Ann Bloxwich – What Goes Around (Blog Tour)
I am delighted to be sharing an extract of Ann Bloxwich’s debut novel, What Goes Around, today. Many of you may know Ann from crime fiction festivals and bookish events or social media – she is an awesome supporter of crime writers and a voracious reader, and an all-round wonderful person, and I’m utterly thrilled that she is now being published. Yes indeed, she is a friend, but as with other friends, her book makes it on to my blog on its own merits – I will be posting a review later in the year.
First, the official blurb: Becky Wilson is dating Ray Diamond, legendary stripper and renowned bad boy. She goes backstage to see him during a show with friends and disappears. When a woman’s body is found behind the club, DI Alex Peachey and his team are called in to find out who killed Becky. But with his home life in turmoil, delving into the adult entertainment industry is the last thing he needs, especially with a case as complex as a spider’s web. But due to his colleague’s sudden illness he doesn’t have a choice. Ray Diamond claims he’s being framed. His complete disregard for others means there are a lot of people who would love to see him fall from his pedestal. The question is, does anyone hate him enough to push him? And will DI Peachey be able to prove him culpable of murder before he strikes again?
Alex Peachey moved slowly through the park, eyes scanning the horizon, ears straining to alert him to any sounds. It seemed deserted, but he knew that failing to be vigilant could cost him his life. He’d called for back-up some time ago, but it had yet to arrive. He knew that the gunman was somewhere in the park, he’d chased him in here after the little boy had been shot. The weather was bitter and the ground frozen solid.
Alex used the dense foliage to his advantage as he crept forward, trying to keep his breath shallow so the enemy wouldn’t spot the frosty clouds that came out of his mouth. Something caused the clump of bushes near the seesaw to tremble, so he took cover and waited. A glint of light between the leaves caught his eye. Alex felt the tension bunch in his shoulders as he prepared to take the shot.
A hand on his shoulder startled him, causing him to shout. He turned to see his wife standing behind him, a look of disapproval on her face.
‘Alex, I’ve been calling you for ages! Now get off that damned computer, your dinner’s ready.’
Alex turned back to his online game to see that the sniper had broken cover and shot his character dead.
‘Bollocks,’ he said, as he logged off and shut down the computer. He stood up and stretched until his fingers brushed the ceiling, feeling his joints pop and crack like breakfast cereal. He pushed his dark blond hair back off his forehead and wandered out into the kitchen.
Jayne had made Alex’s favourite – shepherd’s pie, with cabbage and carrots. He breathed in deeply, savouring the rich meaty smell. He stood behind his wife, wrapped his arms around her and rested his chin on top of her head.
‘That looks terrific,’ he said. ‘You haven’t got much though.’ Her plate contained a third of the food that Alex’s did. ‘Well, I’m trying to be good, I’ve still a few pounds to shift,’ she replied. He squeezed her gently. ‘You look beautiful to me just the way you are, and I love the new hair colour.’ She smiled at him and touched the ends of her brunette bob. ‘I fancied a change. Do you think it suits me?’ ‘It makes me think about skipping dinner and going straight to dessert,’ he grinned. She giggled and handed him his plate. They went through to the dining room, one of the few rooms not taken over by boxes, and sat at the table. Their son was at his friend’s house for a sleepover, so they had the place to themselves for a change.
‘How’s Joel been today?’ Alex asked between mouthfuls of food. He was trying hard not to eat it too fast, it was so good.
Jayne poured some water for them both. ‘He was fine, no tantrums or anything. The staff at college said he’d been a bit loud, but nothing they couldn’t deal with.’
‘That’s good. I did wonder if he’d be more agitated with the move looming, but he seems to be handling it well.’
‘Don’t speak too soon,’ Jayne warned. ‘You know how regimented he can be. He’s going to find it difficult when his routines are disrupted.’ ‘More challenging than usual then…great. Not,’ Alex said. ‘Tell me about it,’ Jayne grumbled as she pushed away her empty plate. ‘This morning he was upset because there were no cornflakes left. I offered him toast but he says he always has cornflakes on a Friday. In the end I had to go out and buy some.’
‘Don’t worry, in a couple of weeks this will all be over then he’ll settle down again,’ Alex said, picking up the plates and carrying them through to the kitchen.
When he came back, Jayne had gone into the lounge. He flopped down onto the sofa next to her, rubbing his stomach in satisfaction. She flicked through the film channels, trying to decide what to put on.
‘That was terrific,’ he said with a sigh. ‘How was work?’
‘It was hectic. We’re trying to get this book event sorted out as well as deal with Christmas shoppers, so I didn’t leave until an hour after closing time. Joel being at his friend’s was a blessing.’
‘I’ll stick a poster up in the station for you if you like.’ Alex stroked Jayne’s hair and kissed her before turning his attention back to the television.
‘So, what are we watching tonight?’
Ann is a married mother of four grown-up children. Her passions include books, cats and rock music. She started writing around ten years ago, but struggled until she discovered a crime writing workshop, called Crime and Publishment, established by author Graham Smith, in Gretna. The support and encouragement she received from her peers on the course was fantastic and it prompted her to move with her family from the West Midlands to Scotland, so she could concentrate on her writing. She has had short stories published in two anthologies, titled Happily Never After and Wish You Weren’t Here, with all profits going to charity.
You can follow the author on Twitter here: @AnnBloxwich