Extract from The Perfect Neighbours

Category: Extract

In anticipation of the release of The Perfect Neighbours on 15th December, we have an exclusive early look at the first chapter for you! Get ready for the most gripping psychological thriller you’ll read this year…

 

1.

Sunday, 19 December

The spotlight is set into the ceiling so prisoners can’t get at it. Helen’s head hurts from the glare but she doesn’t shield her eyes. The moment she closes them, the images will flood back. Jagged photos in a digital picture frame, moving upwards and sideways, repeating and holding. She doesn’t know which one will torment her first. If she’s lucky, it’s the child’s cello, on its back, neck broken, blood smeared around the sound holes.

But it could be the blood-cherry cheesecake. Or the matted, pink-black belly fur of the dead dog. Or the gaping crew-neck sweater oozing its obscene innards onto the parquet floor. Or Gary.

She sits on the edge of the bed, her arms cradling her knees. If she could focus on the cello, the rest might fade. She must grab the sticky instrument; drag it into view; admire the thickening stains on the polished wood; remember the small, expert hand that once pressed against the fingerboard; and strain to hear the soothing sound of his playing. But it won’t be enough to block out the other images. Seventeen days so far and nothing has dimmed.

She stands up and paces the floor, her joints grating from lack of exercise. They let her walk in the yard at the back of the police station, but the snow piled at the fence reminded her of the cell so she asked to go back in. White room. White loo in the corner, no seat or lid. The only stab of colour is the green button by the door. She presses it.

“Please, sit yourself. Your lawyer will visit you in a little time,” the desk sergeant tells her through the intercom.

No point in arguing; it’s doubtful his English is up to it and, even after eight months in the country, she’s still another expat Brit who can’t be bothered to learn German.

She flops onto the bed. The mattress smells like Marigold gloves. Washing-up, Gary doing the drying. But another view of Gary invades – folded ankles, empty expression, crimson shoulder. She fights the vision and tries to see Gary at their kitchen sink. Tries to make him smile. Make him speak. She curls up, exhausted by the effort.

The door bolts deactivate but she stays foetal. It’s the lawyer, Karola. The ruddy-faced neighbour who keeps spaniels in her back garden and waves at her on Mondays when they put their dustbins out. She’s Frau Barton to her now, the only bilingual German-trained lawyer the school can find at short notice. These days she’s more used to picking up dog poo than counselling women charged with murder.

Helen rolls towards the wall.

“Why didn’t you mention Sascha Jakobsen?” Karola asks.

The name shoots through Helen. She says nothing.

“He’s told the police that you were with him at the outdoor pool in Dortmannhausen.”

Helen sits up. “He said that?”

“The police searched the frozen pool site again. You’d better tell me everything,” Karola says, perching on the bed. Dark trouser suit, darker soul.

Helen draws her legs up, away from her. “There’s nothing to tell.”

“How long have you known Jakobsen?”

Why ask when she knows the answer? The school is a goldfish bowl and they both swim in it. Karola Barton knows every bit of her business. All the neighbours do, all the neighbours that are still alive.

Helen says: “It wasn’t like that.”

Karola stands up. The crease of her trousers is plumb-line vertical. “What was it like, Mrs Taylor?”

 

The Perfect Neighbours is out on eBook on 15th December 2017. Pre-order now!

The Killer Reads team’s Halloween reads!

Category: Uncategorized

Happy Halloween Killer Reads fans! On the spoooooookiest day of the year we have a real TREAT for you: The Killer Reads team’s favourite Halloween reads! Now don’t be TRICKED these are some seriously creepy reads… how many have you read?

We hope you enjoy, but a word of warning: once you start these, you won’t be able to turn out the light… 

 

 

1. In a Cottage in a Wood by Cass Green

A strange encounter, An unexpected gift, A twisted secret…
Neve comes across a troubled woman called Isabelle on Waterloo Bridge late one night. Isabelle forces a parcel into Neve’s hands and jumps to her death in the icy Thames below.
Two weeks later, as Neve’s wreck of a life in London collapses, an unexpected lifeline falls into her lap – a charming cottage in Cornwall left to her by Isabelle, the woman on the bridge. The solution to all her problems.
But when Neve arrives, alone in the dark woods late one night, she finds a sinister-looking bungalow with bars across its windows. And her dream home quickly becomes her worst nightmare – a house hiding a twisted secret that will change her life forever…

 

2. Stalker by Lars Kepler

Close the curtains. Lock the door. Before it’s too late…
A film arrives at Stockholm’s National Crime Investigation Department showing a woman in her own home, plainly unaware she is being watched. The police don’t take it seriously … until she is found murdered.
When the next video arrives, Detective Margot Silverman frantically attempts to identify the victim. But it’s already too late. Because at the time the video was sent, the killer was already inside their house…
Soon Stockholm is in the grip of terror. Who will the Stalker target next?

