Amber applies a dash of red lipstick and checks herself out in the mirror before heading out on a date. ‘Don’t wait up!’ she calls to her housemates as she leaves. But Amber never returns home that night. Amber Slater is never seen again. The last person to see Amber was her housemate. He remembers everything she was wearing that night. He watched her leave. He listened to every word of her phone conversation with her friend before she left. He knows more about Amber’s movements than anyone. At university, she is well-liked by her fellow students and teachers. Her tutor’s voice shakes when he is questioned by the police. Some say he and Amber were very close. Too close. Some say his wife had just found out about their relationship. The manager at the restaurant where Amber was supposed to eat that night says she didn’t show up. Yet the chef at the restaurant is overly chatty about her. He wasn’t working that night. He wasn’t answering his phone. Nobody knows where he was when Amber went missing. Rumours begin to circulate about Amber, it seems that everyone has a story to tell. But when the young girl’s lifeless body is found in a local park, with her blue lips glued shut, the gossip suddenly goes quiet. As the police trace the last few hours of Amber’s life, it seems that the girl simply vanished on her way to catch her bus. And when another woman goes missing in the dead of night, it’s a race against time to find her before she too is silenced forever. Broken Ones is by Carla Kovach.
The Wedding is by Ruth Heald. Just four words were printed in the card. He doesn’t love you. I’ve been dreaming about this day – marrying Adam, my childhood sweetheart, who I’ve loved for eighteen years. I didn’t realise the perfect day would turn into the perfect nightmare. I was so excited to send out the wedding invitations, carefully writing everyone’s names on thick cream paper in beautiful cursive script. I had no idea I was inviting someone to destroy our marriage. I couldn’t wait to say ‘I do’ surrounded by loved ones clinking champagne glasses. I couldn’t imagine that one of them would try to hurt me. It was meant to be the first day of the rest of our lives. I never thought it would be the end of my life as I knew it. We were meant to share our vows, to toast our future. But when the truth comes out, shocking the onlooking guests and ripping my heart out, is a happy ever after possible?
The Winter Girls is by Roger Stelljes. Gazing out the cabin window at the raging blizzard, fear suddenly floods through her as she feels a stranger’s hand clamp across her mouth. No one can hear her stifled screams as she is dragged from the couch by the fire out into the snow. When seventeen-year-old Savannah Devenish vanishes from her family’s remote vacation cabin in Minnesota, FBI Agent Tori Hunter races along treacherous icy roads to be first on the scene. Savannah’s parents are frantic with worry for their beautiful, carefree girl. Haunted by memories of her own missing sister, Tori vows to do whatever it takes to reunite this family. When the police uncover that Savannah’s father Jacob was having an affair, they suspect his involvement, but Tori is convinced his despair is genuine. Her close relationship with the chief detective means the team won’t listen, so Tori strikes off alone, persuading Savannah’s distraught best friends to share their secrets. It seems this ‘good girl’ was sneaking out to parties to meet up with a mysterious man… Then another teenager is snatched from the street, snowy footprints and a discarded hot chocolate cup the last trace of her. The girls are the same age, strikingly pale and blonde. Is a twisted collector stealing them away? And what chance is there that they are being kept alive? With a deadly snowstorm closing in, Tori battles the elements—and her own team—as she follows the trail to an abandoned cabin by a frozen lake. In the basement are bedrooms filled with clothes for teenage girls. Tori was too late to save her own missing sister twenty years ago, but can she find these girls before they disappear forever?
Mystery by The Sea is by Verity Bright. A magnificent seaside hotel, striped deckchairs, strawberry ice cream… and a rather familiar dead body? Lady Swift is on the case! Spring, 1921. Lady Eleanor Swift, explorer extraordinaire and accidental sleuth, hasn’t had a vacation since she arrived in England a year ago. Being an amateur detective can be a rather tiring business and she is determined to escape any more murder and mysteries. So she books into the Grand Hotel in the fashionable resort of Brighton for some fresh air, fish and chips and, of course, a dip in the ocean. Eleanor is enjoying her view of the waves and trying to find her bathing suit when calamity strikes: a guest has been found dead at her beautiful hotel. The distraught manager, who can’t afford a scandal, asks Eleanor to solve the case as swiftly as possible. Thank goodness she has her partner in crime – Gladstone the bulldog – to help her sniff out the dastardly culprit. But when Eleanor enters the dead man’s room, she receives a shock big enough to make her forget even the finest ice cream sundae. The body is that of her husband, who supposedly died six years ago on the other side of the world. Has he been alive all these years? Why does he have a copy of their wedding photograph with a cryptic message written on the back? If Eleanor can keep herself safe long enough to find her husband’s killer, she might discover that everything is not quite as it seems beside the seaside…
What She Knew is by Karen Long. With the sound of the doorbell, the past she ran from catches up with her. Baby on hip, Angela Myles hums as she lays out breakfast before the school run, when an unexpected knock on the door stops her in her tracks. But when she sees the familiar face through the peephole, she immediately tries to run with her kids out the back door. Because Angela knows her visitor, she knows why they’re here, and she’ll never give up her children. Hours later, as the police talk softly to Angela’s terrified children, trying to unpick her last moments, they wonder what other secrets she was hiding from those around her. And then another woman goes missing. How many more will pay the price for Angela’s silence?
