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Authors: Jenny Thomson

Hell To Pay

BOOK: Hell To Pay
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Hell to Pay

By Jenny Thomson

(Die Hard for Girls Book 1)

About this book

Nancy Kerr refuses to be a victim - even when she walks in on her parents’ killers and is raped and left for dead.

Fourteen months later, she wakes up in a psychiatric hospital with no knowledge of how she got there. Slowly her memory starts to return.

Released from the institution, she has just one thing on her mind – two men brought hell to her family home.

Now they’re in for some hell of their own.


About the author

Jenny Thomson is an award winning crime writer and features writer who has been widely published in the UK and abroad. She’s a staunch advocate of girl power and her book Hell To Pay is the first in a series she's dubbed Die Hard for Girls.

Also by Jenny Thomson


Throwaways (Die Hard for Girls Book 2)

The Restless Dead (A zombie novel)


Coming soon…

Don’t Come for Me (Die Hard for Girls Book 3)

How Kirsty Gets Her Kicks (Snubnose Press)


As Jennifer Thomson

Bullying A Parent’s Guide

Living Cruelty Free: Live a More Compassionate Life

Caring for your dog: The Essential Guide


For her latest books releases, giveaways and writing tips, why not check out her blog at



This book is for Rosemary Thomson, Karen Daly, Sharon Kerr and Isobel Randall – four of the sassiest, kick ass girls I’ve ever known.

Sometimes you meet the best people at the start of your life.

Thanks also to John for putting up with questions such as “would curling tongs on a man's genitals hurt” when we're alone, on an island and the last ferry’s gone.

I also very much appreciate the support of fellow authors Chris Longmuir, Katy O’Dowd, Heath Lowrance and Gerard Brennan.













































This book is for anyone who's tired of reading about women being victims of awful crimes and knowing that if the perpetrators are caught (which so often doesn’t happen) that they won’t get a punishment that fits the crime.

This book's also for any woman who's ever been a victim of crime and who never saw the perpetrator or perpetrators brought to justice.

This is the first book in a series I've dubbed Die Hard for girls, books that comes with a guarantee: the bad guys will always get their comeuppance and the “victims” their revenge.



This book in no way advocates violence. All of the characters and events are purely fictional.


"How deep down do we need to go?"

He can see her plump silhouette in the torchlight and imagine her tight, frightened face as she speaks.

"How the fuck do I know, Maureen? It’s not like I’ve done this before."

He instantly regrets biting her head off, but he doesn’t feel well: the sweat’s coming off him in waves and his heart’s beating so fast a heart attack is a distinct possibility. The last one had very near finished him off.

"You said you knew what you were doing, Willie."

She left the part she always got to about him not having a clue hanging in the air, but he knew it was there. It was always bloody there. He’d spent the last forty-five years pretending not to notice the tone that spoke of umpteen disappointments and things he'd done wrong.

He carries on digging. His back’s buggered, but he needs to keep on filling the spade with dirt and then dumping it to one side before it gets light and the neighbors start asking questions. He’ll take the soil to the dump later. Much later. The way things were going, he’d need to sleep for a week first.

The flashlight Maureen’s holding starts to dip; her hands must be cold (she’s always had bad circulation – there was a fancy medical term for it, but he could never remember it). It occurs to him that she might be shaking with fear and he knows he should tell her that everything’s going to be all right, so he stops for a moment, glad of the rest and props his body against the muddy shovel, wiping a dirty hand across his sweaty brow.

"We’re doing the right thing here. You know that, hen. If the police find it, it’s an automatic five years. He won’t last that long in prison. Not one long stretch. You know that. He’s too damn soft."

In the darkness, he hears her crying. "How did it come to this? Where did we go wrong?"

As he resumes digging, the crunch of the spade on the soil drowns out the sound of her tears.



















Two Days Later…

"You know, Nancy, it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile."

A workmate had kindly pointed that out to her and got a two-fingered gesture in return.

Today had been a right bitch of a day, frowned Nancy not giving a monkey’s whether it gave her wrinkles. All she wanted to do now was curl up on her parents’ couch, hands curled around a bowl of Mum’s homemade lentil soup, with butterbeans the size of canoes and listen to the latest gossip, as Dad snorted from behind his book.

The prospect of going home, to her real home, made her want to punch someone. Michael was being a right moody bastard these days and she wanted to avoid him and his soulless apartment in Glasgow’s West End that she’d stupidly moved into. If he plonked down one more coaster and warned her once more not to mark his Charles Rennie Mackintosh coffee table, she was going to turn into the Hulk and smash him over the bloody skull with it.

She pulled up outside the house, relaxing as she took in the view. Little lanterns glowed in the windows and the Christmas tree (a real one, not one of those “plastic mutants” as her mum called them) was the usual grand affair with twinkling lights and enough tinsel to wrap around the whole of Glasgow. Perched on top was the fairy she’d made when she was six-years-old; the poor thing was lopsided with a grin that was more troll than fairy, but her mum always insisted on placing it on the tree every year along with Shug's star. He’d made it when he was seven; probably the last time he’d made his parents proud.

Nancy trotted up the short gravel path, surprised to find the door ajar. Her parents weren’t usually that careless. No one left their doors open in this city, not unless they wanted their house to be burgled. There were too many thieving scumbags around. She knew that because her brother was one of them, what they called a “career thief.”

As she strolled down the short hall, she heard drawers being pulled open and cupboard doors being slammed and raised her eyes to the ceiling. Whoop-de-do, she was just in time for her parents to have one of their, "I don’t know where it is, you saw it last" type arguments. That’s all she needed when she’d come here for some peace and quiet, not their bickering.

But, she couldn’t hear any voices. Something else struck her as odd. She couldn’t hear the TV either; usually it was blaring away as her parents watched the latest TV crime drama.

Something wasn’t right.

She wanted to leave, to get back in her car and drive. But that was ridiculous. This was her home. Where she’d always been safe.

"Mum, Dad," she shouted.

She expected them to appear at any moment and start arguing with one another about who’d left the front door open.

She took a few more steps into the living room and walked straight into hell…










Chapter 1

I’m cold, colder than I’ve ever been in my entire life and I don’t know why. Slowly, I open my eyes, tentatively at first because even opening them a fraction feels like someone's shoving red-hot pins into them. The light is so bright.

What’s with the light anyway?

Has Michael wandered in, blootered on some poncy new beer and left it switched on, after collapsing in a heap onto the bed?  I’ll brain him if he has. I’m no good to anyone when I don’t get my eight hours.

Pulling myself up in bed, I reach out my arm to nudge him awake so I can give him a right mouthful. My hand finds empty space.

Where is he?

My eyes sting as I prise them open – it’s as though there's been an accident with false lashes and I've glued my eyelashes together - and that’s when I realize I’m not in our flat. The reason I’m freezing is because I’m wearing a tracing paper thin hospital gown: the kind that shows off your backside when you’re being whisked off to x-ray.

A tidal wave of panic hits me and I jerk into full consciousness.

What’s happened to me?

I try to remember, but my brain’s all bunged up as if the top of my head's been removed and the cavity’s been filled with cotton wool.

My arms are bandaged up. Have I been in an accident?  If I have, I don’t remember. Maybe I hit my head.

I take in my surroundings. If I’m in hospital, it’s no ordinary one. For one thing, my room’s more like a cell. There’s a bed and a table bolted to the floor, but no personal stuff: photos, cards, or stuffed animals from people wishing me well. Does anyone even know I’m here?

I grope for a call button to get a nurse, but there isn’t one. What the hell? This place is a prison.

Staggering out of bed, I fight the wave of nausea and dizziness that make me want to yell at the world to stop moving because I want to get off the carousel. The tile floor is stone cold and there are no slippers by the bed. My feet are ice blocks. Why don’t I have any socks or tights on? 

Before I reach the door, there's a jingle of keys, then a key scrapes in the lock. Holding my breath, I brace myself for what’s coming.

A woman I don’t recognize with brown hair tied back in a ponytail appears. She’s dressed in a nurse’s uniform and there’s a small smile playing at the edge of her lips.

"Good, you’re awake, Nancy."

She sounds pleased, as if we’re bosom buddies. I’ve never seen her before in my life.

