The Night the Rich Men Burned by Malcolm Mackay – Extract

The Night the Rich Men Burned

PROLOGUE

He ended up unconscious and broken on the floor of a warehouse, penniless and alone. He was two weeks in hospital, unemployable thereafter, but that didn’t matter. What mattered was that, for a few weeks beforehand, he had money. Not just a little money, but enough to show off with, and that was the impression that stuck.

It had been a while since they’d seen him. Months, probably. They were heading back from the job centre having made a typically fruitless effort at sniffing out employment. They went in, they searched the touchscreen computer near the door, and they left. Two friends, officially unemployed since the day they left school together a year before, both willing to do unofficial work if that was available. They bumped into Ewan Drummond as they walked back up towards Peterkinney’s grandfather’s flat.

‘All right lads,’ Drummond said, grinning at them, ‘need a lift anywhere?’ He was as big and gormless as ever, but the suggestion of transport was new.

‘Lift? From you?’ Glass asked.

‘Yeah, me. Got myself a motor these days. Got to have one in my line of work, you know.’ He said it to provoke questions that would allow him to trot out boastful answers. Glass and Peterkinney looked at each other before they looked at Drummond. There wasn’t a lot of work among their circle of friends. The kind of work that let a man like Drummond make enough money to buy a car was unheard of. They could guess what was involved in the work, but they wanted to hear it.

‘Yeah, we’ll take a lift,’ Peterkinney nodded.

They followed Drummond back down to where his car was parked. Turned out to be a very respectable-looking saloon, not some old banger or boy racer’s toy.

‘Well, yeah, got to keep up appearances you see.’

Glass dropped into the passenger seat, Peterkinney the back. They were in no hurry to get anywhere, but this was too intriguing to pass on.

‘Come on then big man,’ Glass said with a mischievous smile, ‘what’s this big job you got?’

‘Well, uh, I can’t really tell you much. Shouldn’t tell you much, I mean. Hush-hush, you know.’

By this point Peterkinney was leaning over from the back seat, crowding Drummond, knowing he couldn’t keep quiet for long. Drummond’s mouth and brain had always been loosely acquainted, so things he shouldn’t say frequently slipped out.

‘I mean, I suppose I can tell you a bit, but you got to keep it quiet, right.’

‘Sure,’ they answered together.

‘I’m working for Potty Cruickshank. I’m one of his boys.’ He said it with such pride, such force, that they both assumed it meant something. Then they thought about it.

‘Who?’ Glass asked.

‘One of his boys? The hell does that mean?’ Peterkinney asked warily.

‘Nah, nothing like that. He’s, like, a debt collector. I go round and pick up money that people owe him. It’s all legit. Well, sort of, financial services, that sort of thing. Good money, real good money. You know how much I made last week alone?’

‘Isn’t that dangerous?’ Peterkinney asked.

‘Not really, no. Well, now and again, but you got to be tough to make a living these days, guys, that’s how it is. How else you going to make good money?’ Said with wisdom he presumed but didn’t possess. ‘So come on, guess what I made last week.’ He was desperate to tell them by this point and unwilling to wait for a guess that might be accurate enough to take the wind out of his sails. ‘Six-fifty I made last week. Worked four days, couple of hours a day. Six-fifty. I’m telling you, it’s the life.’

They didn’t say much more to Drummond; just let him rumble on about how much money he was making until he dropped them off. They walked up to the flat Peterkinney shared with his grandfather, a poky little place you would only invite a real friend back to. They went silently into Peterkinney’s small bedroom, a cramped room with nothing in the way of luxuries. There was only one subject of conversation.

‘Six-fifty a week he’s making. Him,’ Glass said. ‘He’s making ten times what we make on Job Seekers’.’

‘Come on, it ain’t six-fifty a week. It was six-fifty in one week, but that doesn’t mean he’ll get it every week. And look what he has to do for it. How long you think it’s going to be before someone kicks the living shit out of him? His teeth will be down his throat and his money will be up the wall.’

Glass sighed. ‘All right, yeah, fine, but look at the money. He’s making good money. Even if it’s short-term, right, it’s still money. And he’s got to do some shitty stuff for it, but come on, you think we’re going to get a job that pays us that for non-shitty work?’

‘I don’t think we’re going to get a job at all,’ Peterkinney sighed, and slumped back on his bed.

