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Authors: Martina Cole

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Revenge

BOOK: Revenge
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Copyright © 2013 Martina Cole

The right of Martina Cole to be identified as the Author of the Work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

First published in this Ebook edition in 2013 by Headline Publishing Group

Apart from any use permitted under UK copyright law, this publication may only be reproduced, stored, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, with prior permission in writing of the publishers or, in the case of reprographic production, in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency.

All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Cataloguing in Publication Data is available from the British Library

Cover design © Robin-Angel Photography/Getty Image

Epub conversion by Avon DataSet Ltd, Bidford-on-Avon, Warwickshire

eISBN 978 0 7553 7564 6

HEADLINE PUBLISHING GROUP

An Hachette UK Company
338 Euston Road
London NW1 3BH

www.headline.co.uk
www.hachette.co.uk

Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

About the Author

Praise for Martina Cole

Also by Martina Cole

About REVENGE

Dedication

Prologue

Book One

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Book Two

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Chapter Thirty-Four

Chapter Thirty-Five

Chapter Thirty-Six

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Chapter Forty

Chapter Forty-One

Chapter Forty-Two

Chapter Forty-Three

Chapter Forty-Four

Chapter Forty-Five

Chapter Forty-Six

Chapter Forty-Seven

Chapter Forty-Eight

Chapter Forty-Nine

Chapter Fifty

Chapter Fifty-One

Chapter Fifty-Two

Chapter Fifty-Three

Chapter Fifty-Four

Chapter Fifty-Five

Chapter Fifty-Six

Chapter Fifty-Seven

Chapter Fifty-Eight

Chapter Fifty-Nine

Chapter Sixty

Chapter Sixty-One

Chapter Sixty-Two

Chapter Sixty-Three

Chapter Sixty-Four

Chapter Sixty-Five

Chapter Sixty-Six

Chapter Sixty-Seven

Book Three

Chapter Sixty-Eight

Chapter Sixty-Nine

Chapter Seventy

Chapter Seventy-One

Chapter Seventy-Two

Chapter Seventy-Three

Chapter Seventy-Four

Chapter Seventy-Five

Chapter Seventy-Six

Chapter Seventy-Seven

Chapter Seventy-Eight

Chapter Seventy-Nine

Chapter Eighty

Chapter Eighty-One

Chapter Eighty-Two

Chapter Eighty-Three

Chapter Eighty-Four

Chapter Eighty-Five

Chapter Eighty-Six

Chapter Eighty-Seven

Chapter Eighty-Eight

Chapter Eighty-Nine

Chapter Ninety

Chapter Ninety-One

Book Four

Chapter Ninety-Two

Chapter Ninety-Three

Chapter Ninety-Four

Chapter Ninety-Five

Chapter Ninety-Six

Chapter Ninety-Seven

Chapter Ninety-Eight

Chapter Ninety-Nine

Chapter One Hundred

Chapter One Hundred and One

Chapter One Hundred and Two

Chapter One Hundred and Three

Chapter One Hundred and Four

Chapter One Hundred and Five

Chapter One Hundred and Six

Chapter One Hundred and Seven

Chapter One Hundred and Eight

Chapter One Hundred and Nine

Chapter One Hundred and Ten

Chapter One Hundred and Eleven

Chapter One Hundred and Twelve

Chapter One Hundred and Thirteen

Chapter One Hundred and Fourteen

Chapter One Hundred and Fifteen

Chapter One Hundred and Sixteen

Chapter One Hundred and Seventeen

Chapter One Hundred and Eighteen

Chapter One Hundred and Nineteen

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-One

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Two

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Three

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Four

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Five

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Six

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Seven

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Eight

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Nine

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty-One

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty-Two

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty-Three

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty-Four

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty-Five

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty-Six

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty-Seven

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty-Eight

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty-Nine

Chapter One Hundred and Forty

Epilogue

Chapter One Hundred and Forty-One

Chapter One Hundred and Forty-Two

About the Author

Martina Cole is the acknowledged queen of crime drama. Her most recent novel,
The Life
, was a No. 1 bestseller in hardback and paperback and is one in a long line of No. 1 bestselling and phenomenally successful novels she has to her name.

Several of Martina’s novels have been adapted for the screen, most recently
The Take
and
The Runaway
which were shown on Sky One to remarkable reviews. In addition,
Two Women
and
The Graft
have been adapted for the stage; both were highly acclaimed when performed at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, which also staged
Dangerous Lady
in 2012, celebrating twenty years since Martina’s debut novel was published.

