When a stranger leaves step-sisters, Victoria and Ness, a half-share in a house in Holland, they think it must be a mistake.
But there’s no mistake when Ness goes missing.
Desperate for the truth, Victoria heads to Holland to find out what happened to her. Has she, as her texts show, embarked on a whirlwind romance? Has someone abducted her or even worse?
But there’s someone watching, and that person wants her dead.
Can Victoria find out the truth before it’s too late?
Something is different, if there haven’t been more than enough changes to contend with already. It’s still dark and warm but now, instead of a woolly blanket, I’m wrapped in duvet and dog, as Nigel shifts to snort in my ear.
Just like before, I examine my surroundings without moving a muscle, just in case. Just in case he’s still in the room, although my ears tell me differently. It’s quiet, too quiet for guests and the only sound is my pulse as it throbs in my ears.
I’m lying stretched out on a bed, a bed topped with the softest mattress and the smoothest of sheets. This is no cheap student flat as I sink my head further into the pillow, aware of a slight pull on my scalp. But there’s no pain, just the awareness that something isn’t quite right. I let my muscles relax, concentrating on easing the sudden tension that threatens to overwhelm everything. I have to think this through, all of it and I have to do it before he comes back into the room.
There’s no sign of the nausea and dizziness of earlier. Nevertheless, I take a few deep breaths before shifting back against the pillows. I don’t know who he is. I suspect that he may be this Manus van der Hooke person. But, in truth, that’s only a guess, a guess based on a couple of unsubstantiated texts from the most unreliable of sources, my stepsister. Who’s to say he isn’t just an innocent bystander who’s stumbled into the middle of the most bizarre of situations? But if that’s the case, what was he doing in my house? And with the staircase all but demolished, how the hell did he manage to get into the basement?
My head’s starting to ache. Now all I can think about is when I last had a drink. There was that coffee, hours ago, which I never got to finish and all that delicious wine, which I never got to start.
Jenny O’Brien was born in Ireland and, after a brief sojourn in Wales, now resides in Guernsey.
She’s an avid reader and book reviewer for NetGalley in addition to being a RoNA judge.
She writes for both children and adults with a new book coming out every six months or so. She’s also an avid collector of cats, broken laptops, dust and happy endings – two of which you’ll always find in her books.
In her spare time she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier breads. You’ll be pleased to note she won’t be entering Bake-Off.
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