 

3. The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy smalltown family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father – Pikeville’s notorious defence attorney – devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself – the archetypal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again – and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatised – Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case which can’t help triggering the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime which destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried for ever…

 

4. The Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne

One of Sarah’s daughters died. But can she be sure which one?

A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.

But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity – that she, in fact, is Lydia – their world comes crashing down once again.

As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past – what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?

Pssst! This one’s currently only £1.49 on Kindle as well! A real eeeekBook bargain!

 

5. The Birthday Girl by Sue Fortin

Four friends. A party to die for. Who will survive?

Dear Carys, Zoe and Andrea
Come and join me for my fortieth birthday adventure weekend, full of mysteries and surprises
the like of which you can’t imagine.

When Joanne’s friends reluctantly accept an invitation to her birthday party, it quickly becomes clear that there is more to this weekend than they are expecting.
One of them is hiding a secret.
And Joanne is planning to reveal it…

A weekend away in a cottage in the woods sounds like fun – until no one can hear your cries for help.

 

6. Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey

A murder without a body. A girl too scared to talk. A detective with everything to prove.

Eighteen-year-old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home one day to find the house covered in blood and Kate, her mother, gone. All the signs point to murder.

Maeve Kerrigan is determined to prove she’s up to her new role as detective sergeant. She suspects Chloe is hiding something, but getting her to open up is impossible.

No one on the street is above suspicion. All Maeve needs is one person to talk, but that’s not going to happen. Because even in a case of murder, some secrets are too terrible to share…

 

7. A Dark so Deadly by Stuart MacBride (link to video)

Sometimes the worst thing you can imagine is just the start… Welcome to the Misfit Mob. 

It’s where Police Scotland dumps the officers it can’t get rid of, but wants to: the outcasts, the troublemakers, the compromised. Officers like DC Callum MacGregor, lumbered with all the boring go-nowhere cases. So when an ancient mummy turns up at the Oldcastle tip, it’s his job to find out which museum it’s been stolen from.

But then Callum uncovers links between his ancient corpse and three missing young men, and life starts to get a lot more interesting. O Division’s Major Investigation Teams already have more cases than they can cope with, so, against everyone’s better judgement, the Misfit Mob are just going to have to manage this one on their own.

No one expects them to succeed, but right now they’re the only thing standing between the killer’s victims and a slow, lingering death. The question is, can they prove everyone wrong before he strikes again?

 

And as a final Halloween treat from us here at Killer Reads to you, check out this truly terrifying Halloween video from Stuart MacBride himself!

 

The Birthday Girl is available from 14th November, but all the rest of these thrilling stories are OUT NOW – Happy Halloween Reading! 🎃😈☠️👻🕷️

Collins Crime Club October picks

Category: Uncategorized

The Detective Club returns this month with your October Crime Club picks, starting with Death at Breakfast by John Rhode, a classic winter’s crime novel by one of the most highly regarded exponents of the genre, with the best cover you’ve EVER seen!

Victor Harleston awoke with uncharacteristic optimism. Today he would be rich at last. Half an hour later, he gulped down his breakfast coffee and pitched to the floor, gasping and twitching. When the doctor arrived, he recognised instantly that it was a fatal case of poisoning and called in Scotland Yard.

Despite an almost complete absence of clues, the circumstances were so suspicious that Inspector Hanslet soon referred the evidence to his friend and mentor, Dr Lancelot Priestley, whose deductions revealed a diabolically ingenious murder that would require equally fiendish ingenuity to solve.

Death at Breakfast is one of the very best books by an outstanding Golden Age author, and is now being brought back into print after more than 50 years with the original cover design, considered one of the best cover designs ever to grace a crime novel!

 

Death at Breakfast is out now!

 

Our second October choice is Beware of Johnny Washington by Francis Durbridge.

The Holy Grail for Francis Durbridge and Paul Temple fans, and republished for the first time since 1951, Beware of Johnny Washington is Francis Durbridge’s clever reworking of the very first Paul Temple radio serial using his new characters: the amiable Johnny Washington and newspaper columnist Verity Glyn.

When a gang of desperate criminals begins leaving calling cards inscribed ‘With the compliments of Johnny Washington’, the real Johnny Washington is encouraged by an attractive newspaper columnist to throw in his lot with the police. Johnny, an American ‘gentleman of leisure’ who has settled at a quiet country house in Kent to enjoy the fishing, soon finds himself involved with the mysterious Horatio Quince, a retired schoolmaster who is on the trail of the gang’s unscrupulous leader, the elusive ‘Grey Moose’.

Francis Durbridge’s prolific output of crime and mystery stories, encompassing plays, radio, television, films and books, made him a household name for more than 50 years.

 

Beware of Johnny Washington is out now!

And don’t miss our new Murder on the Orient Express film tie-ins & special editions this October, marking Agatha Christie’s remarkable ten decades of film adaptations.

 

Follow the Killer Reads blog to keep up to speed with our best classic crime picks every month.