Martina Cole is a phenomenon. She continues to smash sales records with each of her books, which have sold in excess of eleven million copies in total. In 2011 Martina surpassed the £50 million sales mark since records began and was the first British female novelist for adult audiences to achieve this.

Martina’s hard-hitting, uncompromising and haunting writing is in a genre all its own – no one writes like Martina. 2013 sees the publication of this, her twentieth novel, and with
Revenge
she is back and better than ever.

Praise for Martina Cole:

‘A blinding good read’ Ray Winstone

‘Intensely readable’
Guardian

‘An extraordinarily powerful piece of family drama’
Daily Mirror

‘Gritty novel from an author who knows intimately the world she writes about’
Express

‘Her gripping plots pack a mean emotional punch’
Mail on Sunday

‘Cole has the amazing talent of making characters appear larger than life’
Sun

By Martina Cole and available from Headline

Dangerous Lady

The Ladykiller

Goodnight Lady

The Jump

The Runaway

Two Women

Broken

Faceless

Maura’s Game

The Know

The Graft

The Take

Close

Faces

The Business

Hard Girls

The Family

The Faithless

The Life

Revenge

About REVENGE

BE SURE YOUR SINS WILL FIND YOU OUT.

Michael Flynn is untouchable in a world of power, money and violence. He fights for what he wants and he takes it, whatever the cost. He learns the rules of the Life from the best and when his mentor, legendary Face Patrick Costello, is taken out, no one questions that Michael Flynn is his natural successor. For Michael, loyalty – and crime – pay.

Michael rises to heights beyond anything the criminal underworld has seen. He owns everyone and he ruls his empire with an even but fierce hand. No one would dare challenge him.

Then the unthinkable happens.

Perhaps Michael Flynn is not so untouchable after all, and he must learn that . . .

WITHOUT THE SHEDDING OF BLOOD THERE CAN BE NO FORGIVENESS OF SINS.

For Darley and Adele,
with all my love

Prologue

The Lord shall smite thee with madness

Deuteronomy 28:28

2012

‘Hello! Are you not listening to me? My little girl has been missing for three
fucking
days. I think that might be worth your attention, don’t you?’

Michael Flynn was so angry he was almost spitting his words down the phone. Over six feet tall and with a heavy build he was a big man and, as everyone in the room knew, he was more than capable of great violence. He was paying them for their expertise, which they currently seemed to be lacking in. In fact, they were irritating the arse off him with their stupidity.

‘Her mother is giving me serious grief, and that alone is a fucking bugbear. I need to know where she is, people! So I think you lot had better get me the information I need before I start to think you’re all mugging me off. I know she isn’t exactly what you might call a wilting fucking violet and, believe me, when I locate her I will personally launch her into outer space for this. But I want her found. You are the
Filth
– this is what you fucking do! You locate errant fuckers. So you had better start doing it quickly. I am not a man who is known for his patience, and I have a very low threshold for idiocy.’ He slammed down the telephone.

Jamie Gore listened to his boss rant at the policemen in his employ. Everyone knew that Jessie Flynn, Michael Flynn’s daughter, was about as dependable as a Nigerian marriage broker; therefore, she held no importance whatsoever to anyone, especially to the police. She could get away with anything – from possession of any substance, including a bomb, should she ever purchase one, and that was all thanks to her father’s influence. He’d paid the Old Bill handsomely to
ignore
her over the years; now suddenly he wanted them to make her a priority? Bit of a turnaround there. He spoke up. ‘Look, Michael, with all due respect, you know your daughter as well as we do, she could be fucking anywhere. She goes on the missing list regularly . . .’

Michael Flynn was dark-haired and dark-skinned, he had the Irish gypsy in him there was no doubt about that. He was a handsome fuck, and his good looks were part and parcel of his persona. Both men and women were attracted to him, and he had always used that to his advantage. His startling blue eyes were now trained on Jamie Gore, and the man felt the first prickle of uneasiness at the intensity of his gaze.

‘You having a fucking laugh, Jamie? You think I brought you lot here for nothing? My old woman is like a fucking lunatic! My little Jessie is on the missing list! No one, and I mean
no one
, has seen her for
three fucking days
! I know she is a lazy mare, I know she lives on her own fucking time-zone, and I know she is the biggest pain in the rectum since records began. But she is still my baby girl. So my advice would be to fucking well find her! Track her down, let me know where she is so I can deliver her back to her mother and then we can go home.’

