When Frances concocts an elaborate plan to escape today’s world of surveillance, her hopes to live off the radar are soon crushed by long-buried secrets which will entwine her life with others forever.
Having fled to a remote village in the south-west of France, she employs Julien, a mute builder, to renovate her house. Communicating by notes written on pages torn from a jotter, they form a strange, silent bond, but when a newcomer moves into the neighbouring property, followed by men inspecting her land in the dead of each night, Frances’ concerns for her privacy spiral. While fighting to defend her covert existence, fear soon turns towards murder, and Frances finds she uncovers a series of gruesome, historic events…
Excerpt from the book:
“I stare at the bowl on the table, an intent, deliberate gaze, my vision impaired, and wary of moving my head. The noise, the drone, the cacophony, the hateful intrusion long since compelled to endure, has been apparent for more than three hours, the increase in volume relentless, the approaching torment unavoidable. The incessant whine pierces my skull, a thousand swords plunged into the bowels of the cerebrum, the vertigo overwhelming, the walls oscillating all around me. My flesh is hot, sweating, my breath short, erratic, and although aware of the sequence to follow, I am seized by the sickening panic; a panic despite my attempts to dispel, will only fuel my condition. The attacks are always too sudden, terrifying, and beyond my control.
My ear echoes my heart beat, the throb with the force of an army at war, the floor beneath me surging like an angry, raging, swelling sea. I crawl to the bathroom, acid burning my throat, gripped by alarming convulsions, retching to vomit again and again, until defeated by a total exhaustion. I lie dead still on the floor.
The chill creeps through my clothing, the vinyl hard, without compassion, so my fragile fingers grasp the side of the bath. I stumble to my bed, enveloped by a shroud of black confusion, the beat of my heart still pounding, the sweat cooling, pores contracting, before the intense, infinite sleep.
Amid the mist, I walk through the apartment. Endless steps take me no further, my feet moving one after the other, my eyes fixed on the door. A flash of white light, blinding and brilliant on pulling the door towards me when the corpse, stiff and heavy, falls in illusive slow motion, the incredible weight pushing me down, pinning me to the floor, trapped beneath the rotting flesh and fetid, abhorrent odour of this hidden and nameless cadaver. I fight for my freedom with every ounce of my strength, but am imprisoned, caged, entombed below a mass of stinking death.”
It is also available from Amazon US.
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