Today on Love Books Group we have Elisabeth Carperteners new book 99 Red Balloons and an excerpt for you to enjoy.
Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?
When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge.
What are the secret emails sent between Emma’s husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is Emma really as innocent as she seems?
Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Taylor sees Grace’s picture in the newspaper. It’s a photograph that jolts her from the pain of her existence into a spiralling obsession with another girl – the first girl who disappeared…
This is a gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist that will take your breath away.
Excerpt ~ 99 Red Balloons
Chapter 6 p.26-27
She’s using that tone – what is it? I haven’t heard it in a while.
Something must have happened. I wonder if she comments on bad news pertinent to every customer or reserves that honour for me. I scan the array of front pages. There it is. The Lincolnshire Gazette. It’s the only copy next to the many local papers bulging from the shelf. ‘Have to give the people what they want,’ Mrs Sharples usually says. It’s only Mr Goodwin who reads the Lincolnshire Gazette – it’s probably days old.
My head is telling me not to buy it – don’t give her the satisfaction – save the paper for Mr Goodwin. But my hands betray me. Before I know it, they’ve reached for the copy. I tut at myself. Predictable as night and bloody day. Oh well. Mr Goodwin won’t miss it – he doesn’t know what year it is, never mind what week.
‘Ah, you saw it then,’ she says.
I try not to roll my eyes at her.
I hold the paper with both hands and look at the front page. Why am I play-acting? Mother said I’d never work on the stage with my hammy expressions. Mrs Sharples knows I’m pretending. I’m hoping my ruddy cheeks hide the blushes.
‘Oh yes,’ I say, anyway.
‘I do hope she’ll be found.’
Of course we hope she’ll be bloody found, I want to say, but I just fake a smile. As well as I can.
‘Must be terribly difficult for you to read articles like that,’ she says.
‘It’s difficult for anybody to read.’
‘I mean . . . Oh, never mind.’
She probably thinks she’s caught me on a bad day, though I’m hardly the laughing kind on the best of days. She gives me my change, her hands like little claws peeking from her fingerless gloves.
‘Apparently, the grandmother grew up in Preston.’
I look up from my purse.
‘The grandmother . . . of the little girl in the paper. I suppose you shouldn’t believe everything you read in the papers. Can’t say I’ve heard the name. Preston’s a big place after all.’
Her light laugh fades to a hum. She’s always been one for stating the flaming obvious.
‘Right you are, Mrs Sharples.’
I fold the paper and put it under my arm. I reach the threshold just as she shouts, ‘I’ve told you, Maggie. You can call me Rose. We’ve known each other long—’
‘Will do,’ I shout back.
But I won’t. Nosy old bat.
Before you go please read our review of the new Helen Fields novel Perfect Prey book #2 in the D.I Callanach series ~ Click to read my review.
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