A sentence he was tired of uttering. Glass sat on the chair in the room and tilted his head back, thinking about Ewan Drummond. No smarter than either him or Peterkinney, probably less so. No tougher when push came to shove, although he was bigger than them, which helped. He was no better connected than they were, which was to say that he hadn’t been connected to the criminal industry at all as far as Glass knew. Must have gotten his foot in the door without realizing where he was stepping. All of which suggested that employment in the business, and six hundred and fifty quid a week, was within their grasp.

Glass didn’t say any of this to Peterkinney because he knew what the reaction would be. Peterkinney would pour scorn on it; tell him he needed to get real. Peterkinney was all about getting whatever job he could, no daydreaming attached. That was fine by Glass; how his best friend had always been. A realist. They left school underqualified and stumbled together into a job market that had no room for them or interest in them. So they struggled along together, and were still struggling.

Glass couldn’t stop thinking about it, and that was really the point. People like Ewan Drummond were useful both in the work they did and the people they encouraged. None too bright and loaded with cash. He was a walking billboard for employers like Potty Cruickshank. A debt collector like Potty had a high turnover of staff, so that positive PR was worth its weight. Glass saw Drummond and knew he was at least as capable. Six-fifty a week, four days a week, a couple of hours a day. Think about it. The money, the cars, the women, the parties. Him and Peterkinney, lounging around doing fuck all, waiting for some godawful nine-to-five that would pay them buttons and last six months if they were lucky. No, what Drummond was doing, that was real work.

It wouldn’t have mattered if Glass had known. Even if he’d seen Drummond lying on that warehouse floor two weeks later, it would have made no impact. He would have spent the previous two weeks thinking of nothing but the money Drummond was making, and working out how he and Peterkinney could do the same. Nothing, no matter how grim, was going to change his mind. That was the way to make good money. That was the best option.

‘I’ll ask the old man if he’s heard of anything going,’ Peterkinney said quietly. ‘We can go back down the job centre again in a couple of days.’ His grandfather was going to have a word with a friend at a packaging factory on their behalf sometime today, although that would lead nowhere as usual. Their names on a list for future reference.

‘Yeah,’ Glass said. But he wasn’t thinking about the job centre. Wasn’t thinking about any sort of work that was going to be advertised. He was thinking of the world Drummond now inhabited. He was thinking of the money. He was thinking of the life.

PART ONE

1

Start with a kick to the door. He got a crack out of it, and the plain door shuddered in the frame. Didn’t open though. Still staring back at them. Try again. Not a boot this time. Give it a shoulder. A short run-up and a collision with the door. A bigger crack and the door caves in, buckled on the hinges and smashed around the lock. Alex Glass stumbles in with it. ‘Shit.’ A mutter under his breath. Embarrassed by his ungainly entrance. Embarrassment pushed aside by an attempt at professionalism. He’s taking the lead here. Older by six months. His accomplice, Oliver Peterkinney, is still only nineteen. Anyway, this is Glass’s job. He set it up. He found the target.

They’re searching downstairs, through the kitchen, through the living room. It’s a small house, which helps. Tidy as well, everything where it should be. No rubbish for someone to leap out from behind. Flicking lights on and off as they check each room. No attempt at subtlety, not after that entrance. To the bottom of the stairs. If he’s here, he’s heard them by now. He’s had time enough to get a weapon. They didn’t plan for that. What if he keeps a weapon by his bed?

Something else to put on the long list of things they didn’t plan for.

A light comes on at the top of the stairs. Glass and Peterkinney look at each other. Never been here before. Never been in this situation. If they had to make a splitsecond decision, they would be too late. A man has emerged at the top of the stairs. Older than these two by ten years. Fatter by three stone. Wearing nothing but his boxer shorts. That makes up their minds for them.

They’re looking up the stairs, necks craned. Suddenly feeling confident. The amateurs just got lucky, as all amateurs need to in this business. Peterkinney moves up one step.

‘All right, Holmes,’ he’s saying. Because it is Jim Holmes, the target. He doesn’t need clothes to look like his picture. Big and broad, with a thick head of dark hair and a dimpled chin. ‘We can sort this out nice and quiet. No need for trouble.’ Peterkinney’s smart enough to know how dumb that sounds. You smash your way into a guy’s house and tell him there’s no need for trouble. This isn’t how Peterkinney would have played it.

