I am delighted that today is my stop on the blog tour for the latest novel by Carys Jones, Wrong Number and I am really excited to bring you an extract along with my review.
But first, here’s the blurb . . .
A missing husband. Mysterious calls. And the biggest lie of them all.
Read with caution – you may never want to answer your phone again…
Will and Amanda Thorne are living the dream until, one day, their phone rings. Within 24 hours, Will is missing and Amanda’s world is shattered.
Who was on the phone? Where has Will gone?
Amanda is determined to find her husband and is drawn into a world of drug dealers, criminal masterminds and broken promises.
As the truth becomes clearer, she has to face the terrible possibility that she may never have known her husband at all…
Now if that hasn’t whet your appetite then I know that this extract will . . .
Amanda ignored the metallic taste in her mouth and did her best to focus. Sunlight was bleeding in through the windows in the small kitchen, casting ornate shadows upon the bare wooden floors.
But Amanda didn’t notice them. Nor did she smell the heady aroma of fresh heather floating in through the open door, or hear the gentle rustle of the long grass outside as a cooling breeze brushed its way through it.
All she saw was the barrel of the gun looming inches away from her head. There was only darkness in its depths. And possibly her own death. Her fate hung on the twitch of a trigger. Amanda had known fear like this before when she was eight years old and she’d almost tumbled over the edge of the cliffs near her home. The sun had been shining that day too.
Only now her father wasn’t waiting in the wings to save her.
‘Why did you come here?’ he growled the question at her, each word drenched in angry disdain.
Amanda swallowed, using the second to gather her thoughts. She couldn’t risk saying, or doing, the wrong thing.
‘I had to.’ She squeaked out the words like the frightened mouse she had become.
‘No,’ he was shaking his head but the hand holding the gun remained eerily stoic, like his muscles were well rehearsed in steadily managing its weight. ‘You should never have come here.’
The taste in Amanda’s mouth grew sharper. Just as it had that day when she had nearly dropped over the cliff edge and saw the sea and jagged rocks swirling beneath her. She defiantly raised her chin to meet his gaze.
‘I had to come,’ she told him, her voice strengthening along with her resolve. ‘I had to find you.’
Two Weeks Earlier
Leaning back in her leather desk chair, Amanda Thorn raised her arms up over her head until she felt a satisfying click. Giving a light sigh, she shook out her shoulders and placed her fingers back upon her laptop’s illuminated keyboard.
Golden sunlight was pouring in through the window, pooling at her feet. The hot afternoon was preparing to burn into a balmy evening. Amanda shuffled in her chair, her bare legs sticking to the soft leather.
‘Damn heatwave,’ she muttered as she cast a pained glance down at the denim cut-offs she’d pulled on that morning. Coupled with a loose fitting white T-shirt, the outfit had been perfect for jogging through the woodlands behind her home earlier but not such a wise choice for working in.
Leaning forward, Amanda reached for the tall glass of water that was standing beside her laptop like a solitary crystal guard. Droplets beaded down its sides, allowing the glass to leave a perfect circle upon the oak desk as Amanda lifted the drink towards her lips.
‘Urgh,’ she crinkled her nose when she spotted the water mark. Not because it bothered her but because she knew it would bother her husband, Will. He was a meticulous man; from the way he dressed right down to how he fastidiously organized the contents of their refrigerator. It was one of the things that had first drawn Amanda to him; the way he always looked so perfect and put together. It was a stark contrast to her own dishevelled appearance. Amanda refused to abandon the jogging bottoms, hoodies and T-shirts she’d lived in as a student. She was the kind of woman who preferred comfort over style although in the current heat she felt less comfortable than she’d have liked.
‘Baby, you’re such a knockout,’ Will was always telling her, even when she’d only thrown on whatever clothes she could get her hands on. In their house he threw around compliments like confetti but Amanda wasn’t so sure. When she looked in the mirror she still saw the gawky teenager who’d rather hide behind a computer screen than face the real world.
Putting her glass back down, Amanda focused on her computer screen. The website she’d spent the last week building was almost finished. She ran a critical eye over the various pages, hoping her client, Diowater, would be pleased with the results.
‘Designer water,’ she muttered to herself with a rueful shake of the head. Her icy blonde hair tumbled into her line of sight. Exhaling deeply, Amanda blew the few strands away and looked at her handiwork. The website looked slick and expensive, just like the product it was advertising.
Diowater was a new brand of bottled water. Even the plastic bottles the exclusive beverage came in had been warped to look like the carefully fractured surface of a diamond. Amanda continued to review the pages. This one job paid enough to cover her for a few months. She could stop working if she wanted to. Not that she’d ever do that. Amanda needed a connection to her computer like most people needed oxygen. She’d be lost without it. Growing up she had more virtual friends than real ones. If she wasn’t online playing a game she was in some chat room or teaching herself how to code.
Will didn’t share her passion for technology. He was a complete technophobe; his mobile phone still had buttons!
‘I don’t trust touchscreens,’ he’d protested loudly in his thick Scottish accent as Amanda stood with in him in the centre of PC Universe. She was updating her laptop. Again. Will didn’t even have a computer of his own.
‘We could get you a tablet,’ she’d taken his large, calloused hands in her own and led him over to where all the computer tablets were tastefully displayed.
‘A tablet?’ Will’s dark eyes had crinkled at the corners and lit up with a mixture of amusement and concern. ‘Honey, a tablet is something you take when you’re sick.’ He was smiling at her in the way he always did, like she entertained him simply by breathing.
Laughing, Amanda had led him away, accepting that a new tablet for her husband was the last thing she’d be purchasing. He may not have been technically savvy but Will was an oak tree of a man. He was tall, with broad shoulders and a solid chest. In a storm he was the guy you’d grab on to in order to anchor yourself and save getting blown away. He had a shock of dark hair which filtered down into the whisper of a beard. Hair that had once been as black as night was now flecked with silver. The previous summer Will had celebrated his fortieth birthday; Amanda swore that with each birthday he became even more handsome, more rugged.
My thoughts . . .
Wrong Number is a brilliantly thought out and wonderfully written thriller, Jones writes in such a way that you are able to keep up with all the twists and turns and the various plot lines without loosing your way.
Amanda is a great character and I really warmed to her, she knew what she wanted and she did everything she could think of to get it – her husband that is!
The ending is quite abrupt and left a couple hanging in the wind but I am certain that there will be a sequel which will tie up those loose ends perfectly, and I for one cannot wait to read it!
Thank you to Carys and Aria for my review copy.
Be sure to follow the rest of the tour so you can keep up with other reviews and guest posts from the author.
About the author . . .
Carys Jones loves nothing more than to write and create stories which ignite the reader’s imagination. Based in Shropshire, England, Carys lives with her husband, two guinea pigs and her adored canine companion Rollo.