Today I’m on the blog tour for The Grifter. I’m sharing an extract with thanks to Zoe O’Farrell for inviting me on the tour and to the authors for providing the extract.
One will rise. The other will fall.
Kent Bancroft’s rise to fame and fortune was nothing short of meteoric. Once a simple teacher in London’s East End, he’s now on course to become Britain’s youngest billionaire.
But his success has come on the back of those he’s trodden upon to get there. Among them is a man whose fall was as swift as Kent’s rise. He used to be a sparky, honest and hard-working. Now, he’s homeless, drunk, and down one leg.
And he blames Kent for everything.
Forget forgiveness. Forget turning the other cheek. And forget waiting for karma.
This is a victim who won’t stand idly by.
He wants revenge.
And he’s going to get it.
Kent Bancroft will never see him coming.
I should’ve taken it straight to the nearest police station. The nearest was the other side of Liverpool Street, over a mile away. Long walk for a cripple. Bet they never thought of that when they decided fewer stations was a good move. I wouldn’t have, either, if I was still able-bodied.
I turned my back on the road, leant against the wall, and, when I was sure nobody was looking my way, took out the wallet.
Fancy. It wasn’t just expensive, it was personalised. In the corner, the initials KB were perfectly sewn in gold thread. It even smelled nice. Unlike me.
When I opened it, my eyes nearly jumped out of my skull. I was expectin’ money, but not this much. Tucked inside were dozens of fifty-pound notes. I’d never seen more than one of ’em before. Now, I had a whole wodge. I licked a finger and thumb and began counting.
The bastard was walking around with the better part of two grand in cash on him.
And now, it could all be mine. If I wanted it.
Not that it’d be easy to spend. Why the hell was he carrying fifties? Twenties, I could use. But a homeless man with a stack of fifties? That’d draw more attention than a body dumped in the Thames. I’d have to be bloody careful spending ’em.
Maybe there was something else in the wallet. I tucked the notes back inside for now.
There was a small coin pocket closed by a zip. I undid it and upended the wallet, expecting a shower of coins to fall into my hand. Instead, one fell out. A half-euro coin? What was he doing carrying that around?
That wouldn’t buy me dinner, either. I put it back where I found it and turned my attention to the last compartment: Bancroft’s cards.
These were the danger zone. If I used one of his cards, I’d wind up on CCTV committing fraud. There were lots of bits of plastic tucked away in the folds. At the front were two debit cards, one which read Arbuthnot Latham and another for a bank I’d actually heard of. If push came to shove, I could probably use those for a handful of contactless transactions before they were cancelled.
One layer back, an Amex, a slick metal card that oozed class. In one corner, it read Centurion. I put that one back. Dunno if Amex cards work for contactless, and if they don’t, then I’d draw attention to myself if I used it. Next to it were a couple of store loyalty cards, which were equally useless. Those I threw on the floor.
Then, at the back, jackpot. First, a gym card. It was for MuscleBound Fitness, the gym thirty seconds up the street from Bancroft’s office. I’d never once seen him going in. If luck was on my side, it’d be contactless entry. I’d love a hot shower and clean clothes. Maybe I could sneak in. The worst they could do was throw me out, right?
Second, Bancroft’s driving licence, his mug printed on it. He was younger in the pic, of course. More hair, fewer frown lines, same arrogant smirk. His date of birth was listed as 4th September 1981. Ten years younger than me, almost to the day. Better yet, it had his address. He lived in Kensington. And not one of the flats, either. There wasn’t a letter after the number.
That meant he had one of the original townhouses. It was a road I knew well. When I’d been on the job, we’d finished up a big block of flats one road over, and The Grapes pub had been my local for a few months.
Those had been fancy flats with riverfront views, all the mod cons, and a price point to match. But they weren’t exactly spacious. Rabbit hutches for millionaires, we used to call ’em. That was when I’d been a normie. Back then, I handled everythin’ from lighting to air con. Even got my Part P certification so I could do bathrooms too. What I wouldn’t do for a bathroom with underfloor heating.
Or any bathroom. It sucks having to go for a slash in an alleyway, hoping I won’t get seen, never being able to wash my hands after.
My stomach rumbled.
It ain’t stealing if you’re taking back what’s yours, is it?
I took just one of the fifty-pound notes and put it into the pocket of my jacket and then put Bancroft’s wallet into my jacket pocket.
As of right now, Bancroft owed me fifty quid less than he used to.
Only £499,950 to go.
The Grifter is available from Amazon.
You can follow the rest of the blog tour here: