Today I’m very privileged to be sharing an extract from Caroline Mitchell’s new book Silent Victim. I’m actually half way through the book and absolutely loving it but due to illness I’ve had to stop reading and I seriously can’t wait to get back to it.
Emma has it all. A beautiful son, a loving husband and a dream job. Life only seem to get better when her husband, Alex, is offered a promotion and plans to move his young family to a new home. But Emma has a terrifying secret. In her back garden lies the body of a school teacher who seduced her as a teenager and Emma is responsible for it being there. Knowing she cannot leave without disposing of the body, Emma returns to original place to rid herself of it once and for, only to discovers it gone. Panic and terror lead to a confession of the crime to her husband, who promises to stand by her no matter what.
But Emma’s revelation shakes them to the core. As the idyllic life they once led becomes unhinged, soon both find themselves tangled in a web of deceit and as a chain reaction of events take place, their perfect existence begins to implode. Splitting the story between three voices, Caroline draws on her police officer experience to present the complex and blurred lines between victim and predator, innocence and guilt, and deceit and protection.
Available to purchase from March 1st – Amazon UK |
The antiseptic tang that assailed my nostrils told me I was not at home any more. I tried to bring my vision into focus as I blinked. My chest was tight and I felt like someone had poured a bag of grit into my eyes and throat. A warm hand squeezed mine and for a second my heart fluttered as I wondered if Luke had come to my rescue after all. The last thing I remembered was being dragged out of my smoking house by a pair of strong hands, and it made me melt to know he cared after all.
‘Hey, are you OK?’ Theresa said, and I rubbed my eyes, disappointment bringing instant tears as I realised that Luke was not there.
‘Shh, don’t try to talk,’ she soothed, squeezing my hand. ‘You’re lucky to be alive. You gave us an awful fright.’
My eyes grew wide as I looked around the hospital room. A curtain shielded my bed. On the locker beside me were a bunch of carnations and a punnet of grapes.
‘Dad’s in the men’s ward. He dragged you out of the fire. It’s not done his lungs much good.’
I groaned. How could I have been so selfish? Why hadn’t I just taken some pills instead of the need for all the drama? I knew why. Because I still thought Luke would come to save me, and the flames would light up the sky like a beacon.
‘Luke,’ I croaked, forgetting my promise to keep quiet about us.
‘Oh babe,’ Theresa said, ‘I know. Everyone does. It’s all come out.’
I licked my dry cracked lips as I tried to force out the words, feeling grateful that the sorest part of my body were my lungs and throat. I could have been scarred for life. How could I have been so stupid?
‘Shh, just listen,’ Theresa said, looking as if she had not slept all night. Devoid of make-up, her face was pale and gaunt, her unwashed blonde hair scraped back into a ponytail. ‘You’re not in any trouble, but the police are waiting to speak to you. I don’t want you to get a fright when they turn up.’
‘Police?’ I croaked, fear spearing my heart. Had something happened to Luke? I imagined him rushing over to save me, a car accident maybe. Had he been killed? Had the police found my texts on his phone? I bit my lip as a wave of anxiety threatened to engulf me.
‘It’s OK. It’s all been sorted. You should have spoken to me. I know I’ve not been about lately, but I’m only at the end of the phone.’ She glanced through the crack in the curtain before lowering her voice. ‘They need to serve you with a harassment warning. Luke went to the police about it when he heard you were in hospital. He said you’ve been stalking him for months. I spoke to him on the phone. He said he’s sorry it’s gone this far but he had to report it to the police to stop you hurting yourself again.’
‘But he . . .’ I took a painful breath, barely able to believe her words. ‘He kissed me . . .’
A former police detective, Caroline Mitchell uses her in-depth knowledge of police procedures to create complex and suspenseful psychological thrillers. Caroline worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with the vulnerable victims of domestic abuse and serious sexual offences. The mental strength shown by the victims of these crimes was a constant source of inspiration. A working mother of four, Caroline started writing due to the stress of dealing with such serious incidents and a way of processing the horrific crimes she witnessed. After self-publishing her first novel, Caroline became committed to pursuing writing as a profession and has never looked back, publishing 10 books in 3 years, and she now writes full time.
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