Roberta Kray Faces Up to the Consequences
If there's one thing a London cabbie can be relied upon to do, it's to provide an opinion. So, as I settled back to start my journey to Liverpool Street Station, it was no great surprise to find myself listening to a monologue on the state of the NHS, the greed of politicians and the general untrustworthiness of any reporter who had ever flipped open a notebook.
"You know what the trouble with this country is?" He didn't wait for a reply. "No one takes any responsibility for their actions. They trip over a kerb and they want to blame someone else. They're straight on the blower to some jumped-up firm of lawyers looking for compo."
It was that notion of personal responsibility that set me thinking and not just about all those ambulance-chasing advertisements. What if one simple action was to set in motion a terrible tragedy? How would you cope with it and how would it colour the rest of your life? As I glanced out of the window, I remembered an afternoon at school when I'd been doing javelin practise out on the playing field. Carelessly, I had leaned back, released the javelin and then watched in horror as a group of girls stepped straight into its flight path. For a few gut-wrenching seconds I was convinced I was about to become a killer. The future flashed in front of me, the burden of guilt already too much to bear. I was lucky that day--the javelin landed a few inches from their feet--but it could have been so very different.
Thus, the seeds for my latest book, Nothing But Trouble, were sewn. It begins on a dull August morning in 1998 with a gang of ten-year-old girls, bored and restless, roaming the streets of the East End and looking for something to do. As Minnie Bright, a small awkward child, starts tagging along behind them, it's only a matter of time before the girls embark on a course of action that will haunt them forever.
Years later, when investigative journalist Jessica Vaughan has her own conversation with a cabbie, she begins looking again at a case that shocked a community. Have the girls come to terms with what they did or do the events of that day still cast a shadow over them? There's only one way to find out. What begins as an exploration into the consequences of careless actions quickly turns into something much darker. As Jessica delves ever deeper it soon becomes clear that the whole story hasn't been told and that someone is prepared to kill to preserve the secrets of the past.