Michael looked around the room, and he knew that every bloke in there was thinking the same thing: Jessie Flynn was probably tucked up in bed with another lowlife, another fucking no-mark she had picked up on her travels. She was a trollop of the first water, having been sleeping with the enemy since she was fourteen years old. He wondered how many of his workforce had serviced her at one time or another. She was a beautiful-looking girl, with the morals of a fucking alley cat. It didn’t matter – he still wanted to know where she was. More to the point, her mother
needed
to know. Josephine was deeply concerned for her daughter’s whereabouts.

Jessie was not a girl you could lose sleep worrying about all the time – she stumbled from one disaster to the next (usually the disaster was a man), but she always seemed to come out on top. He made sure of that. She came home at some point and then her mum would be so pleased to see her there would be no retribution of any kind. That was the trouble. Michael personally believed that his daughter needed a fucking good slap, but his wife would never agree. If Jessie murdered the neighbours with an axe and it was caught on CCTV, his wife would say, ‘Well, they must have upset her.’ Jessie could do no wrong in her eyes.

He too had indulged her once, when she had been small and still lovable, but that had changed the moment she discovered the power of her sexuality and the harm it could bring to the father she had once adored. He had given up trying to force any kind of fatherly rules or regulations on her. Jessie wouldn’t listen to him anyway – she was a girl after his own heart in many respects. She did exactly what she wanted, and she did that with the maximum amount of energy she could muster. But she was a whore, and that fact broke his heart. Not that he could ever let that be known – in his game that would be seen as a weakness.

He sighed heavily. The men in this room were some of the hardest men in the south east; they
all
worked for him and were pleased to do so. He was a hard man, everyone knew that, but he prided himself on being a fair man, a decent man in some respects. These were men who were at the top of their particular games, and he used their nous and their instincts for his own ends – and made sure that they earned a good fucking wedge at the end of the day. Michael Flynn was a one-off; in his world he was a man who was not only feared, but who had also earned the respect of his peers, and who had managed to rise to the top without treading on too many people’s toes. He had embraced his partners in crime, and made sure that they earned enough to prevent them coveting what he had. Now he had the partnership and the major earn from every Face in the country – well, in Europe, if truth be told. And the men he dealt with owed him, respected him for his achievements, and did not begrudge him his percentage because, without him, most of them would never have got as far as they had. He had worked his way up the ladder, realising early on that to keep on top you had to have a loyal and willing workforce, and that if you wanted to earn a place of importance in the criminal world, you also needed a very lucrative and honestly run legitimate business, as well as the wherewithal to not only invest heavily in other people’s businesses, but to also be able to offer them a modicum of protection should Lily Law decide to investigate them at any time.

Well, Michael basically owned Lily Law, and it was not fucking cheap. He paid out a serious fucking wedge to the Old Bill, and they, for their part, did fuck-all the majority of the time to earn their crusts. It was one of the things that really irritated him, but they were what his old partner Patrick Costello used to call a ‘necessary evil’. He had worked hard to get them in his pocket, and many of them had
him
to thank for their additional wages, nice cars, and kids’ educations. Because of that, he held all the major cards: he could negotiate a prison sentence, he could make certain charges disappear, he could fit up anyone who he felt was getting a bit too big for their boots. It was a win-win situation. No one had ever had that much power over the law before. He had orchestrated that by himself, and now he was a man who was settled at the top. No one in his game would ever feel the urge, or indeed the need, to try and take his place and run his businesses. He was too shrewd for all that old fanny. His legit businesses were huge earners as well – he could explain away everything he owned. In short, Michael Flynn was virtually untouchable.

But now he was looking out at the men he knew as friends, not just as business associates, and he felt the prickle of shame wash over him. His daughter going AWOL was not something they saw as in their remit to sort but, as they were on his payroll, they had no option but to listen to him and offer their help in any way they could.

His Jessie’s reputation had preceded her as always. They all assumed she was drugged and/or drunk out of her head somewhere, because that was what she was famous for. Twenty-two years old, and she was already a legend in her own lunchtime. She had been excluded from every school he sent her to, and instead she had embraced the underworld from an early age – from the drug dealers, to the scumbags who hung around the council estates, the burglars, gas-meter bandits with homemade tattoos – she spent her time in filthy squats until he brought her back home to her mother time and again. After cracking open a few heads, of course.

