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Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Do you like an #alternated #history book? Check out this jailhouse 'interview' with Clyde (Bonnie 'n' Clyde) @cowboyvamp


A jailhouse interview with Clyde Barrow

from a book called
Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road
by

Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall



Interview recorded by Royce Jenkins, a reporter for the Texas Lubbock Dispatch

My name is Clyde Barrow and I am a thief, a murderer and a product of wealth inequality. 

You may know me from the shenanigans I got caught up in with the love of my life, Bonnie Parker. Most folks think Bonnie and Clyde got cut down in a hail of bullets outside of Sailes, Louisiana in 1934, and most folks figured we got what was coming to us — neither is exactly true. 

I ain’t proud of the things we done, but I’m not exactly ashamed either. I wish no one had died, that’s for certain, but when the system is stacked against you from the get go, things are going to turn out bad. I always say, you kick a dog long enough, one day, you’re gonna get bit.

In my day, it was the Great Depression that lit the fuse. Right before that was what they called the Gilded Age, with the Robber Barons — the captains of industry — rigging all the laws, so them and their pals could carve off bigger and bigger slices of the pie until the whole thing came crashing down like an outhouse in a tornado. 

You think it was the rich that suffered? If you know your history, you know that ain’t true. It was the poor folks who live hand-to-mouth who paid the price. Me and my family, our neighbors, we was the ones standing in soup lines and living under bridges, with no jobs and no hope. 

As a result of that, I grew up dirt poor in Cement City, a little hellhole outside of Dallas, Texas. There wasn’t but two ways to make it out of Cement City: dead or in prison.

I tried to play it square, tried to get a job, but there wasn’t no jobs to be had and what there was didn’t pay enough scratch to get by. Sound familiar?

Rooting around in the dirt for a dying wage, like a hog under an acorn tree, well that wasn’t for me. No sir. I figured if the fat cats could take what they wanted, I could too. Only problem was, when some no-account like me steals a broken-down car or a truck full of turkeys, well them old boys running America, well, they just couldn’t have that. 

Right away I ended up in jail — and they made me work for free inside prison. The bosses, them at owned the prisons, actually profited by keeping me locked up. The prisons today are full of young men and women who try to get by selling weed, but they sure ain’t overcrowded with the Wall Street sharks that caused the latest Great Recession and stole hundreds of millions in the process. 

Ain’t we learned nothing from history? Can’t hardly believe were running through the same thing today. The robber barons damn near ruined this country, and they’re about to do it again.

Me and Bonnie helped out in 1934 by keeping old FDR safe from an assassin so he could put in the New Deal, giving the working man a voice with unions, regulating Wall Street and so on. But money has its own gravity, and now the super-rich are pulling the government levers behind the scenes to make it even harder for the working class, even though they tell us to our faces that they ain’t.

In this day and age, wealth inequality is even worse than at the height of the robber barons in the 1930s. Right now, in America, the top ten percent of the country controls damn near 80 percent of the wealth. And it gets worse the richer they are. What do they need all that money for?

They’re spending billions trying to convince us about some trickle-down nonsense. Saying if they get taxed less and if they don’t have no regulations and if the government doesn’t invest in public programs it will all be magically better for the working man! That’s a load of manure. It wasn’t true in 1929 and it sure as hell ain’t true now. That’s like saying the working class might get a few more scraps falling from the rich folks’ dinner table if they just pile up even more mountains of food on their fancy plates. It’s all a damn lie.

Got to be blind to not see that we’re speeding head first into something even worse than the Great Depression. Don’t know why rich people can’t just do the right thing. Recognize that profits are for everyone working to make them, not just to be hoarded by the ones lucky enough to own the capital. There’s more than enough money to go around, still leaving plenty for the rich to have their yachts and jets.

I ain’t suggesting people pick up guns and start robbing and running, like me and Bonnie. That won’t get you nowhere but in jail or dead in a ditch. But I am suggesting folks wise up to the real criminals who keep bleeding the working class, squeezing the disenfranchised and lining their pockets, all from the tops of their gilded towers. 

Me and Bonnie may have been murderers and thieves, but we knew what we were doing was wrong. I ain’t so sure about this new crop of Robber Barons. That scares me more than looking down the barrel of a Tommy gun. 


Introducing...
Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road

In an alternate timeline, legendary lovers Bonnie and Clyde are given one last shot at redemption. Thrust into a Depression-era fight against greed they didn’t ask for, but now must win in order to save themselves and their families, will the notorious duo overcome their criminal pasts and put their “skills” to use fighting for justice for the working class?


