Extract: Highbridge by Phil Redmond
As the creator of Grange Hill, Brookside and Hollyoaks, Phil Redmond is renowned for his dramatic, compelling writing – and now, in Highbridge, he’s turning his hand to crime fiction.
Three years ago, Janey Nolan was murdered in the centre of town. Today, no one knows who did it.
Sick of waiting for the powers that be to rid the streets and school gates of dealers, druggies and parasites, Janey’s brothers want to avenge her death. While Sean decides to explore the routes and corridors of political power, Joey chooses more direct action in and among the alleys and pathways of the neighbourhood itself. But can the brothers find Janey’s killer without bringing more danger to their town?
Read on for an extract from this gripping new novel…
Like most people, Janey knew she was going to die. But like everyone else she just didn’t know when. She never imagined nor expected it to be outside the Co-op.
Like a lot of people she was simply looking forward to a great Friday night out with her sister-in-law and gang of mates, so had stopped at the cash machine. She had just got back to her car and was fumbling for her keys when she felt the shove that sent her one way and her bag and keys the other.
Lying sprawled on the ground she saw the indicators flash, heard the doors unlock, and realised she was being mugged. As the engine started she pushed herself up and leaned over the front of the bonnet holding her hands out, instinctively, perhaps in the vague hope that whoever it was would stop before running her down. But when her eyes locked with the wild, dilated ones peering over the nodding Buddha she kept on the dashboard, she knew there was no hope.
The Peugeot 207’s low-profiled front end did what it was designed to do and scooped her up to prevent her being run down. Before the car swerved right to throw her off – where she smashed her skull against the car park wall. This in itself might have been fatal, but the carjacker couldn’t know this.
But those wild eyes had seen hers. And her eyes had seen the face that contained them. That was why the car stopped. Then reversed. At speed. To run her over.
Then, just in case, the car jumped forward and crushed any remaining life out of Janey. Then, again, to make sure, reversed. Then leapt forward over what was now nothing more than a lifeless shape. To escape. Swinging out into the High Street and off into the night.
The withdrawal receipt from the cash machine fluttered and blew in the backdraught, coming to rest against the lamppost that illuminated the place where Janey had died. The latest random casualty of the so-called war on drugs.
The receipt was for £45. It was all she had had. Just enough for a night out. Or a night’s supply.
Janey never knew her killer. Neither did Buddha. Three years on, nor did anyone else.