Michael had given up on her completely by the time she was sixteen. Once he had found her naked on a filthy mattress in a condemned house in Hackney with a junkie three times her age, who had given her not only a black eye but a dose of gonorrhoea as well. He had known then that he had no choice but to step away from her emotionally. He loved her, but he could not get through to her. Nevertheless, he had gone back and almost kicked the man to death for doing that to his baby. He had vented his anger, looking around at how she had been living. She was available to any man who tipped her the wink and who she thought would anger her father, and bring him shame.

He didn’t understand it. She had had a home that was not only full of love for her, but was beautiful. She had everything she could have desired: the chance to go to a good school, and a good life ahead of her. But, from fourteen years of age, she had made it her business to find the lowest of the low, and make a home there for herself with them, and she had broken her mother’s heart in the process. Unlike her father, her mother still felt her daughter could turn her life around, redeem herself. But Michael refused to get involved any more; she was his Achilles heel, his only real weakness. Her antics were common knowledge in his world, and it was only his status that stopped people from gossiping openly about her.

He had tried everything, and she had fought him every step of the way. She was his daughter, and he would protect her as much as he could but, in his darkest moments, when he heard about her latest escapades, or the police informed him she had been arrested once more, he had wished her dead, and he hated himself for that.

Seeing the suffering she caused his wife made him resent Jessie all the more. Jessie had broken her mother early on. She still cared what happened to her daughter; she hoped that she would come home one day, and it would be forgotten, and they would live a normal life together, like everyone else. Michael knew better. He just provided Jessie with the means to live her life, but at least her need of money allowed him to police her in some ways.

Jessie had given birth to a child at sixteen, but the child was no more to her than a doll she dressed up on special occasions. She left him to be brought up by her own mother. Michael loved the bones of his handsome little grandson, who had more of the Flynn family in him than whoever had been the fucking piece-of-dirt culprit. Not that Jessie had any fucking idea of her son’s parentage of course; the poor child had been no more than a whodunnit and, with Jessie, that meant it could have been literally
anyone
. Oh, he’d accepted the reality of his Jessie a long time ago. He loved her, but he didn’t
like
her one bit.

Now her mother was worried about her and, if he was really honest with himself, so was he. He understood her much more than she had ever realised; she was a ponce of Olympian standards, but she had never missed an opportunity to pick up her allowance. She should have been at his offices the night before to pick up the money, but she had been a no-show. That was not like his daughter at all – she craved money like a junkie craved a fix. She spent like a woman with no fucking arms – on clothes, shoes and, unfortunately, men. His Jessie never missed her cash payment; she had her credit cards as well, but he could monitor them, so she knew the value of a pound. Jessie was a druggie, a drunk and a waste of space, but she was never late for her allowance. He made sure that it was far too lucrative for her to turn down.

So where the fuck was she?

Jessie Flynn opened her eyes, and fear enveloped her.

It was pitch dark, and she was aware that she was bound, both her hands and her feet tied. For all her exploits, she had never found herself in a predicament like this. She was racking her brains to work out not only who the fuck she had upset recently, but who would have the guts to do this to her knowing who her father was. She knew, on one level, she was in serious trouble, but she was still having a problem accepting that.

She was Jessie
Flynn
, for fuck’s sake! Her dad was the biggest Face in town. That had always meant she was immune to aggravation of any kind – even when she caused outrageous problems for herself, those problems were automatically negated by her father’s timely intervention.

She strained her eyes to see where she was being held captive, but the darkness was total. There was nothing to see at all – just a pure blackness. She was actually truly frightened, and that shocked her. She had never felt real fear before – it was an alien concept – and she swallowed down the scream that she could feel building inside her throat. She would never let anyone know that she was scared or worried about anything. All her life she had lived behind a mask of defiance, and she was not going to let this situation freak her out.

She took a few deep breaths to calm herself; her heart was hammering in her ears, and she could hear it so loudly it was like a drum beating in the room. It bothered her more than she liked to admit. It was too quiet, that was the problem; there was no sound other than her own breathing, her own heartbeat.

Instinctively, she knew that was not a good sign. This was not a situation that she could interpret or make any sense of. She was not unused to waking up somewhere strange, without any memory whatsoever of how she had arrived there. She would often see a man asleep beside her and have no idea who he was or where she had come across him. But she would find out eventually; she would talk to them and gradually she would get the gist of how she had arrived in their bed and, somewhere in the back of her mind, she would dredge up something to explain the events of the night in question.

This was different. She was tied up and she was in pain. Her arms felt like they were being wrenched from their sockets, and her ankles were tied so tightly she couldn’t feel her feet.

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