Book Details:Genre: Fiction, thriller, crime
Published by: Witness Impulse Publication
Number of Pages: 293
About the book:DC Gary Goodhew searches for the link between an old woman's terminal illness, a brutal murder, and a series of suicides in Cambridge.
Joey McCarthy is stabbed to death in a parking lot in a random act of violence. Shortly afterward, Charlotte Stone's terminally ill mother dies and then, within weeks, two of her teenage friends commit suicide. With her home life disintegrating and both her father and brother racing toward self-destruction, Charlotte realizes that her own personal nightmare is just beginning.
When Gary Goodhew, a loveable, warm-hearted detective, finds the body of another suicide victim, he is forced to recall some deeply buried memories of an investigation that had a profound effect on him--memories that lead him to Charlotte Stone. Working together, they begin to wonder whether all these tragedies are somehow linked. And if they are, who will be the next victim?
Excerpt from The Silence:ONE
Libby wrote: Hi, Zoe, thanks for the friend request. How are you? I heard you died.
‘Doing well for a dead person. LOL.’
There was a gap of a few minutes before Libby replied. Sorry, that was bad taste.
Then there was a gap of a few minutes more.
‘I heard about your sister,’ Zoe wrote. ‘You know she was in my year at school?’
Of course. Your profile picture comes from your class photo. I think you’re standing just behind Rosie. She’s got a funny look on her face, told me once how you pulled her hair just as the flash went off.
‘Yeah, I was in the back row and we were all standing on gym benches. The kids in her row were messing around, trying to get us to fall off. Mrs Hurley saw me wobble and yelled at me. I tugged Rosie’s hair to get my own back. I reckon that was Year Seven or Eight. I don’t remember seeing Rosie much after that.’
Libby had hesitated over the keyboard. She didn’t want this to become nothing more than awkward and pointless chit-chat. She had an opportunity here and, although she guessed it was going to be difficult to get things started, she knew that she needed to do it.
I have a proposition . . . a favour, I suppose. You see, I don’t have anyone to talk to. Rosie’s death left a hole, but there’s more and, if I’m honest, I’m struggling a bit. I’ve tried writing it down, but it just doesn’t work. I get so far, then I’m stuck. So I wondered if I could message you?
‘Do you think that would work?’
I don’t know, but I’d like to try. I thought you might ask me some questions, prompt me to look at things differently. Or maybe I just need to let things out, I’m not sure. The point is, I need to talk.
Those first messages took up little space on her computer screen, yet Libby felt as though getting even that far had taken up the equivalent effort of a 2,000-word essay. She had worked hard to balance her words, to load them equally between truthfulness and understatement. I need to talk had been a tough admission, as it stank of being unable to cope. The last thing she had wanted, through all of this, had been to load anyone else with any part of this burden. But she now accepted that it was the only way to move forward. She thought of Nathan and wished she could speak to him or her parents even, but they were almost as inaccessible as her brother.
And what about Matt?
No, when she looked at him she recognized what other people saw when they looked at her. It was a hollowness that scared her.
She read Zoe’s ‘Okay’ and nodded to herself. This was something she had to do.
I’m not sure where to start, she told Zoe.
‘Begin with Rosie.’
Libby took a deep breath. Rosie, Rosie.
Rosie was in your year, Nathan was one year below, and then there was me, two years below him. I’m 18 now, just to save you working it out, and I’m at sixth form college. The course is a bunch of ‘A’ levels and the college propectus calls them a ‘Foundation in Accountancy’. I’d always wanted to work with small children, but I assumed I’d just leave school and get a job in an office or something.
Instead I chose this course. I gave them all the spiel but, in truth, the only reason I’m doing it is because they were the same ‘A’ levels that Rosie took. She was going to get a degree. She wanted to be a primary school teacher one day, and I bet she would have managed it.
I’m explaining it this way because it shows what Rosie and I were like; how we were similar but different. On a parallel track except I was always a little bit behind, and a little bit in her shadow.
‘But she was three years older?’
Yes, and I’m almost the same age now, but I still haven’t caught up with her in so many ways. And you’re misunderstanding me if you think I feel that’s a bad thing. I was happy in her shadow: it was always a safe and comfortable place to be.
For my entire childhood I could look up and see Rosie and Nathan. Rosie teased Nathan, and Nathan teased me; that was our pecking order. And if Nathan ever upset me, Rosie stepped in, or the other way round.
I can’t remember one single time when I didn’t have one or other of them to look after me.
Anyhow, now I feel like I need to follow in her footsteps, at least for a little while. I’m not ready to let go of her yet, so I sit in the same lectures and try my hardest to get grades as good as hers. That’s what got me through school. It’s like she’s been there before me and I can feel her looking over my shoulder. She says ‘Go on, Bibs, you can do it.’ No one calls me Bibs any more, and I wouldn’t want them to.
Then after a gap of almost twenty minutes, Libby added, Can I message you tomorrow?
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