Holmes had his hands in the air, but they’re falling now. Who did he think he was going to find at the bottom of the stairs? Maybe the police. Probably the police. Would be about fucking time. He’d raise his hands to them; try to make a good impression. Could have been worse than the police. Could have been a real tough guy. He knows Marty Jones is looking

for him. Wants to send a strong message. Marty’s big on sending messages. Marty is under the protection of Peter Jamieson. That could get him the use of a man like Nate Colgan. Now there’s a man you raise your hands to, no matter how tough you are. But these two? These are just kids. The one coming up the stairs doesn’t even look like he’s started shaving.

‘The fuck are you pair?’ Holmes is growling. Going for his best tough-guy voice, which is pretty good by general standards. He’s had plenty of practice. Being a tough guy is his job. It’s how he makes his living. Marty lends money to people. That money gathers interest at a mathematically improbable rate. Men like Holmes collect the debt. But Holmes got a little tired of handing all that nice money over to a smarmy prick like Marty. Holmes did the hard work, deserved more of the reward. So he started keeping a bigger share for himself. Took Marty an awful long time to work that out, for a guy who figures himself as sharp as a razor. But he was always going to work it out eventually. Marty’s no mug.

‘We’re here for Marty,’ Glass is saying. Saying it like it means something.

Peterkinney, three steps up, is looking back at him. Scowling. Shouldn’t have said Marty. Should have said Jamieson. That would have carried more weight. Common sense says you exaggerate the power you have behind you.

Pft.’ A snort of derision. Not aimed at Marty. Holmes isn’t stupid either; he knows how dangerous Marty can be. A well-connected guy with a big ego and a short temper? Those are always dangerous. ‘He sending kids to do his fighting for him now?’ There’s a smile in his eyes. Marty actually has sent kids. There are other debt collectors he could have sent. Tough guys. They’d have done it too, for the right price, even though they know Holmes. Plenty of general muscle he could have hired for the job. But Marty sent the cheap option. A couple of kids looking to make a good first impression.

‘Look, we can sort this out,’ Glass is saying from the bottom of the stairs. Still trying to lure him down. Trying to fool a man who does this for a living. Still hoping this can be easy. It was never going to be that easy.

Peterkinney isn’t waiting. Holmes won’t be won round. Once he has it in his head that they’re kids, he’s going to treat them that way until they change his mind. Only way to change his mind is to do what they came here to do. And the clock is ticking. You don’t think the neighbours heard them smash the door in? You don’t think they’ll be calling the police right now?

Glass is about to open his mouth to say something else when Peterkinney moves. Jumping two steps at a time, getting to Holmes and making a grab for him. So what if he’s older? So what if he’s tougher, has a reputation for bad things? He’s nearly naked. There are two of them. They came here to send a message for Marty. They can’t leave until they’ve tried and they need to leave soon. So you do something, don’t you?

Holmes has seen him coming. Leaning his weight forwards on the balls of his feet. Shoulders down, ready. Peterkinney is two steps from the top and reaching out for a grab. It looks like a wild attempt. A throw of the arms in the general direction of the target. An amateur lunging at a pro. That’s what Holmes thinks. It’s what he thinks when he throws his weight directly at Peterkinney. He thinks he’s going to knock the kid back down the way he came.

That’s not what Peterkinney’s thinking. He’s thrown his arms out there, but he’s not watching where he’s throwing. He’s watching Holmes’s feet. Waiting for that reactive lurch forwards. And now it’s coming, and Peterkinney’s moving his feet, pushing himself backwards against the stair wall with a thud. Watching as Holmes goes sailing past. Holmes’s shoulder catches him, but it’s glancing, no impact. Holmes is falling onto the stairs, shouting something loud that doesn’t involve words. But Holmes has experience of falling over at other people’s insistence. This is standard for him. He’s managed to push out and wedge himself in the stairs, three steps down from the top.

But that isn’t enough to make him safe. Not nearly enough, and Holmes knows it. You can’t be on your back in this situation. You’re either on your feet or you’re out of the fight. You can rely on them being kids, but you can’t rely on them being stupid. Before Holmes can struggle to his feet, Peterkinney’s got his first kick in.

Knocking Holmes down a couple of steps with the first kick. Holmes shouting, but this fight is over. All Holmes has left is noise. Peterkinney jumping downward, kicking into Holmes with both feet. Peterkinney’s landing on his arse, it’s jarring but worth it. Holmes is bouncing down the stairs now. Glass had been moving up the stairs to help, now jumping down the last three to get out of the way. A grunting ball of flesh crashing down after him. Holmes has rolled to the bottom. Lying there. Not moving. Groaning, but not moving. Glass is watching, doing nothing. Standing beside Holmes, looking up at Peterkinney. As far as Glass is concerned, this is over. Peterkinney’s quickly down the stairs, standing beside Glass now. Looking down at Holmes. Taking a step back and kicking him hard in his ample guts.

