Hope Dies Last by Deborah Finn
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.7 MB
Beth and Martin couldn’t have children, but they got lucky. They were given a baby boy in an illegal adoption from a woman who was desperate for the baby to have a better life. They managed to fool everyone. They called the baby Ben, they loved him, and brought him up as their own. Now, ten years later, they find that Ben was conceived through rape. His birth mother is back and she wants revenge for the life that was snatched from her by Lester Gallagher. Ten years on, Lester Gallagher is running for parliament, passing himself off as a respectable businessman. But Ben is the living DNA evidence of his crime, and Lester Gallagher wants all evidence gone. Will Gallagher track Ben down? Will Beth and Martin be able to protect him?
That would be the prima donna with the clipboard, Gallagher thought. He shrugged. Sally Baxter grabbed Gallagher’s wrist and led him across the set towards the lights. She leaned her head towards his in a confidential fashion. “I heard there might be a little bedroom trouble with the opposition, huh?”
“I couldn’t possibly comment,” Gallagher said.
Sally Baxter swiped him. “I just bet you couldn’t,” she said. “There’s your seat.” She stepped over some cables and settled herself on the leather chair behind the curved news desk. Gallagher watched a transformation occur as her back straightened, her shoulders lowered and she lifted her face to the cameras. Her skin seemed to glow, all that grimy panstick wiped out by the lights.
A scrawny bloke in a check shirt was hunkering down in front of them, miming a countdown, and Gallagher felt someone fiddling with his microphone. A kid was meddling with the wiring, and now here was Sally Baxter talking. What happened to the intro music?
“…the last in our profiles of parliamentary candidates in our area. And tonight we have Lester Gallagher; a man who’s proud to have come up the hard way and made it to the top. Gallagher Holdings’ value is currently estimated at £600m, though rumours of a flotation are apparently wide of the mark. Let’s see how he made those millions, starting out from a cramped tenement flat in the east end of Glasgow.”
The scrawny bloke made a circling movement, like dialling an old fashioned telephone, and everyone came back to life. Rachel rushed in with Sally Baxter’s backrest, microphone kid reappeared at his shoulder, and beyond it all, Gallagher could see the VT rolling on a monitor.
Jesus! That was his street. The street he’d grown up on as a kid. The front door. It looked just the same. The same filthy bottle green. And for a second, he was eight years old again, his mother was yelling at him to get out because she had ‘company’; the kind of company that turned up in the afternoon with a bottle of vodka and a ten pound note. He almost expected her sunken-cheeked face to appear. And he wanted her to be there, still alive, wanted to shove it in her face: look at me, ma, I’m on the telly. The VT switched to the forecourt of Car Go Round, his very first business, looking a lot more flash these days.
“Why can’t I hear the audio, Sally?” he asked.
“The viewers can hear it,” she said.
Well, that wasn’t really the point. He wanted to know what they were saying. Now the shot was of Manchester. Gallagher felt a strange hollowing in his chest. He was twenty three when he’d come to Manchester and he’d switched from cars to shops, anything cheap: ratty little tattoo bars, greasy cafes, tanning salons, holding it all together by the skin of his teeth. But he’d been happy enough at the time, hadn’t he, working his way up? The final shot flashed up, an agent’s board on a city centre office block: Acquired by Gallagher Holdings.