Amazon

The story begins in 1984 when reporter Royce Jenkins gets a tip to meet an old woman at a Texas cemetery. Cradling an antique rifle and standing over a freshly dug grave, the old woman claims to be Bonnie Parker. Turns out, she says, it wasn’t Bonnie and Clyde who were ambushed fifty years earlier. Instead, the outlaws were kidnapped, forced into a covert life and given a deadly mission—save President Roosevelt from an assassination plot financed by wealthy industrialists determined to sink the New Deal.

Cutting back and forth between the modern era where the shocked reporter investigates the potential scoop-of-the-century, and the desperate undercover exploits of Bonnie and Clyde in 1934, Resurrection Road is a page-turning sleep-wrecker.

Bonnie and Clyde. Saving American democracy, one bank robbery at a time.
 

Friday, 24 November 2017

A character interview with Hattie Hastings @rararesources @audbyname #ghosts #books

…from the mind of a fictional character


by

Hattie Hastings
a character interview from Audrey Davis
The Haunting of Hattie Hastings



Today, I’m chatting to mother-of-one and recent widow, Hattie, about her views on the world and current affairs in general. Welcome, Hattie!
Thank you. I’m a little nervous, to be honest. I try to keep up-to-date with things, but I get upset when I watch the terrible atrocities being committed in the name of politics or religion. Or young children dying from preventable diseases or hunger. Gary – that’s my late husband – used to have to turn the TV over sometimes when I burst into tears.

Do you read a daily newspaper? Either a hard-copy or online?
I do skim through the Daily Mail online most days, but I get side tracked reading about celebrities or the latest ‘must have’ beauty treatment. I like The Times occasionally, for reviews and features mainly. Our local newspaper seems to be filled with stabbings, robberies and pensioners getting beaten up for the sake of a few pounds. It’s not like I live in a bad area, it just seems the world’s got nastier overall. As for politics, I can’t believe the mess we’re in right now. Brexit, Catalonia seeking independence, Trump as president – or, that muppet in the White House, as Gary called him – we seem to be sinking deeper into chaos and division.

If you could change one thing right now in the world, what would it be?
Crikey, there’s so much I’d love to change. Where to begin? I guess I’d stamp out racism, religious intolerance and any kind of bigotry. We’re all people, whatever our beliefs or skin colour. It breaks my heart when I see people killing each other because they disagree or they think their race is superior.

You lost your husband, Gary, in a terrible accident. I am so sorry. How have you managed to cope?
It’s not been easy, but my friends and family have been wonderful. The biggest thing to come out of it has been how it’s changed my attitude to death.

What do you mean, Hattie? How did you view it before, and what has changed now?
Erm, it’s a bit difficult to explain. Sorry. I don’t want to sound like a crazy person. I always believed that death was the end, that once you were gone, that was it. Now …

I’m intrigued! Have you visited a psychic, or something like that? Do you have a sense that Gary is still watching over you?
(There is a long pause, punctuated by some laughter and what sounds like a male voice).
Listen, let’s just say I’m much more open-minded these days. There are things in this world we can’t always explain. Losing a loved one is so hard, but maybe it’s not always the end of the road … sorry, can we change the subject?

Of course. You have a son, Johnny, who is twenty, I believe. Do you think life is harder for young people now that when you were that age?
Oh, without a doubt. On one hand they have the internet, social media, mobile phones and so on. So much information at their fingertips, but is it all for the good? I read about cyber bullying and people being persecuted online because of how they look. Everything’s disposable, and if you don’t have the latest gadget or the trendiest clothes, you can feel like a failure. Then there are all these students coming out of uni knee-deep in debt, and lucky to earn minimum wage. Johnny – well, he decided uni wasn’t for him – is writing a book on the subject. Although I haven’t seen much evidence of it so far! He’ll probably still be living at home when I collect my pension. That was a joke – I hope.

It’s been lovely to chat to you, Hattie. I thought I heard someone with you. Is that Johnny? Has he been sitting with you during our interview?
(Another pause, and the sound of something like a bell).
No, he’s not here. It was … someone else, but they’ve gone now. Thank you for having me.




Introducing...

The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part One

Some people just won't take death lying down … ! (NB: cliffhanger ending).

Part one of a fun-filled trilogy about life, death and letting go.
Hattie Hastings is happily married, even if husband Gary drives her up the wall at times. When tragedy strikes, she is left alone and heartbroken, with only an assortment of family and friends to prop her up.