I thought of the long history with my friends—the lies, the slights, the betrayals, and the five-year gap since our last get-together. Five of us had arrived at this desolate cabin. Now, only three of us remained. It was supposed to be the perfect vacation: a secluded cabin by a private lake; late nights, wine and laughter. Megan hasn’t had time for herself since her second child was born, and she knows her friends need a break too—Jenna from her demanding job, Charlotte from marital problems and Kaitlyn and Sam from busy families. Between all their commitments Megan was afraid this trip would never happen, and she needs the comfort and familiarity of her oldest friends now more than ever. They have known each other since college—there are no secrets between them. But things change in the woods. As they reminisce, bad memories as well as good are dragged up, and old wounds are reopened. It seems not everyone remembers those college years as fondly as Megan, and a trip planned to bring them back together might just drive them apart for good. Someone has been hiding a lie for over twenty years. And now lives are in danger. The Lake House is by Laura Wolfe.
Nestled in the autumn leaves, her hair tangled in thick brambles, the girl looks like she could be sleeping amongst the wild roses. But the trail of red across her delicate throat means this is a slumber she will never wake from… When a search party trawling Salem Island find a girl’s body curled on the damp earth, the hunt for missing waitress Emma Jacobis grinds to a devastating halt. The day before, Emma had come to Detective Charlie Winters convinced someone was watching her. In her trembling hand she held a sketch of herself sleeping peacefully with the stuffed rabbit she’d had since she was a child. On the back, scrawled in black ink: You will be mine… A box containing handwritten letters found under Emma’s bed is Charlie’s first lead. But the handwriting isn’t a match to the note left for Emma. With the help of her new assistant, a troubled girl eager to learn the ropes, Charlie’s only hope is to canvas the bar where Emma worked. There, she finds a woman with fear in her eyes and a terrifying story to tell about an encounter with a dangerous stranger. Is someone in this small town targeting vulnerable girls as prey? Certain she’s found a twisted killer’s hunting ground, and with time running out before he strikes again, Charlie has no choice but to use her new assistant as bait to lure him out into the open. But when a scream pierces through the night, will Charlie survive the consequences? She has to, or there’s no knowing how many more innocent girls will die … Watch Her Sleep is by LT Vargus & Tim McBain.
Her Revenge is by Emma Tallon. There’s a new girl in town and she has a score to settle. Scarlet Drew isn’t to be messed with. As the daughter of a notorious London gangster, she’s got enough street smarts to take on the world. But when the most important person in Scarlet’s life is murdered in cold blood on the East End streets where she grew up, she can only think of one thing – revenge. Scarlet’s aunt Lily is fierce, straight-talking and a force to be reckoned with. As head of the family firm and queen of the London underworld, she welcomes her niece into the business and swears to help her get revenge – after all, family comes first. Scarlet soon discovers that the murder is just one part of a plot by a rival firm to take down the entire Drew empire. She stands shoulder to shoulder with her aunt, ready to fight back, but these new enemies are the most dangerous threat the Drew family has ever faced. As everything they’ve built begins to crumble, Scarlet’s estranged cousin Ruby suddenly comes back into the firm, with a revelation that could tear the Drews apart once and for all. But can she be trusted? As Scarlet faces up to her enemy, one thing is for sure: family means everything to her and she will stop at nothing to protect it, even if it means putting her own life at risk.
Close My Eyes is by Beverley Harvey. It starts with a chance sighting: a face from her past, someone Beth hasn’t thought about for years. Suddenly she feels a terrifying wave of panic – the flash of a memory, of crushing weight and pain, and the flicker of firelight and smoke. Something in Beth’s past has been disturbed… And nothing will ever be the same again. You've started to remember… Beth never had any reason to doubt her peaceful, happy upbringing. Then she suddenly starts getting awful flashes of an event from her past – a vicious attack from an unknown person. And she thinks it could be more than just a nightmare. But how could she forget something this big? Someone wants you to forget… With no husband or boyfriend to turn to, she asks her trusted family and old friends for reassurance, only to hear that it must all be in her head. Meanwhile, the flashes get stronger, more frightening, and more details start to come back to her – details she knows she couldn’t have invented. But these are people who have known her all her life and have her best interests at heart. Who should she believe? What will you risk to discover the truth? Beth is determined to understand the meaning of these memories even if it means going it alone. But is she prepared for what she will find? Because the truth will ruin someone’s life – and they will stop at nothing to keep the past forgotten.
