They should have been watching. But my little girl is gone… On this crisp October day, the class of six-year-old children are wrapped up warm in gloves and coats for their trip to a local farm. They giggle as they stroke the animals and search for the perfect Halloween pumpkin, and as I watch my daughter Claire race off with her friends, the pink ribbon in her hair bouncing, I breathe a sigh of relief. It’s been so hard since my husband died and my sweet little girl deserves to be happy. But as the sun sets and the teachers gather the children, Claire is nowhere to be seen. We call the police and frantically scour the fields and playgrounds, my heart breaking as I cry out Claire’s name. And then a detective shows me a video: my daughter, skipping away from the farm, holding hands with an adult in a bulky coat, their cap pulled down low. My blood turns to ice. Claire would never leave with a stranger. Whoever took her must be someone I know. But who could want to punish me this badly? Is it linked to the night I refuse to think about—the terrible night my husband died? Did my mistakes put my baby girl in danger? Can I save her by finally facing the past? Or will I lose her forever when the truth comes out? The School Trip is by Miranda Smith.
In the seaside town of Whitecliff, everyone looks out for each other. Everyone knows your name. And everyone knows your secrets… Moonlight falls on the figure of the girl standing on the red-tiled roof. Her white dress and blonde hair flutter in the freezing night wind. And suddenly – she is gone. Volunteering at the local nursing home is Millie Westlake’s one escape from the rumours that swirl around Whitecliff about her past. But speaking with elderly resident, Ingrid, as they play board games, Millie gets chills at her strange story about a young girl being pushed from a roof, somewhere across the valley… Everybody thinks Ingrid is confused: but Millie knows how it feels to not be believed. Her parents died a year ago, and the residents of Whitecliff – such a quiet place, other than crashing waves and cawing seagulls – are convinced Millie killed them. Desperately searching for evidence to find the girl Ingrid saw, a broken roof tile could prove Ingrid was telling the truth. But when strange footprints appear in Millie’s garden, she’s certain someone out there is watching. Have Ingrid and Millie stumbled across something terribly dangerous? And with the town against her, will Millie have to face up to her own secrets to solve the mystery before it becomes deadly?
In the darkness, the girl slumps against the rough tree bark. Her eyes are closed, her wrists tied. As consciousness fades, her last thought is of her best friend, and how much she regrets what she did… Seventeen-year-old best friends Nicola and Millie were supposed to have a summer night of fun and freedom in the local park. But when dawn comes Millie realises Nicola is missing. Distraught, she searches for her alone: and finds Nicola tied to a tree, her purple Converse shoes missing, her long hair cut and scattered on the ground. With no memory of what happened, terrified Nicola begs Millie never to speak of this again… Fifteen years later. With countless secrets and hurt between them, Millie and Nicola have not spoken in over a decade. But now Nicola has found her old purple Converse strung up in her garden. Is her attacker sending a message? Why now, after all this time? In the small town of Whitecliff, people have long memories – but Millie is the only one who can help get answers. And, as she asks questions of their school friends, she realises one of them knows more than they should about her own family secrets… Not knowing who to trust, and knowing Nicola’s kidnapper is still out there, Millie must ask: how far will they go to keep the truth buried forever?
The One Who Fell, The One Who Was Taken and The Ones Who Are Buried are by Keyy Wilkinson.The Birthday Reunion is by Claire Seeber. Four friends. One dream getaway. But who will make it out alive? When the gold-rimmed invitations arrive through the doors of best friends Simone, Hannah and Vicky they’re instantly taken aback. Their ex-friend Jodie is inviting them to a lavish Mediterranean villa to celebrate her birthday. They haven’t spoken in years since she betrayed them in the worst way. So how did they make the guest list? They all have their reasons for saying yes. Stay-at-home mum Simone had her dream job snatched away. Hannah lost the love of her life. Café-owner Vicky wants the chance to help a wronged friend. Is the reunion a chance to confront Jodie and the past once and for all? Arriving at a villa that looks straight out of a movie set, the friends relax by the sumptuous pool as they wait for the other guests to arrive. But as the chilled wine is poured and the three friends reminisce, they see Jodie walking towards them with a look of shock on her face. Because Jodie didn’t invite them here. But by the end of the weekend it will become clear who did. Someone else has a reason for revenge. Who will make it out alive?
She shuts the door behind her, relieved to be in the safety of her own home. But tonight her house is the most dangerous place she could be. Someone has been waiting for her, and they know she’s home alone… Sasha loves her job finding accommodation for homeless people, and she’s proud of the small but cosy apartment she rents on the good side of town. She’s worked hard to leave her dark past behind her and make amends for the accident that still haunts her memories. She knows she was innocent, though she’s still careful about who and what she tells of her old life. But not all secrets stay hidden forever… When her phone rings loudly in the middle of the night, Sasha fears what she’ll hear when she picks up – a deathly silence. It’s happened every night for weeks. Is it a childish prank, or a chilling warning that someone has uncovered her secret? But the news of a body found at a local shelter means her worst nightmare has come true. It can’t be a coincidence that evidence related to the victim has been found at the same location where the most devastating moment of Sasha’s life took place. Days later, a second body is found and Sasha’s heart pounds wildly as she takes in the victim’s unforgettable green eyes. She hasn’t seen her in a long time, but she’d know her old friend anywhere. She was the only other person who knew Sasha’s secret, so how can Sasha prove her innocence now? Sasha doesn’t know who’s coming for her, but she’s certain of one thing: she’s next on the list… Their Cold Hearts is by Carla Kovach.