Struggling to cope, she is left reeling when her deceased other half returns, popping up at the most inappropriate times.



Hattie can't convince anyone that Gary has returned. Not even best friend Cat – now free from the cruel and controlling Stewart – will believe her.
Why has Gary returned? And what will Cat do when her slimy ex-husband tries to worm his way back into her affections?
The Haunting of Hattie Hastings will make you laugh, cry and count down until Part Two …

About Audrey Davis
Audrey Davis
Scottish-born Audrey studied journalism in Edinburgh more decades ago than she cares to admit. She cut her writing teeth on provincial newspapers (using a typewriter) and a London-based video magazine (another sign of her advanced years).
Engagement to her now-husband Bill took them to Singapore, Australia and Buckinghamshire, England, before they settled in Switzerland in 2002. Along the way they had two boys, both all grown-up and living in the UK.
Her journey to becoming a published author began with an online Writing Fiction course. It took well over a year but, in June 2017, Audrey published her debut romantic comedy novel, A Clean Sweep. It was quickly followed by a shorter and darker prequel, A Clean Break.
The idea for The Haunting of Hattie Hastings came from nowhere, just a random title that popped into her head and from there grew into Part One of a trilogy. It comes under the same genre, but has some poignant scenes and – hopefully – lots of laughs! Audrey admits to being a worrier, and has always used humour as a defence mechanism, as her friends will attest.
When Audrey isn’t writing, she loves shows like The Walking Dead, American Horror Story and Strictly Come Dancing (a strange mix, she knows). Her interests include cooking (and eating pretty much anything apart from oysters), travelling and going to the gym. OK, the last one is mainly to compensate for her passion for food!
Audrey would describe herself as a ‘pantser’ rather than a ‘planner’, preferring to run where a story takes her and scribble copious notes along the way. She’d love to write a page-turning thriller, but fears her natural tendency to see the comic side of life might be an obstacle.





Monday, 20 November 2017

A modern-day Scrooge for all year round! #timetraveler #lovetoread #fantasy #timetravel #novels

When fictional characters move from books to the REAL WORLD.
…from the mind of a fictional character

by

Julie Compton
(a character from Louise Wise's Wide Awake Asleep)

"Julie Compton is already 'current'. She's a highbrow, business woman in joint ownership with an equally highbrow business woman. She's there, dammit. She's made it, despite her disastrous upbringing."


I sit back and admire my narrative that I've said about myself. Well, it's true I did have a disastrous childhood, and I dismiss all this nature V nurture rubbish giving lazy people excuses to sit on their arse and claim benefits from the taxes of hard working people like me.


My dad left when I was about four. It's hard to remember because he kept coming back to secretly visit me--he couldn't give me up, you see, it was only Mum he wanted to divorce. Except I was a constant pawn in her games.

She handed me to social services, and I ended up in care for two years. Those were the worse days of my life. When I came out, I was forced to go back to my mum despite my dad pushing for custody of me.

But look, that's all in the past. I've moved on, and now I have my own back because I've put her in a home now!

I sound smug, and I want to feel smug... except... I'm not. I'm sad that we don't have that mother and daughter bond. It's all too late now, of course. What's happened has happened. No going back, is there?

So, no, I'm not one of those sad individuals on shows like Benefit Street or Can't Pay? We'll Take it Away who constantly bang on about their 'poor me' situations? I've picked myself up, dusted myself down and bloody got on with it!

I started with nothing, and made something of myself... so why do I feel like a part of me is missing? I'm 49 years old, for Christ's sake! I should be settled. But I'm not. Something is missing from my life and I can't think what.

Julie Compton       
(Julie Compton writing before the accident and before 'shimmer man' sent her back in time to change her future.)
Introducing...
WIDE AWAKE ASLEEP

Julie Compton’s life should have come to an end in the car crash but instead she woke, unharmed, back in 1972 and primed to relive her life all over again.

One problem. She’s in the body of a stranger.
 

AMAZON.COM | AMAZON.UK


Journey back to the 70s and 80s England where Julie’s forced to jump through the eras, occupying and controlling the bodies of people she knew as a child. She must work out which destiny path was the wrong one, wondering all the while if her body, back in 2016, was dying in her car.

With each momentous change, her memories transform and she realises she’s not only changing her future but the futures of those around her.

A paranormal, time-slip adventure set in the real town of Northampton in England.


