'She emerged from a flurry of windblown rose petals, her pale skin interrupted at regular intervals by bands of red - scarlet bob, scarlet lips, cropped scarlet top, scarlet mini, scarlet knee socks, scarlet boots. She looked like a barber's pole, or a lolly that had to be licked.'
Scarlet plucks her twelve-string guitar with nails the colour of glazed cherries and Belfast music hack Jessie (Jay to his friends) Black is smitten. He charms his way on to her tour bus as her band head for Dublin, but the second they cross the border he feels the heat of a sniper's bullet...
Who wants Jay dead? Or rather, who doesn't want him dead? Any number of people might, with some justification, have pulled the trigger. There's Scarlet's stalker, the gun-toting shoe fetishist. And the still-grieving widow of Northern Ireland's international goalkeeper, Miles Huggins, who Jay inadvertently killed. Not to mention the property magnate who was blackmailed into handing Jay the key's to Belfast's first-ever million-pound flat. Or the RUC Chief Constable who has given Jay an ultimatum. Or, now you come to mention it, how about Sinn Fein numero uno Martin O'Hanlon, whose cover Jay's been strong-armed into exposing? However it's when Scarlet goes missing that things start getting serious and Jay has to go it alone.
A story of blackmail, corruption and exploding peacocks, 'Big Jessie' is the new firecracker thriller from the author of the WHSmith Award-winning 'London Irish'.