Guilt by Heather Burnside | Blog Tour Extract | #Guilt | Crime Fiction | @heatherbwriter @AriesFiction @soph_ransompr

If you like Martina Cole, Kimberley Chambers and Jessie Keane – you’ll love Heather Burnside!

Successful businesswoman Laura once called herself Crystal and worked the streets of Manchester. But when her business is attacked and the police have no leads, it’s clear there’s someone out there who hasn’t forgotten who she used to be…

I know who you are… Laura Sharples has worked hard for her success, and now runs a handful of lucrative designer fashion boutiques. Her past, however, is dark. She called herself Crystal and worked the streets of Manchester. Although she’s put her past firmly behind her, she’s never forgotten what it took to beat her addictions and raise her daughter, Candice, to expect better.

I know what you did… Candice is proud of how her mother has turned her life around, but when the boutiques are targeted in a series of attacks, the stress takes its toll on Laura. Candice fears that her mother may be falling back into her old habits in order to cope, and it’s driving a wedge between them. Luckily, her boyfriend Thomas is on hand to support her.

I’m coming to get you… As the attacks escalate, the police have no leads and it’s making Laura paranoid. It’s clear there’s someone else out there who hasn’t forgotten who she used to be. Someone who knows what she did…

Someone who won’t stop until she loses absolutely everything…

My thanks to Sophie of RansomPR for the tour invitation and the publisher for the copy of the book which I look forward to reading. Guilt is a standalone, set in the same gangland world as Heather’s Working Girl series. For my turn on the first day of the tour, I’m delighted to share an extract.


Haley was looking forward to the next couple of days as she didn’t have to work. As a shop worker, it wasn’t often she got the weekend off, but her husband had booked two nights at a spa hotel in the Lake District as a special treat for them. She’d sorted everything out in readiness: her packing was done, her parents were minding the children and her assistant manager, Caitlin, had agreed to step in for the next two days.

As she made the short walk to the car park, she was full of excitement. She and her husband had busy careers and it was rare for just the two of them to spend time together. The hotel had been recommended by a friend and she couldn’t wait to try out the spa. She loved the Lake District and was also looking forward to leisurely walks in the countryside followed by chilled evenings eating out and sipping wine.

It wasn’t until she turned into a small side street that her attention was pulled away from her forthcoming weekend.

Hearing someone behind her, she turned to see who it was. By the time she caught sight of the man, he had grabbed her and was dragging her into the alleyway. It was difficult to tell what he looked like as he was wearing a mask, which wasn’t unusual given the current pandemic.

She tried to pull away, but he was so forceful that she lost her footing, her heels scraping along the ground. Haley began to yell but he clamped his hand tight across her mouth. Before she knew it, she was in the alleyway, and he had a knife pointed at her.

‘Don’t say a word!’ he ordered.

She felt her heart racing and as he took his hand away her jaw dropped in shock. When he grabbed her handbag, she didn’t put up any resistance, terrified at the sight of the knife and his threatening tone.

‘Please, just take what you want and leave me alone,’ she begged.

He clearly found it difficult to open the bag while brandishing the knife. ‘Open it!’ he ordered. ‘And take your purse out.’

She did as he demanded, and he shoved the purse inside the waistband of his trousers.

‘Right, now give me the shop keys and that remote for the shutters.’

Haley gasped realising that he must have been watching her, but she did as he demanded.

‘And now you can hand me your jewellery,’ he said.

Haley cried. ‘You can have my rings but please don’t take my necklace. It was my mother’s. It’s all I’ve got left of her.’

‘You heard what I said. Hand me your jewellery! All of it.’

Haley wept as she handed him her wedding and engagement rings then struggled to unfasten her chain as her hands were shaking so much.

‘Get a move on!’ he hissed, eager to be off before anyone spotted them.

Haley watched him run off then she stumbled out of the alleyway and into the street. Dazed and shaken, she looked around for help then broke down sobbing when a middle-aged couple came to her rescue.

It wasn’t until later that she connected the attack and what he had said with the warning she had received from Candice. She hadn’t taken much notice at the time, thinking it was just a young girl over-reacting. But now she wished she had.

There was obviously something serious going on.


Heather is the author of a number of novels & series set in gangland Manchester including The Working Girls series – Crystal, Sapphire, Amber and The Mark. Heather spent her teenage years on one of the toughest estates in Manchester and she draws heavily on this background as the setting for many of her novels. After taking a career break to raise two children Heather enrolled on a creative writing course. Heather now works full-time on her novels from her home in Manchester, which she shares with her two grown-up children. Heather has sold several hundred thousand copies of her novels in numerous countries.

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