Excerpt taken from chapter five
Wide Awake Asleep


My head was buzzing; thoughts that weren’t mine invaded my mind. I looked over at the mirror on the dresser, then back at the contents of the bag on the bed. I looked at my hands. I’d noticed they looked different before, but I’d ignored their appearance—had to ignore it, to preserve my sanity.

A stranger’s thoughts persisted in my head. Mundane things of another life that I didn’t belong to.

I looked at the mirror again, then rose and forced my legs to move forwards. I knew I’d look different, but the jolt of shock hit me anyway. Instead of seeing my own face, I saw a young woman with a thin, pockmarked face and awful buck teeth. Instead of my blonde no-nonsense bob, my hair was long and brown. A wave of nausea turned my stomach as I stared at my reflection. I should be seeing a forty-nine-year-old woman in her prime, not a twenty-something scraggy-haired woman. I should be immaculately made up with perfect teeth and skin, not… not this.

An unexpected thought popped into my head. Will I look more professional if I put my hair up or should I leave it down? It wasn’t my thought. It belonged to whoever’s body I was occupying.

One thought was spinning around in my mind—and it was mine: I had died in the crash, and this was some sort of afterlife.

Amazon titles: http://amzn.to/1k6zpL0

Author page on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/NNuinW

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Saturday, 18 November 2017

An interview with a fictional character #Christmas #rocknroll @KiltieJackson @rararesources #currentaffairs #romance #win


…from the mind of a fictional character

a celebrity interview with

Pete Wallace
(a character from Kiltie Jackson's A Rock 'n' Roll Lovestyle: A Christmas Romance)



Dear readers, today we are discussing the topic of media intrusion into the lives of people in the public eye. Just how severe were the consequences of phone hacking and how did they affect those involved. Giving us his views on the matter, I am welcoming former singer from boy-band The Astons, and world number one solo artist, Mr Pete Wallace.

Pete, before we start, please can you tell us a little about yourself for the benefit of readers who were maybe not fans of The Astons.

Of course. I’m Pete Wallace and I’m a musician. I started off my career as one of the lead singers in The Astons when I was sixteen. I’m now a solo artist, aged 33 and I’ve spent most of my adult life in the public eye.

Pete, The Astons dominated the music scene for the best part of a decade, and were reported on almost daily in tabloid press. Would it be fair to say you courted the press attention in your younger days?

I think it would be fair to say the PR companies courted the press on our behalf. We were young and naïve and followed the guidance of those we believed knew better. We were told where to go, where to be, when to arrive and when to leave. We never considered that it was all engineered to maximise our exposure.

But surely you must have realised that being in the tabloids every day was no bad thing? It made you famous after all.

We were four lads who just wanted to make music. Of course we didn’t mind the trappings that came with becoming famous and successful but we never fully understood, at that time, the consequences that would accompany being ‘media darlings’.

And what would you say those consequences were Pete?

Predominately, the loss of one’s privacy. I can’t even begin to explain how it feels to look out of your window and see people raking through your rubbish bins, trying to find something they can report upon in their newspaper the next day. I mean, does anyone really want to know what my preferred brand of butter is?
Some would argue that people have a right to know.

I think there should be limits on what people have a right to know because, without them, people will never be satisfied and will always clamour for more. This results in those in the public eye being harassed more and more frequently in order to feed the beast that society is becoming. When all is said and done, most musicians and actors are simply trying to do a job which provides enjoyment to many people. When we choose to become entertainers, we don’t sign a document which signs away the rights to some kind of private life.

But the public are the people who pay for your music and watch the films. Without them, you don’t have a career.

It is fully appreciated that the general public are essential for our careers but being in the public eye doesn’t, or shouldn’t make us public property.

Further to the phone hacking scandal which came to light a few years ago, a number of cases are still being tried at this time. Were you affected by this?

Yes… Yes, I was. Well, my family was. (hesitation…) A very close friend of my father was caught up in the London bombings in 2005. My father knew his daily commute and knew immediately that he would have been in the area where one of the bombs detonated. He tried to call him many times and left several messages asking him to call back. When it was reported later that ‘a close family friend of Pete Wallace’ had been killed in the attacks, we were gobsmacked because very few people could have known this information. This resulted in my parents being hounded even further by the paparazzi who were doing all they could to dig up any snippet of information on the victims. This was the final straw for them and, not long after that, they began to make plans to move to Austria.

Were you affected in any other ways by this?

