Hello lovelies and welcome to my stop on the Raging blog tour, the second novel in the Chemical Estate series. Today I have an exclusive extract for you but first a little about the book:
Title: Raging (The Chemical Estate Series #2) by Stephen Scarcliffe
Date Published: 4th February 2020
Genre: Crime Noir
A bloody turf war is erupting between the shellsuit gangsters and the Donaldsons, while the family outcasts look to take advantage of the disorder on the streets…
Who torched Dougie Donaldson’s taxi?
Why are the bodies piling up in the high rises?
Why is a scorned figure from the past poking his nose into everyone’s business?
As things escalate, Billy Wright is forced to question who is plotting against him as he is dragged even deeper into the world he is trying to escape. George Donaldson is sucked into a bitter feud with childhood pals that forces him to answer serious doubts around his loyalties and Sean Donaldson schemes to shift the balance of power in Muirhouse, hellbent on revenge against the uncle who has frozen him out of the family drug business.
Will Billy fulfil the promise he made to girlfriend Lyndsay and leave the life of crime behind as fatherhood approaches? Can George successfully defend his old man’s territory in the face of mounting adversity? Is there any line Sean won’t cross in his quest for supremacy?
You can buy your copy here:
The posh decor always made Billy feel uncomfortable. The long polished oak table conjured up memories of being summoned to court for one of his many misdemeanours. It was the first time he had sat down for a meal with Lyndsay’s whole family and it was making him sweat. There weren’t many things that made Billy feel anxious. He had been lunged at with swords, battered with sticks, and lived day to day with the threat of all kinds of maniacs coming through his door, yet none of this came close to affecting him the way sitting down for a meal with a middle class family from Morningside made him feel. He was shitting it. Who was he kidding? He was the biggest ecstasy dealer in the north side of Edinburgh, and a murderer now to boot. And yet here he was breaking bread with this posh family, completely oblivious. Her Dad had a pot belly, a comb over, a pair of square tinted spectacles, and one of those red faces that suggested he had spent more time in Spain than he had Edinburgh over the years. Her Mum, he had to admit was stunning for a woman in her forties. It was no surprise where Lyndsay got it from. There was an elegance to her, with her curly brunette hair just like Lyndsay’s, her firm tanned legs that perfectly complemented the rest of her petite frame, and a face that wore its age impressively well. Still, she had her nose stuck in the air with an expression that made out she constantly had a whiff of shite drifting up her nostrils. Her brother had blonde curly hair. Sitting there tensing his arms through his checked Christian Dior shirt as if he fancied himself as something special. Reminded Billy of the type of private school wankers he used to terrorise on the way back from high school. He felt a gentle squeeze on his hand and looked round to see Lyndsay’s face beaming back at him. Even that wasn’t enough to calm his thudding heartbeat. She clearly she sensed it was a struggle. He had never felt further from his comfort zone in his life. Billy was conditioned to grimy flat stairs, backstreets, dark corners, graffiti. That was where he thrived, not places like this. Joe was right on the money. Who was he kidding? Certainly not himself.
“Do you like Rugby Bill?” said the brother, Colin or Campbell was his name, Billy wasn’t quite sure, and hoped he would be able to make it to the end of the meal without having to use it. Bill? Who had ever in his entire life referred to him as Bill?
“Nah, more of a fitba, I mean football man, me.”
“Who’s your team?”
“Hibs. Bit of a shite time…” He stopped dead and glanced around the table at the alarmed faces and swiftly relented. “I mean bad time of it they’re havin just now.”
“How’s the labouring going?” asked her old man.
“No bad. Same shhh… Same thing different day eh?” He let out a nervous laugh before swigging back his beer and retreating within his awkward shell. Before long he was so conscious of every word that passed his lips that they stopped coming.
Billy had been hoping for a decent bit of steak or something that could take his mind off his raw nerves as dinner was served out. Not fish. Anything but fish. He stared at it with dread, its shrivelled little black eyes stared back at him accusingly, like it knew all his darkest secrets, daring to pass them round the table.
“Billy. BILLY.” She clutched his arm this time. “Are you okay?”
“Aye. I-I jist need a bit of fresh air, eh.”
He sucked the cigarette as hard as he could, feeling the relief as he released the cloud of smoke into the night air. He let it stay within his lips and drew in as many draws as he could manage at the one time.
“Do you want to tell me what’s going on Mr?” said Lyndsay as she appeared behind him.
His head lightened from the tobacco rush as he turned too quickly. “Och just feelin a bit queasy. Probably just the fish, ye ken I’m no keen oan it.”
“I probably should have mentioned that to my Mum.” She squeezed in next to him and took the cigarette from between his fingertips. She took a draw and passed it back as he eyed her inquisitively.
“Since when did you take smokin up again?”
“I haven’t.” She looked up at him and smiled. “I find them hard work too you know.”
“Fair enough. No more though, got the bairn tae think about.”
“Billy?” She stood in front of him and grabbed the collar of his coat, melting him with those eyes of hers. “I know it’s not easy. But just try. Okay?”
He let out a long sigh. Even Lyndsay didn’t know all of his secrets.
“Easy fer you tae say. It’s hard Lyndse. I’m fae a different planet fae them know what I mean? It’s like I’m fae Mars they’re fae Pluto.”
“I know. But just try.”
“Sure thing.” He offered her a restrained smile. The moment she disappeared into the house, he flicked the cigarette into the night air, opened the car door and jumped in. He took a deep breath, jammed his keys in the ignition and started the car. He felt as desperate to get away as he had from Alan Goddard’s dead body underneath the Forth Road Bridge that night.
About The Author:
Growing up around the north of Edinburgh where the Chemical Estate book series is set lends first-hand experience and authenticity to both the story and its characters.
Around 14 years ago, and 4 pints (or more) down, I bumped into a certain Irvine Welsh in a pub in Edinburgh city centre. After giving him a copy of a short story I had written, I received a really encouraging email that spurred me on to write a novel. The process was extended somewhat by spending 10 years as the singer-songwriter for Edinburgh Alt-rock band The Number 9s, before opting to turn my main focus to writing. Two books in now with number 3 in development I hope to continue for many years to come.
You can keep up to date with details of new releases and plenty more by signing up for my mailing list at www.stephenscarcliffe.co.uk. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.