I can see her, shouting with laughter as she swings as high as she can, her beautiful blonde curls flying out behind her. I can feel her tiny hot hand in mine, and my heart aches. My little girl. If only I’d listened to my gut. Then maybe she’d be safe here with me…. When five-year-old Molly Reynolds is snatched from the park in the small village of Otterfield, Detective Bernadette ‘Bernie’ Noel throws herself into the search, sick with worry for the quiet, sensitive little girl and her distraught mother. Wasting no time, Bernie finds a small green cardigan under a bush in the park. It still has the smiley face sticker Molly won that week at school. It’s the first in a chain of clues – and Bernie can’t shake the feeling that it was left deliberately, as a message. But Bernie encounters a wall of silence. Otterfield is a close-knit community, yet no one in the village seems to care that Molly is missing at all. Why? And then Bernie makes a chilling discovery: twenty-five years ago, another little girl went missing from the area. Her name was Sophie, and all they ever found of her was her teddy bear, hidden under a bush. Now Bernie knows she’s in a race against time to save Molly’s life. Bernie’s team work round the clock to find a connection between the two girls, and just when they think they’re making progress a devastating tragedy strikes at the heart of the case. Molly’s family have been hiding a secret, and now their little girl is in greater danger than ever.. Can Bernie outwit the most warped criminal she has ever faced and bring Molly home safe, or will another innocent life be lost? Last Seen is by Joy Kluver.
The Blessed Bones is by Kathryn Casey. She could hear nothing but the sound of her own heartbeat. It was dark and the rough ground scraped against her as she tried to move. Being alone was strange to her—she was so used to her big family, to the noise, the warmth, but the last thing she wanted was for the woman to return… When Detective Clara Jefferies returned home to Alber, Utah, she knew it would take a long time to convince the closed community to trust her. So she is surprised to be called to private land up in the mountains, until she hears that the bones of a young girl have been found. And hidden in the dark depths of the grave are the remains of a baby too… Digging into the town’s missing persons files, Clara is shocked to discover that pregnant girls have been going missing for years. And when she spots Ash Crawford, the first cop on the scene, praying over the bodies, she begins to suspect that he knows more about the victim than he’s letting on. With Crawford staying silent, and the identity of the girl still unknown, Clara’s only choice is to visit every family living on the mountaintop, desperate to find what they might be hiding. But doing so means facing the man she was once bound to, and the tall iron gates of the ranch she ran away from all those years ago. Then another pregnant girl is reported missing, and Clara ramps up her search, racing to find her alive. But can she uncover the town’s dark secrets in time to save both the girl and her unborn child?
Not My Mother is by Miranda Smith. What if the person you trust most in the world is lying to you? I’d heard of the Baby Caroline case, of course. When a baby is snatched from her mother’s arms, the whole country knows about it. I knew about the parents left lying by the swimming pool, the open window in the nursery. But I never dreamed it had anything to do with me. Today, my beautiful daughter turned one. We were unwrapping gifts and blowing out candles when the knock came at the door, and they took my mother away. The police say she’s not really my mother. That she stole me, thirty years ago. When I visit her, desperate for answers, she looks me in the eye, and says nothing. I can barely breathe. Is my whole life a lie? I have to find out, but the more I learn, the more scared I become. And soon I start to wonder, am I losing my grip on reality or is my own daughter in terrible danger?
The Museum Murder is by Katie Gayle. Dastardly deeds, daring deceptions and a dress to die for..... Epiphany Bloom is back on the case. Epiphany ‘Pip’ Bloom, would-be detective and London’s unluckiest woman, finds herself in a real costume drama when she unearths a theft at a fashion museum. The missing dress is a proper piece of Hollywood history, worth a fortune. And as Pip investigates, she finds the museum staff all had reasons to want the garment gone. From fancy boutiques to sketchy back alleys, Pip discovers the fashion world is not all glitz and glamour as she hunts down her prize. As if she doesn’t have enough on her plate, Pip also has her growing feelings for her housemate Tim to contend with, a family of cats to feed and her mother keeps phoning about a shipment of llamas arriving any day now from South America. But there’s no time for distractions because Pip’s not the only one after the dress. And for the most dedicated collectors, a piece like this is worth any price – even murder…