Well it pushed my family into moving to another country. This caused a breakdown in the close relationship I had with my parents. Something had shifted and it never felt quite the same after that. I also firmly believe that, had they not felt compelled to leave the country, they would still be alive today.

Are you referring to their death when you were in hospital?

That’s correct. Once again, the lies printed in the press caused them pain and upset. They died believing an untruth.

Would you like to expand further on that?

No thank you. It’s probably best that I don’t.

Fair enough. So, to finish, do you feel measures should be put in place that restrict what the press and media can report?

I feel that the ‘freedom of the press’ is taken too literally and that some boundaries need to be put in place. If public figures are merely being hounded because their picture on the front page helps to sell copies, then that has to be curbed. If there is a legitimate investigation going on where it is believed somebody is involved in say sexual exploitation or fraudulent activities, then these should be looked into thoroughly. The press need to use more common sense. They do a great job in exposing wrong-doings but they undermine their credibility when they report lies and untruths that caused untold damage to the lives of innocent people.

Pete, thank you for being here today and for sharing your thoughts with us.

Thank you for having me as your guest.

Introducing...

A Rock 'n' Roll Lovestyle
So who exactly is Sukie McClaren?
A Christmas-loving Cat lover? A Sound of Music Fanatic? A Fiercely Independent Woman?

She is all of the above. And when she is sent to Salzburg for a business trip a few weeks before Christmas, she thinks all her dreams have come true. As she packs her suitcase, the only things on her mind are Christmas markets, lots of snow and finally seeing the Doh-Ray-Me steps. Becoming the new best friend of the world’s hottest rock-star doesn’t even get a look in.
BUY NOW!
Pete Wallace is a reclusive, reluctant, rock-star and the world’s Number One, best-selling, male solo artist. It’s been three years since his last tour and he’s now preparing to go back on the road again. A week in Salzburg, schmoozing with the music press, is one of his worst nightmares. 

He can’t wait for it to be over.

When Pete and Sukie meet, it is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Lonely for too long, he begins to remember how it feels to be happy and, for the first time in six years, Christmas feels special again. 

Eduardo di Santo however, whose kid sister suffered life-changing injuries at a Pete Wallace concert, is all set on getting revenge. When Pete’s new tour is announced, he begins to make his plans. Plans that will culminate in Pete's demise.

Will Pete and Sukie’s new friendship die before it has a chance to flourish?

A Christmas tale full of love, laughter, friendship and revenge.


Kiltie Jackson grew up in Glasgow, Scotland but currently lives in Staffordshire.

Kiltie first began writing 'A Rock 'n' Roll Lovestyle' over ten years ago. The project was shelved on Chapter Seventeen as she felt the story wasn't flowing as she would like it to.

In her own words "The images in my head would not come out of my fingers!" Fast forward to November 2016 when, having finished reading Lizzie's Christmas Escape by Christie Barlow, she read more about the author and was inspired with how Christie herself came to be a best-selling author.

In that thunderbolt moment, Kiltie knew - with a deep certainty- that she needed to reacquaint herself with 'A Rock 'n' Roll Lovestyle' and begin writing again. She did this in January 2017 and found the words flowed faster than she could type them. Finally, the time was right for her to write her novel.

She currently has a further ten plots and ideas stored in her file (it's costing a fortune in USB drives as each story has its own memory stick!) and the ideas still keep on coming.

She now lives her life around the following three quotes:
"I love having weird dreams, they're great fodder for book plots!"
"Why wait for your ship to come in when you can swim out to meet it?"
"Old enough to know better, young enough not to care!"
Giveaway – Win a £40 / $40 Amazon Voucher

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

If fictional characters were real and LIVED ALONGSIDE US @StephenBentley8 #1970s #crime



Monday, 13 November 2017

Vampires, a malevolent presence, secrets... all is told in this #paranormal #YA novel by @SusanneLeist

THE DEAD GAME

by

Susanne Leist

Linda moves to a small town to live a quiet life. She opens a bookstore and makes new friends. Life is simple – that is until the dead body washes up on shore.

Linda is horrified to find that dead bodies and disappearing tourists are common for this town. As soon as the sun sets, the residents are stalked by dark shadows.

But this is only the beginning.

Amazon.com | Amazon.uk | Nook
Linda and her friends receive an unsigned invitation to a party at a deserted house. They are pursued through revolving rooms and dangerous traps, barely escaping with their lives. Two of their own remain trapped in the house. Or so they think.


