Good evening my lovely followers!
Tea finished? Washing up done? Finally sat down with a cuppa? Good! ‘Cause I have a treat for you tonight!!!
Owen Mullen has a new book out, Games People Play and I have this amazing extract for you so sit back, kick up your feet and prepare to be wowed . . .
The footsteps came after him, racing as he raced; slapping the sand, crunching shingle, beating against rock. Grass beneath his bare feet meant he was almost home. Almost safe. Then the crunching became a heavy pad. Gaining. He ran faster. His chest burned. Heavy legs refused to carry him; he couldn’t go on. He fell, panting and terrified. The footsteps stopped. For a long time he lay, too afraid to move, expecting a hand to touch his shoulder. But no hand came. He gathered his courage and looked behind him. There was no one there.
Ayr, 35 miles from Glasgow.
They walked along the beach and stopped not far from an old rowing boat with a hole in the bottom. Mark carried the folded push-chair and his daughter. The sun fell towards the horizon. It had been a great day, a scorcher, but the best of it was behind them. Noisy gulls scavenged, soaring and diving and calling to each other. Lily pressed her face against her father’s chest, too tired to be interested in the birds. ‘We ought to get back,’ Mark said, ‘Lily’s tired, she should be in bed.’ Jennifer didn’t reply. He knew what she was thinking. ‘Surely not?’ ‘Last one? Five minutes?’ Mark glanced at his watch – ten past seven – and limited his concern to a sigh. The last thing he wanted was to spoil things with a quarrel; there had been enough of those. Red flags fluttered in the evening air. He pointed to them. ‘Be careful, Jen. The waves are getting bigger. Don’t go far.’ She dropped the bag with their towels and the baby’s things at his feet. ‘I will. In and out. Promise.’ The water was cold; colder than in the afternoon. When it was waist high she kicked her legs and headed out. Jennifer caught a glimpse of Mark and Lily standing on the sand: her whole universe. She loved them so much. That thought almost made her turn back. Instead she took a deep breath and dived. It happened so fast. One minute she was swimming, the next the current was dragging her to the bottom. Seawater flooded her mouth. She fought, thrashed to the surface and tried to shout; a hoarse whisper was all that came. Her head went under and stayed under. Her lungs were on fire. With no warning it released her and she saw blue sky. Jennifer gulped shallow ragged breaths, shocked and scared, and started towards her family. She would never leave them again. But the decision was no longer hers. The force drew her back into a world without light or oxygen and this time it didn’t let go. Her arm broke free in a desperate attempt to escape. Tongues of spray pulled it down and Jennifer knew she was going to drown. She’d dreamed of watching her daughter grow into a woman. That would never be. And Mark, poor Mark. How unfair to leave him. Her body rolled beneath the waves, she stopped struggling, closed her eyes and disappeared from sight.
Seconds passed before Mark realised something wasn’t right. ‘Where’s mummy? Where’s your mummy?’ The baby sucked her thumb. ‘Where is she, Lily?’ At first he couldn’t move. Cold fear consumed him. A hundred yards away a group of boys played football, apart from them the beach was deserted. He yelled. They didn’t hear him. He threw the push-chair to the sand, yanked it open and sat Lily in it. His hands were shaking; the damned straps wouldn’t fasten. He spoke to himself. ‘Please god, no. Please god, no’ and raced into the sea.
Here’s the blurb . . .
A powerful new crime thriller:
Thirteen-month-old Lily Hamilton is abducted from Ayr beach in Scotland while her parents are just yards away.
Three days later the distraught father turns up at private investigator Charlie Cameron’s office. Mark Hamilton believes he knows who has stolen his daughter. And why.
Against his better judgment Charlie gets involved In the case and when more bodies are discovered the awful truth dawns: there is a serial killer whose work has gone undetected for decades.
Is baby Lily the latest victim of a madman?
For Charlie it’s too late, he can’t let go. His demons won’t let him.