‘Try and knock me down the fucking stairs,’ Peterkinney’s saying. Speaking low, a little spit on his lips. ‘That’s for Marty. You remember that. That’s what happens.’ An intensity conjured from a place Glass didn’t know his friend possessed.

Glass is pulling at Peterkinney’s arm. The job is more than done, time to go. A second person has emerged at the top of the stairs. A thickset woman, glaring down at them. The woman who keeps this house organized and tidy.

‘Get out,’ she’s shouting at them. ‘Go on, get out.’ She’s starting to march down the stairs towards them. Wrapped up in a thick dressing gown, hair tied back, slippers too big for her making an unsettling slapping noise as she walks. Scowling like she was born that way. Moving towards her partner at the bottom of the stairs. He’s groaning on the floor, rolling slightly. Trying to twist into a position that relieves the pain. Trying to turn his back on them, so they can’t kick him in the stomach again. Facing the striped wallpaper, hoping this is over. Peterkinney’s given him one last kick in the small of the back, he and Glass turning for the door.

The woman’s still shouting something, but it’s unintelligible and entirely her own business. They’re out into the night, across the small front garden with no fence and moving down the street. Trying not to run, but walking fast enough to draw attention. The neighbours will have heard the door being broken. They’ll hear the shouting. People will be looking out of windows.

‘We should have brought balaclavas,’ Glass is saying. ‘We should have brought a lot of things.’ Peterkinney’s thinking of all the things they did wrong in this job. More than he realizes. Their first job. Thrown into it by Marty Jones. Someone with experience, a professional, would have done it differently. They did the best that amateurs could.

‘First thing I’m spending money on is a car,’ Glass is saying. They’re still walking too fast, but they’re putting distance between themselves and the house. Looking backwards half the time. Nobody following. But then, nobody would need to. You can see their guilt from a distance.

Peterkinney isn’t saying anything. Glass wanted this. He’s in charge, so let him do the talking. He’s his best mate, and you don’t puncture your best mate’s balloon. But this has been a shambles. They didn’t think about it beforehand. Marty gave Glass the job. Their first chance to make a good impression. They rushed out to do it, knowing the prize that will be waiting for them. Next time will be different. Next time they’ll make an effort to plan it. Having a vehicle to get away in will be a good start. Neither of them owns a car. Peterkinney doesn’t even have a licence.

They’ve reached the bottom of the street, round the corner. A little relief. They’re out of view of the scene of the crime. Walking faster, almost jogging. Anyone looks out a window and they see two guilty-looking young men running past. The kind of guilty young men you remember. Maybe mention to the police if they knock on your door looking for information.

‘We did it though,’ Glass is saying. ‘We fucking did it.’

‘Yeah,’ Peterkinney’s nodding, and he’s smiling despite himself. ‘We fucking did.’

2

He’s tired. They say you shouldn’t drive when you’re tired. He’s driving, and driving carefully. Got the call twenty minutes ago. Doesn’t know why the hell he’s bothering. Petty games, and they’ve lost this round. So what, just win the next one and move on. But Patterson insisted. Get round there, talk to the man. Try to keep him onside. So Alan Bavidge is nearly there. Nearly ready for his conversation with Jim Holmes. Nearly caring about it. But not quite.

He’s pulling into the street and already there’s a problem. There are people around Holmes’s front door. Must be four or five of them, standing on the patch of grass that serves as a front garden. Neighbours, probably. Some of them are still in pyjamas. Nosey bastards. Get a little dignity, for God’s sake. Semi-detached houses in batches of two, tightly packed along either side of the street. A mix of former and current council housing, he’s guessing. Bavidge is stopping the car at the side of the road. Switching the lights off. None of the neighbours have clocked him yet. He’s waiting. Hoping they’ll bugger off back home before he goes in. An unknown guy in his late twenties at the scene of the crime will instantly become a suspect.