They must embark on a difficult journey, chased by unnatural creatures, not knowing whom to trust, to uncover the one controlling the game and everyone else in town.  Who are The Dead? Are they humans or vampires?


The Dead Game has begun.

Excerpt from
The Dead Game


    “I’ll be back for you,” Wolf held her tight against his body and whispered in her ear, “I love the way you stand up to me with your flashing blue eyes. Soon you’ll be mine, my beautiful ice queen.”

    Linda couldn’t move her body. She was stuck in some kind of trance…she couldn’t leave; she didn’t want to leave if given the choice. His voice soothed her and made her think of love, passion, and great need: a need that could only be satisfied by him with his expert hands and mouth. She knew that one day she was going to be with him, to be joined with him.

    His lowered his mouth onto hers and drew her into a swirling miasma of unexpected feelings and desires. His mouth fully covering hers introduced her to a new realm of pure pleasure. His powerful form enveloped her, making her feel feelings that were foreign and untried for her. She couldn’t get enough of him. She tentatively began touching his face and then his body with an eager and unrelenting hunger. She didn’t know what she needed, but she knew that she wanted and desired this beautiful man standing right before her. Her past life was washed out of her mind, never to be considered again. She begged him to take her with him tonight. In response, Wolf lifted her in his arms, as if she weighed nothing, and turned to leave the party. His beautiful face looked victorious and happy. His black eyes filled with passion. She hoped that it was because of her. Then he looked down into her small face and gave a hearty roar.

    While Wolf carried her in his powerful arms, a dark shadow flew out of the house directly at them. Linda was knocked out of his arms, and Wolf was thrown across the patio.



·      











Thursday, 9 November 2017

How far would you go to uncover the secrets of your past? .@Seb_Kirby #psychological #thriller #IARTG #BYNR

find out in...

SUGAR FOR SUGAR 

by
Seb Kirby


How far would you go to uncover the secrets of your past?

Issy Cunningham has made a new life for herself but that's all about to come crashing down.


If only she could recall what happened that Valentine's Eve, she would be able to tell the police what really took place.


But those memories won't come because there's too much in the past that troubles her.

How can she set the record straight when her past won't let her be?


Amazon
Excerpt from
Sugar for Sugar


A sound from somewhere far off, getting closer all the time.
I open my eyes. The phone is ringing.
I pick it up and look at the image on the screen.
The bearded man again, the one with the name Colin Tempest next to his photo. Someone I must know. I have to answer.
I take the call.
A male voice. “Issy, I’ve been trying to reach you but you haven’t been answering.”
I can’t concentrate on what he’s saying. I say the only thing that comes to me. “Who are you?”
  “Don’t be foolish, Issy. It’s Colin. We need to talk.”
It’s a voice I’ve heard before.
  “I can’t talk now.”
He’s insistent. “I can come over. Where are you?”
I look around the room. It doesn’t look familiar. I say the only thing I can. “I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve ever been in this place before.”
There’s a new note of concern in his voice. “I’ll find a way to help you, to make amends if you just tell me where you are.”
Make amends? So he’s done something to me. He thinks the reason I’m not talking to him is because of that.
  “Tell me what you did to me.”
  “I’m sorry, Issy. I’m really sorry but he left me no choice. You were the only one I could turn to, the only one who might have convinced him to change his mind.”
  “What happened to Mike?”
  “You know what happened to him, Issy. He died. A heart attack. You must know that. Why are you trying to pretend that none of this has happened?”
Mike is dead. I must have known that. 
Is this the reason for these feelings of guilt I can’t control?
“I’m not pretending.”
He pauses for longer than he should. “The police have been here. What if they start interviewing everyone? It won’t be long before they get round to you and me. Whatever else is said, I need you to promise you won’t reveal our secret. You know it would ruin me and my family.” 
I don’t know any secret. Why would he think I did?
  “If anyone asks it’s not going to be a problem for me to tell them I don’t know.”
  “Thank you, Issy. I knew I could depend on you.”
I stare again at the profile picture of the bearded man.
He wants me to trust him again but I know I can’t.
His voice breaks into my thoughts once more. “Look, Issy. I’ve got to go. Something urgent. Thanks for your help. Thanks for being so understanding. Thanks for everything.” 
He closes the line.
I know that what’s been said won’t last long in my mind. I make a note on the phone.
Mike is dead. 
Why do I feel so guilty? 
Colin behaves like he owes me.