My son said he walked his girlfriend home. But now she is missing… Our new home was meant to be a chance for us to start again, to make new friends and forget the past. And as I look around the barbeque we’ve thrown for our neighbours, I dare to dream that things will be all right. I watch my husband joking as he flips burgers and my daughter turning cartwheels on our sun-bleached lawn. And then my gaze falls on my son Jacob, and his new girlfriend Rose, in her light blue jeans and her green crop top. There is a worried expression clouding her beautiful eyes… The next day I get a call from Rose’s mother that chills me to the bone. Rose never returned after our party. I wake my still-sleeping son, who walked Rose home the night before, and beg him for answers. Jacob promises he saw Rose to her front door, and I know he would never lie. But when the police find Rose’s house keys hidden in our garden and a witness claims to have seen them arguing in the street, everyone insists I can’t believe what Jacob is telling me. I will do anything to protect my boy. But I need to find a way to make the questions stop. Because there’s something about our family that nobody can ever know. And as the search for Rose closes in, how can I keep him safe and keep our secrets hidden? The Lie is by Kathryn Croft.
The Marriage Counselor is by Dea Poirier. “Adele, we believe your husband is missing.” As everything around me starts to blur, I go over the words once more: “your husband is missing.” Four simple words with the power to shatter my whole world in an instant. Working as a marriage counselor I’m used to the tragedies that come out of nowhere. People trust me to help them through life’s big moments. The things that leave you questioning everything you thought you knew about the person you love the most. But I never thought trouble would land on my own doorstep. As I start to piece together our last conversation desperate for any clues I can find, the cop standing in front of me reveals that my husband never told his co-workers he was married. He was seemingly living a double life right in front of me. Days later, as I search through our home, I discover a hidden box of baby clothes that suggest my husband was starting to build the perfect life without me. My entire career has been built on separating the truth from the lies. My husband may think he has pulled off the greatest lie of all but he is not the only one keeping a secret in this marriage. All I know for certain is that when the truth comes out, only one of us will make it out alive.
A loyal wife. A handsome husband. Which one of them will kill to keep their secret? When I first met Malcolm, I knew that he was everything I had ever wanted. When we had our beautiful, blue-eyed son Finn I felt like my life was finally complete. The past eight years have been the happiest of my life. Until now. Because Malcolm’s been lying to me. I’ve been following him. I finally saw him with her. How could he betray me and my darling boy? Of course, we all have our secrets. But everything I’ve done, I did for my son. So I have a plan. When the police knock on our door tomorrow morning, Malcolm will have no clue what’s in store. All I need to do is pick up Finn and we can start our new life together. But I don’t notice the car tailing me. The sudden crushing impact takes my breath away. As my heart pounds and my car is forced towards the rushing river below, my only thought is for my precious Finn. Because I know with certainty that if this is happening to me, then he’s in grave danger too… Did Malcolm know what I was planning after all? Is this his revenge? Or worse, have my own secrets and lies finally caught up with me—and has my time finally run out? The Marriage Break-Up is by Mathew Farrell.
When Maud McIntyre sets up her own private detective agency, she never imagines her first case will involve murder… A mystery in the Highlands? The Scottish Ladies’ Detective Agency is on the case! Edinburgh, 1911: When Maud McIntyre and her lady’s maid, Daisy, form a detective agency, they never dream their first case will take place at a glamorous house in the Scottish Highlands. But when the Duchess of Duddingston, concerned that a notorious jewellery thief will target her lavish weekend party, employs Maud to go undercover as a guest to find the culprit, the agency has its first case to solve… Undercover with Daisy as her maid, Maud follows a trail of clues across the Duddingston House estate. And as she meets the weekend guests, she hopes one of them will reveal themselves as the jewellery thief. But when one of the house guests is discovered dead, Maud and Daisy realise they’re not only hunting precious gems, but a murderer… As Maud and Daisy investigate, they realise that a connection in Edinburgh might hold a vital clue that will help them solve the case. Travelling back to the city, Maud hopes that what she and Daisy uncover will help them piece together the murder mystery at Duddingston House… But when Maud receives a telephone call from the Duchess requesting urgent assistance, she realises that the murderer didn’t have just one victim in mind. Speeding down the drive to Duddingston House, Maud and Daisy hear gunshots ring out across the estate. Will they reach the Duchess in time to save her? And will they catch the murderer in the act? The Scottish Detective Agency is by Lydia Travers.
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