Guilty by Siobhan MacDonald
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.9 MB
THE PERFECT LIFE
Doctor Luke Forde has the perfect life. A respected heart surgeon, he has a rewarding job, a successful wife, and a daughter, Nina. From their beautiful house overlooking Carberry Lough in County Clare, they present a portrait of family bliss. But over the course of a weekend, Luke’s life spirals into chaos.
A GUILTY SECRET
It begins with the word ‘GUILTY’ painted on his boathouse one morning. Then he spots a chilling notice in the local newspaper. When this is followed by the delivery of a small coffin-shaped package, Luke is terrified. Someone knows the dark secret he is hiding. And someone is out to get him.
SOMEBODY WANTS REVENGE
Luke begins to be plagued by horrifying anonymous messages, and it transpires that it’s not only Luke the sender is intending to harm. With strange things happening in the operating theatre, Alison’s political ambitions straining their marriage, and Nina’s behaviour sparking all sorts of trouble, Luke turns to therapist Terence Black. Is the therapist the only one that can save Luke and his family from the horrendous secrets of the past?
Something told Luke not to watch, to turn away, that he’d be sorry if he looked. But his eyes were drawn above him where he stood. A white flash seared overhead. It gathered mass and started falling. It tumbled, spinning ever downwards, ever brilliant against the darkening sky. In a drunken pirouette, it cast a spinning shadow as it fell towards the earth. Luke was in the creature’s path. He stepped aside just in time. There was a sickening thud as it hit the ground.
The creature quivered, inches from him. It was mangled, its neck was broken and its blood-soaked feathers splayed as if reaching out. It blinked with a glazed eye and he shied back. The creature shuddered and gave a long, low, piteous moan.
Luke bolted upright against his pillow convinced that he’d cried out.
The woman beside him was breathing gently, her long hair tousled, tired from the night before. Luke sat shaking, a cold sweat prickling his brow. He stared nervously into the dark, listening to the sound of the water lapping outside. It had been a while since the white bird called to see him.
Last night’s shift was heavy going. The girl had been critical. According to her friend she’d taken some pills at a party. She was young – fifteen – three years younger than Nina. It had taken hours to get her stable. Everyone called him a hero.
Wide awake, he sat and waited for the dawn. When light streaked the sky, he dressed quietly and slipped downstairs. Through the kitchen, out the heavy door and down the glass corridor to the boathouse. The air was damp and it was cold for April. His breath formed in ghostly clouds as he stepped into his boat. It felt good to be up and about.
Checks complete, he steered the cruiser out into open water. Powering up the engine, he planed slowly through the waves before picking up speed. It was the first Saturday in a month he wasn’t on call. He’d left his mobile in the glove compartment of the car and his laptop in the boot. He was under orders.
The sky was bruised and sullen, and rain was in the air. He’d head first for Carey’s Island then cruise across to Lisheen Bay before heading back to Kilbawn Pier. Out here, alone, Luke could think. He often thought about escaping, of floating off to somewhere safe. As he watched, a bank of trees sheared away from the pine-green stubble of the hillside down towards the lough. The rain had been relentless. Mudslides had closed roads all around Lough Carberry and the forecast warned of further flooding.
The surface of the water wrinkled as the breeze picked up. On the northern hills, turbines were staked in the ground like giant white crucifixes, their long arms turning in the rain-soaked wind. In the distance, Luke saw folds of starlings swishing one over the other, dispersing then coming together in great bisecting arcs of flight.