"Where am I?"

My voice comes out as a rasp as though my throat’s been sandpapered down.

The nurse puts a hand on my shoulder. "Let’s get you back into bed, Nancy."

I do as she says, but only because I’m worried if I don’t lie back, I’ll faint.

"You’re in Parkview Hospital," she says, fixing the pillows so I can sit upright.

I know all the hospitals in Glasgow, but I haven’t heard of that one. I ask her what kind of hospital it is and she tells me it’s a psychiatric facility. The reason I haven’t heard of it, is because they don’t publicize it. Perhaps because it’s full of nutters they want to keep away from society.

The prospect terrifies me because that would mean they must think I’m crazy. Why else would I be here? 

I suck in my breath. When I ask her if this is a nut house, she presses her lips tightly together and tells me no one refers to psychiatric hospitals in that way any more. Suitably chastised, I mumble an apology not because I think one’s needed, but because she’s the one with the keys.

"Why am I here?"

I’m dreading the answer, but I need to know. I don’t feel any different. Surely if I’d lost my mind, I'd know.

"You had a breakdown."

The way she says it she could be talking about the weather.

She asks me if I want anything, I tell her a pair of proper pajamas, a dressing gown, and slippers would be nice because I’m an ice block. If she gets in touch with my mum, she’ll bring me in some stuff.

The nurse’s smile’s still there, but its breaks down around the corners of her mouth. There’s something she’s not telling me, because she’s worried how I’ll react. There’s fear in her eyes.

I notice she’s wearing a lucky heather brooch, the same one I got for Mum. I’m staring at it as she tells me she’s going to fetch a doctor, when a memory stirs inside me and no matter how hard I try to push it away, someone’s taken their finger out the dyke and the water’s rushing in.

Blood, blood everywhere. Dad’s slumped in his favorite armchair, head bent forward as if in prayer (he never prayed a day in his life); a single bullet hole in his head. I know it’s him, even although his face has been beaten to a pulp: his blood staining the fireside rug Mum was so proud of. Even in death, my dad has this presence. He fills a room with the sheer weight of his personality. Discarded nearby is the baseball bat they must have used on him. It’s covered in blood and something sticky and dark brown, resembling raw mince.

Mum's sitting at the kitchen table. From an angle, she appears to be sleeping until my eyes are drawn to the bullet hole smack bang in the middle of her forehead like a third eye. Her eyes stare straight ahead as if she knew what was coming. She saw the gun, felt the terror, but didn’t close her eyes. One arm’s resting on the table and there’s a smell of burnt flesh.

I bite back a scream. There are noises coming from upstairs.

I need to get out of here and drive off until I’m far enough away to phone the police. It’s not safe in this house; the house I grew up in.

I breinge for the door, but I’m grabbed from behind and slammed against the wall.

"Not so fast, doll," a voice says.

Dazed, I look up and see a fat man in a mask grinning at me. His has more gaps than teeth and he stinks to the high heavens.

There are footsteps on the stairs and another voice.

"Now what have we got here?"

This one's tall and there’s merriment in this voice as he peers down at me through dishwater grey eyes. He licks his lips and they glisten like worms. He’s holding a gun. The one he must have used to kill my parents.

My heart’s hammering away. He’s going to shoot me.

Worm lips pokes me in the chest with the gun. It hurts, but I manage to stay quiet.

I give him a fuck you stare when he orders me to take off my clothes.

There’s no way I’m letting that happen to me, not here. He’ll have to shoot me first.

"Don’t fuck with me sweetheart."

Without warning, he slams his foot into my stomach. His boot connects and I curl up in the fetal position, screaming with pain as both men hoot with laughter.

Before I can pull myself to my feet, Fat Man looms over me with a knife in his hand. I can do nothing as he cuts away my clothes.

In my head, I go somewhere else as they take turns to rape me…

A scream rises in my throat and I’m back in the hospital. More people have appeared. They hold me down as I try to wriggle free, kicking at them and punching; screaming she-devil style, until they pin me down and one, a man in a white coat with a sympathetic smile injects me with something and the room dissolves…





























BOOK: Hell To Pay
11.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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