink rather than an unwise act of aggression,” said the stranger. “Think you need to go home.”
“Wanker,” said Eddie. He hurled the tumbler at the floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the resort golf course. The tumbler shattered, the window stayed intact.
China stepped back. She didn’t want to get hurt in the crossfire. She had seen Switchblade Eddie kick the unconscious further into unconsciousness out of sheer spite too many times.
“When you’ve finished your tantrum close the door behind you,” said the stranger as he switched on a twenty-four hour news channel.
All three watched the scrolling newsflash: city centre shooting incident, unconfirmed police reports say four people dead.
“Four,” the stranger said to himself. “Four, the fourth?”
“Jak, we need to call Chip,” said Eddie, his voice timid after his outburst.
“You still here?” asked Jak.
“Got to keep him in the picture.”
“Can’t he watch TV like the rest of us?”
China glanced at the huge two-way mirrors that dominated the massive open plan ground floor. Unseen CCTV cameras recorded every movement, every word.
A mobile rang.
“China, I believe our friends have finally arrived. Entertain them until darkness falls,” said Chip.
“Shall I fuck them?”
Jak noticed her when the ‘fuck’ word was aired. He turned from the TV screen, gave her the once over, like she was a second hand motor on its last legs. He wasn’t the first to view her as white trash and would not be the last. She eyed him up too, although she did not want a fuck buddy. China lusted after a white stallion man to ride to her and Rose’s rescue, a hero not intimidated by Chip and his cronies.
“No need to be so crude, I was thinking of a cup of tea, a slice of cake, maybe brunch,” said Chip. “Ask Eddie and Jak if their Christian DeVeres’ mission was successful?”
“Yes, your man is toast.”
“A total fuck up, Jimmy’s bloody dead. Saw it with my own eyes. Jesus, Chip. A fucking nightmare,” said Switchblade Eddie as he opened a second bottle of Jack D.
“The man lost his head.”
She heard a snort from Chip. He didn’t give a toss about Jimmy Doyle’s death. Or Christian DeVeres who habitually hung around her kitchen for the last six months as he cooked the books and cleaned dirty money while Rose played, danced and skipped.
What unpredictable madness had taken place? Chip had lost the plot. He ranted at her. “No more cock ups. Stay put until collection. No calls. No contacts with anyone. Understand China? You’re responsible for them two. Tell them and get their approval.”
She did as she was told on automatic pilot. They nodded imperceptibly.
“I’ve got to go China, fucking them might be a good idea. Stop them killing each other. Better still, let them fight. Save us a lot of bother,” said Chip before he cut the call.
“You two better behave or I’ll give you both a spanking.”
They ignored her, the two of them less than a dozen paces apart. Eddie produced a blade, eight inches of Sheffield cold steel, clasped in his right hand.
Jak looked nonplussed. “You as good at maths as your brother was at riding a motorcycle? What happened to the shooter?” He took off his jacket and black t-shirt, pulled off black boots, unbuttoned 501 black jeans, stood there almost naked in CK boxers. “These will need washing and drying. Did you count? How many bullets left? How fast are you Eddie? Faster than a Black Talon bullet?”
Eddie backed off towards the door, away from Jak.
“Chip said stay put.”
“Open the door,” said Jak. He watched Switchblade Eddie pull on the JD. “Put the knife down, unless your mum wants a two-for-one funeral deal.”
A single loud sob from Eddie broke the tension.
Bizarrely, China felt sorry for him, if sorrow and hatred were complementary emotions, like anxiety and fear. She didn’t know. She was an emotional cripple herself. Only Rose kept her sane.
“You’re not having my blade you cunt,” cried Eddie. Jak’s intensity had reduced him to tears.
She opened the door. He glided out into the cold and the wet. She slammed the door shut. China looked over at Jak to see what happened next. She searched for the words to make the right impression. He took the decision away from her, pointed to his dirty laundry, pulled out a pistol from his jacket.
“One bullet left. We only had five. He made the right choice. Put my clothes in the wash. Now about this fuck?”
If this extract has you wanting more, then Without Rules will be available to buy on Monday, October 15th.
Andrew lives, works and plays in Manchester, England, Europe, with his partner, Catherine. He has been a trade journalist in Southampton in his youth. He owned a PR agency in the nineties and early noughties and is now an independent PR, marketing and publishing consultant looking forward to the challenge of becoming the story with the publication of Without Rules.