Written by Heather Burnside
My grateful thanks to Victoria Joss of Aria for including me in this Blog Tour
The queen of urban crime is back with a shocking, brilliant new series – The Working Girls…
A TRIP TO THE DARK SIDE.
When respected journalist, Maddy, goes to interview prostitutes in a rundown Manchester pub, she doesn’t reckon on attracting the attention of their ruthless pimp, Gilly. He quickly decides to use Maddy for his own gains; he just needs to work out how.
A TOXIC AFFAIR.
In the weeks that follow, Maddy is oblivious to Gilly’s growing obsession with her, particularly when she begins a romance with successful businessman, Aaron. Their passionate love affair starts to dominate her life, and she finds herself losing control and alienating the people around her.
A TARGET ON HER BACK.
As Maddy’s safe and successful life starts to crumble around her, she must quickly work out who has it in for her, before it’s too late…
Heather Burnside is back with this breath-taking, heart-racing new series, perfect for all fans of Kimberley Chambers and Martina Cole.
Maddy was sitting amongst a group of women who were dressed similarly to Crystal, their clothes selected for maximum exposure rather than as a defence against the chilly night air. Although Maddy’s clothing and make-up weren’t as bright as the other women’s, she stood out from the crowd, for Maddy had class as well as charisma, and a way of dealing with people that immediately put them at ease.
Her ability to mix with people from all walks of life enabled her to gather information that the others were barred from. This was part of the reason she was such a successful freelance journalist, who could command top rates of pay for her in-depth, thought-provoking articles and skilfully crafted features. Maddy was currently working on an expose about the life of a prostitute. She had been in the pub for less than fifteen minutes but already the working girls were eagerly gathering round her to share information.
Maddy knew how to build up their trust, starting with innocuous questions then ramping up the pressure till the questions became increasingly probing. Having already covered the reasons the girls had gone into prostitution, she moved on to other questions involving the life of a prostitute.
‘Have you ever experienced any strange fetishes from customers?’ she asked Crystal.
‘Depends what you call strange,’ said Crystal. ‘Some things are par for the course, like slapping, pulling our fuckin’ hair and coming in our faces.’
Maddy tried not to let her repugnance show as she jotted down a few notes.
‘I’ve got a few customers who do that every time,’ said Ruby, a tall black girl with deep red lips, cornrows and tormented eyes.
‘What, you mean. . .?’ began Maddy.
”Yeah, come in my face,’ said Ruby, casually.
‘And how does that make you feel?’ asked Maddy.
Ruby shrugged. ‘I suppose you get used to it,’ she said.
‘There’s some real fuckin’ weirdos out there though,’ chipped in Crystal.
‘Really?’ asked Maddy.
‘Oh yeah,’ said Crystal, looking over at one of the girls and laughing. ‘Remember that one you had, Amber?’
Amber, a short blonde girl wearing a bralette and a black denim miniskirt with a zip running all the way up the front, giggled. ‘Oh, yeah. He wanted me to pretend he was my pet dog. I had to keep stroking him for ages. He got that fuckin’ excited that he came before we even had sex.’
‘OK,’ said Maddy, stifling a grin and taking more notes. ‘What about drink and drugs? Do you take them to help you do your work?’
‘Yeah, most of us,’ Crystal replied. ‘It helps, y’know.’
‘What about when you’re sober?’ asked Maddy. ‘How does it feel then?’
‘Shit!’ said one of the girls at the back of the group.
‘Yeah, that’s why we all take,’ said Ruby.
‘It helps to block it out,’ Crystal added.
Maddy worked her way down to the next question on her list. ‘Have you ever caught any STI’s?’
‘Not a fuckin’ chance!’ said Crystal. ‘I always use condoms. It’s just not worth the risk. Some customers will pay more for sex without one but I always turn it down.’
The other girls muttered in agreement except for Amber, who keept quiet. Maddy suspected that the draw of the money had tempted her to go without, but she didn’t probe any further.
Maddy was just about to ask the girls about violent customers when she noticed Crystal looking across at the bar. There were several men standing there with their backs to them so Maddy found it impossible to tell who Crystal was looking at, but she noticedd the change in her body language.
Tags: crime thriller
- Format: ebook, paperback
- Size: 360 pages
- Publisher: Aria
- Publication Date: 13 June 2019
- Purchase Links: Google Play
- Barnes & Noble
Meet the Author
Heather Burnside spent her teenage years on one of the toughest estates in Manchester and she draws heavily on this background as the setting for many of her novels. After taking a career break to raise two children Heather enrolled on a creative writing course. Heather now works full-time on her novels from her home in Manchester, which she shares with her two grown-up children.