His Wife’s Sister by A J Wills
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.9 MB
My writing career began seriously in 2011, with the advent of self-publishing. That unlocked the path to making a book available to the public without having to negotiate the gatekeepers of the publishing world. I’ve been a journalist for more twenty years, but in 2017 moved into public relations with a cycling charity in the UK, as I’m a huge cycling fan when I’m not writing. I’m married to fellow indie author, Amanda Wills, another former journalist. We met on a trip to the Rocky Mountains in Canada, organised by the Army. It was love at first sight across the flight deck of a military Lynx helicopter! We live in Kent, in the south east of England, with our two teenage boys, Oliver and Thomas, and our two cats.
He stole her childhood. Now she wants it back. A woman is found wandering through woodland, confused and severely undernourished. Police identify her as Mara Sitwell, who was just eleven years old when she vanished from her home nineteen years earlier. She says she was abducted and held captive in an underground cell for all that time. Her escape seems to prove miracles can happen – but not everyone is convinced. Tortured by guilt, Mara’s sister Lucia insists on taking her in. But Lucia’s husband, Damian is not so sure it’s a good idea. He suspects Mara is hiding a terrible secret – and fears the whole family could be in danger.
Damian stood squinting into the sun, his hand shading his eyes, seeking out April’s yellow t-shirt or a glimpse of her long, russet hair amongst the hordes of excited children. He took a step to his right to see past the slide, ignoring the faint pangs of panic simmering in his chest. There were kids everywhere, running, jumping, climbing, chasing, screaming. But none of them was April.
‘Stop kicking that ball,’ he shouted at Dylan, every thud against the metal railings sending his irritation levels soaring.
Dylan stared at his father with a sulky pout. He scooped up his football and ran off to the other side of the playground.
Damian sighed. He loved his kids, but the school holidays were a trial. The thought of another five long weeks of full-time childcare, while he tried to run the business, filled him with dread. And it was only the beginning of the second week of the break.
The last time he’d seen April, she’d been on the roundabout squealing with delight as two older boys spun her faster. He’d only taken his eye off her for a second to check his emails on his phone. She couldn’t have gone far. Christ, he’d drilled it into her not to wander off.
‘April?’ he shouted, trying not to sound anxious.
A group of young mothers sipping iced lattes looked up. He shot them a humourless smile, pushing away the dark thoughts. He was over-reacting. Nothing had happened to her.
‘Dad…’ Dylan’s voice whined.
His son was trailing across the playground empty-handed, his bottom lip stuck out.
‘Where’s your ball?’
He pointed to a bushy horse chestnut tree, its leaves rustling in the gentle breeze. ‘It’s stuck.’
‘Well, it’s probably lost.’ Even the tree’s lowest branches were well out of Damian’s reach.
Dylan’s face crumpled.
‘It’s okay, we’ll get you a new one.’ Damian couldn’t bear the thought of those disgusted looks he knew they’d attract from the self-righteous stay-at-home mums chatting around the edge of the playground with their fresh-from-the-salon haircuts and perfect teeth if Dylan had a full meltdown in public.
‘I don’t want a new one.’
Damian placed a fatherly arm around his shoulder. ‘And maybe a new pair of football boots?’ Lucia would kill him if she could hear him now. But what the hell, she wasn’t here.
Dylan sniffed and wiped his sleeve across his nose. ‘The silver ones?’
‘Sure,’ Damian said, hoping he didn’t mean the expensive ones they’d admired in the window of the sports shop in town a few weeks ago. Money had been tight since he’d gone freelance, and Lucia had returned to her marketing job in London. They couldn’t afford new football boots this month, especially as it meant they’d have to treat April as well.