#Excerpt “No Such Thing as Goodbye” by Karmen Spiljak

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A spy with a criminal past. A dark family secret. Freedom at the cost of betrayal.

To escape her mobster family, Toni fakes her own death, but before she can start anew in Mexico City, she’s pulled into a world of spies and deadly secrets. Her new life crumbles when she discovers her boss is keeping secrets of his own.

When word gets around that Toni’s brother is on his way to Mexico, she fears the worst –  he wants to hunt her down. Cornered and with nowhere to turn, Toni must decide: will she run once more, or will she risk her life for a chance of freedom?

General Purchase Link – https://books2read.com/ToniMorretti1



That night, I couldn’t sleep. Whenever I began drifting away, something pulled me back. A thought, a noise on the stairs, a question I couldn’t answer. My left eyelid wouldn’t stop twitching.

Had I made a mistake not telling Carl who I was? Would he have trusted the sister of a well-known Dutch criminal? What would he have said when he found out I cooked Jimmy’s books and faked my own death?

Around 2 a.m., my phone buzzed. I hoped it was Carl and that he’d changed his mind, but it was only my email with new Google alerts. As soon as I saw my brother’s name something tightened around my chest.

Jimmy’s gym to expand overseas.

I tapped on the link. The article included a large photo of my brothers. Jimmy in the front, rock-star-like, in his white V-neck T-shirt and leather jacket, his hair darkened by gel, his blue eyes interrogating the viewer. Behind him was Nino, wearing a dark blue suit and a stern expression on his face. His forehead was wrinkled, his lips pressed together, his big brown eyes pensive, distant.

I scanned the text, blood thumping in my ears.

Giovanni (30) and Antonio Morretti (25), owners of Jimmy’s Gym, expect to double their profits over the next five years by merging with a Latin American cross-fit partner. Due to the recent death of their sister, their success is bitter-sweet. Antonia Morretti (25), who died in an accident while on holiday, was the financial manager of Jimmy’s Gym. Antonio Morretti stated: ‘My sister would have been proud that we went ahead with the deal. It was her idea.’

I couldn’t help but laugh, reading Jimmy’s thoughts about me. Proud isn’t the word I’d ever use to describe my role in the business. The fact that Jimmy held things back wasn’t unusual. He liked to keep things under control and feed us bits and pieces which he deemed necessary. Still, it was odd that things happened so fast.

The other alert was from the Dutch yellow press.

Love at first sight?

I clicked it open. The photo showed Nino holding hands with a young woman. Her long auburn hair fell over her flimsy dress. Their hands were touching and though she was looking down, her whole face was glowing with admiration. Something in my gut twisted.

According to the text, they’d met recently, at a party. She couldn’t have been much older than eighteen. For her sake, I hoped this was going to be a short affair. If it lasted, Jimmy would make sure Nino took sides. Otherwise, he’d take care of things himself. Just like he had with Mila.

Would this ever change?

I thought leaving my life and family behind would help me make a fresh start, except each new step only proved I could never shed my skin or be someone else. Even if I tried to imagine a new life, the threat of being discovered, of my brothers finding out I was alive, would always be there. Did people like me deserve a new start?

I shut my eyes and let my mind sink into the darkness. My thoughts rushed back, to the moment that defined our lives, and tightened the bonds that could never be broken.


Author Bio

Karmen Špiljak is a Slovenian-Belgian writer of suspense, horror, and speculative fiction.

Her short fiction has been awarded and anthologised. Her thriller, ‘No Such Thing as Goodbye’, was shortlisted and received an honourable mention at ‘The Black Spring Crime Fiction Prize 2020’.

She lives in Sao Paulo with her husband, two mischievous cats and an undefined number of literary characters.

Find out more on www.karmens.net

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