Blood Runs Cold by Alex Barclay

By Alex Barclay

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Sample text

He was fit, clean and shiny. He wore perfect blue shirts and beige pants and polished shoes. He was probably a deviant. Ren went to the bathroom with her makeup bag. One day she would put these trips on a résumé to signify her ambition; the mirror was distorted and the lights were fitted by a man who had never been in a bathroom with a woman. The guys got the famous Safe Streets walk-in urinal, a monster the size of a shower. Ren got horror-movie lighting and no shelf for her supplies. She leaned into her reflection and did a half-assed touch-up.

Golden, Colorado Ren Bryce woke to white porcelain and the feeling that someone had laid her free weights on her head while she slept. She reached a hand up to take them away, but her knuckles hit the underside of the toilet bowl. m. Red wine. She rolled on to her back. Her blue dress, beautiful and complimented twelve hours earlier, was open to the waist, limp and stained. She turned her head slowly and saw her stockings in the corner by the toilet brush. She closed her eyes again. She dragged herself slowly upright and was soon hanging over the bowl, heaving nothing, but hit with the smell of her previous efforts.

You accuse me of being dull –’ ‘Get some perspective –’ ‘Me? Me? Jesus Christ. That’s it. I’ve had it. I cannot do this any more. I can’t. ’ ‘Exactly that. I’m out of here. ’ She tried to smile. ‘You like Ren Noir. ’ ‘Right now? ’ Tears welled in Ren’s eyes. ’ He walked up to her and kissed her on the head. ‘Look after yourself. ’ Ren stared at his back as he walked away through the living room. Fuck him. Her hand shook as she picked up her purse and pulled out her FBI creds. She snapped them on to the right inside breast pocket of her jacket and walked out the door.

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