One of the neighbours has turned round and is staring at the car. A middle-aged man, glaring right at him. Turning and saying something to the group, proud to be breaking news. Now they’re all looking at him and murmuring. A broad woman in her mid-thirties pushing her way past them. Norah Faulkner. Holmes’s girlfriend. Not the sort of woman you marry. Not if you can help it. A tough one, her. At least as tough as her man. Kind of woman you might have thought would do a better job keeping Holmes out of trouble. Bavidge knows who she is; she doesn’t know who he is. With another sigh, he’s getting out of the car.

Across the patch of grass and walking towards her. Making a noticeable effort at ignoring the gawkers. Nodding, and hoping she’s bright enough to let him speak before she gets abusive.

‘Norah? I’m Alan, you were told to expect me.’ Speaking as quietly as possible. Trying to keep this between the two of them.

She’s nodding now. Still scowling, but nodding. ‘Come in.’

She’s turning and walking back to the door. Stopping suddenly enough that Bavidge almost crashes into the back of her. Turning to her neighbours. ‘All right, you had your wee nose about, now piss off.’ Some of them are shaking their heads, giving her looks, but not one of them will disobey. She’s coarse, and they’re all just a little bit scared of her. Sure, they all want her arguing their case when the housing association routinely lets them down on repairs. But even when she’s on your side, you’re scared of her. They’re all turning and walking back to their houses.

Norah’s inside, holding the door for Bavidge. Once he’s inside, she’s trying to push it shut. Isn’t working. Won’t hold shut, just leans open of its own accord. The top hinge is damaged, Bavidge can see.

‘Buggers managed to smash this in the process,’ she’s saying redundantly.

Bavidge doesn’t care about the door. If his boss is serious about Holmes, then Bavidge will send someone round in the morning to put a new door in. He’s concerned about what he’s not seeing. He’s not seeing Holmes. She told his boss, Billy Patterson, that Holmes was unconscious at the bottom of the stairs. There’s nothing at the bottom of the stairs. Just a wet patch where Norah’s been trying to wipe blood off her plain fitted carpet.

‘Through here,’ she’s saying. She has a more feminine voice than he expected. Especially now that she’s calmed down. A broad face on broad shoulders, a hard look about her. No soft edges that Bavidge will ever see. But they’re there. She cares about Holmes, and she looks after him. This is a better life than most people in Holmes’s profession get to live. She’s leading Bavidge into the living room.

Holmes is sitting on the floor, back against the black leather couch. He’s tilting his head back, holding somethingto his nose that used to be white and is now red. He’s still in his boxer shorts. He’s looking at Bavidge. A glare. They’ve never met. Bavidge can only hope his reputation goes before him. When it does, it buys him all the respect he needs.

‘I’m Alan Bavidge,’ he’s saying. ‘Billy sent me round.’

‘Uh-huh,’ Holmes is saying. Turning and staring back up at the ceiling, more interested in what’s pouring from his nose.

‘Who was it?’ Bavidge is asking. Not here for polite conversation. Not here to make a new chum. Get this over and get out.

Holmes went to Patterson. Ran to him when Marty Jones found out he was skimming money off his collections. Wanted protection from Billy. Offered himself as an employee in exchange. It was a hell of a job application. I want to work for you because you can protect me from my old boss. By the way, my old boss hates me because I ripped him off. Yeah, that’ll get you through the door. But Holmes did get through the door. Not because he offered to work for Patterson. He got through because everyone knows he worked for Marty. He was one of Marty’s boys for a few years. Throwing his weight around, trying to make a name for himself. Suddenly he starts working for Patterson, and people think Patterson is taking employees away from Marty. A cheap way of making a rival look vulnerable. So Patterson took him on. Just wasn’t able to offer him protection in time.

‘Them,’ Holmes is mumbling. ‘There was two of them.’

‘Who?’ There’s impatience in Bavidge’s voice now.

Doesn’t care if Holmes hears it. Holmes is a thug. The sort of guy who goes round picking fights with drug addicts and hopeless cases. That’s the difference between a tough guy like Holmes and a tough guy like Bavidge. The reason Bavidge has a reputation and Holmes doesn’t. The standard of person they have to intimidate.

‘Kids. I don’t know who they were. Kids, working for Marty. Some shitty little bastards he picked up from somewhere. I can handle them.’

‘Uh-huh,’ Bavidge is saying now.

Holmes doesn’t want to talk about it. Probably wouldn’t have told Patterson at all if it wasn’t for Norah. Doesn’t want to admit that he got battered by a couple of kids. The big bad bastard, bloodied and beaten. It wounds his pride. A lot of thugs live off their pride because they have nothing else. Proud and stupid. He’s a hell of a new employee to have on board. There’s a few seconds of silence, before Norah decides to stamp on it.

‘Smashed their way in through the front door. The front door. Jim challenged them. One of them came up the stairs, got into a fight with him. Threw Jim down the stairs. Top to bottom. Then they started laying into him. Vicious, like animals.’

Holmes is glaring across at her, saying nothing. He doesn’t want her causing trouble. He knows the position he’s in. Screwed over one boss, already bothering another. Patterson doesn’t need to stand by Holmes. Could just as easy leave him out in the rain. Holmes needs to be useful, and this isn’t a good start.

Bavidge is looking round at Norah. Surprised by her disgust at the violence of the kids. She knows what her man does for a living. She’s not daft. She must know that Holmes behaves like those very same animals on a near daily basis. The only talent he’s known to have. Yet she seems repulsed by them.

‘Billy Patterson said he would protect us,’ Norah is saying. ‘Said we’d be looked after. Well, a fine fucking job he did of that, uh? Where were you?’

‘Norah,’ Holmes is saying loudly, then groaning and tipping his head back again.

‘Well, where were you? Where were you when Jim was bouncing down the stairs? When I was confronted by those kids in my dressing gown? They could have killed us. We could be dead now. What sort of protection is that?’

Bavidge is waiting a second. Let her vent. Let her have her moment, she’s not at fault here. Then tell her the truth. ‘You will get protection. What you won’t get is a fucking babysitter. You’re not important enough. You’re not in enough danger. You got to earn that sort of protection. All your man has done for us so far is wake me up. When he’s done something more useful, you’ll get more in return from us. Until then, the best we can do is make sure there’s punishment. Did either of you see them?’

Holmes knows enough about the business to know that Bavidge is close to Patterson. Not just some muscle, but a senior man. Right-hand man, maybe. You piss off Bavidge and you piss off Patterson. That’s the way it works. Tell him what he wants to know.

‘I saw them. Couple of kids,’ Holmes is saying quietly. ‘They didn’t even cover their faces. No weapon. Didn’t even have a car, Norah reckons.’

Norah’s nodding. ‘They walked to the bottom of the street. If they had a car, it was round the corner.’ She’s talking quietly now too. Catching Holmes’s mood. Bavidge’s authority has subdued them both.

‘Couple of first-timers, I reckon,’ Holmes is saying. ‘One of them was tall, over six feet. Skinny-looking, sort of light-brown, blond hair. Looked about twelve in the face, but he’d be a teenager, early twenties. That’s the one that threw me down the stairs. Other one was shorter, darker hair. Never seen either of them before. They weren’t working for Marty a week ago, I know that. Probably not in the business. New blood.’

Bavidge is nodding. It’s as much of a description as Holmes can give. Seems like he spent most of their visit rolling down the stairs. Should be grateful he can manage this much. Just need to find a couple of kids that have recently started working for Marty. Not impossible, but he does hire and fire a lot. All the kids go to him first. He has the recruitment tool of throwing parties with whores and drugs. It works.

‘You going to be okay?’ he’s asking Holmes.

Holmes is nodding very slowly. ‘Don’t think anything’s broken. Nose is burst. Sore guts. That’s where they kicked me. I’ll live.’

Bavidge is nodding. He hates these situations. People looking to him for leadership, just because he’s close to the boss. He’s not a leader. Doesn’t want to be, anyway. ‘We’ll find out who it was. We’ll do something about it. Billy will be in touch soon about work. We’ll try and sort this out so that Marty isn’t a problem any more.’

A grunt from Holmes, nothing from his woman. Bavidge is leaving the house, happy to get out. One of those disgruntled neighbours might have phoned the police the minute they got back in the house. Doubtful. Wouldn’t risk the wrath of Norah Faulkner. Just glad to be out of that atmosphere of stupidity and entitlement. Back into the car and driving away. There’s a feeling he gets. Like a weight, pushing him down. Like it’s all basically pointless, and it’s all going to end badly anyway.


Excerpted from The Night the Rich Men Burned by Malcolm Mackay. Copyright © 2014 by Malcolm Mackay.
First published 2014 by Mantle, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited, 20 New Wharf Road, London N1 9RR, Basingstoke and Oxford. Associated companies throughout the world http://www.panmacmillan.com.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Pan Macmillan Australia solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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