Isolation by Jenni Regan

Isolation

Isolation by Jenni Regan
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.9 MB

When Rachel found herself pregnant at a young age she was shunned by her strict family and left to bring up her daughter Alice, alone. The strain of it on her young shoulders led her to a downward spiral of drug abuse, which in turn led to Alice being placed with her grandmother. But Alice’s life, living with her grandmother, isn’t much better and by the time she is 21 she is suffering from a host of mental health problems, with a growing fear of what lies outside her front door.

Stuck in her house and fearful of being outside, Alice uses social media to compensate for her miserable life, building an online persona over the years, that is nothing like she is in reality. With it she lives out her fantasies, safe in the knowledge that her grandmother will provide what she needs. But when Alice suddenly disappears from her online world and cannot be contacted, Rachel turns to her estranged brother for help. With a body discovered in the house and a man closely linked to Alice now in custody, they search for the truth about her disappearance.

What has happened to the daughter Rachel lost all those years ago? And what is the truth behind the body in the house? The truth will be far stranger than they could have imagined.

Without waiting for her to reach him, Tom rushed straight over. ‘What have they found?’ he demanded.

She ignored his urgency and put out her hand to introduce herself. ‘Mr Carmicheal, I am DCI Kingsley and have been brought in by the CID to lead this investigation. I’m afraid we don’t have a full picture yet, but it appears the team has found something of interest: some remains. We will, of course, keep you updated.’

With this, the whole thing stepped up a notch. New cars arrived and people dressed in white suits and hairnets stepped out. Some police officers came out of the house, most looking quite traumatised, and they did a tag team with the men and women in white suits. A young officer put tape near the front gate to show that this was now officially a crime scene. Tom had seen all of this before—not in person but more as a show-and-tell in court where the crime and the victim were just names instead of someone close to him.

Someone produced some hot, sweet tea from somewhere and took Rachel and Tom to sit on the edge of the ambulance. The presence of this lifesaving vehicle now seemed ironic since whoever they had found was in no need of any medical help.

Eventually another woman came to speak to them. She introduced herself as the family liaison officer and said she was there to bridge the gap between them and the police. Rachel practically jumped on her, asking a hundred questions, most of which the lady couldn’t answer yet.

‘Let me have a word with the guys over there,’ the lady finally said, ‘and see what they have found out and what I can tell you. Give me a minute.’ She walked away with purpose.

Time felt as though it had slowed almost to a stop. The five minutes that she was gone felt like five hours. She eventually returned with DCI Kingsley who looked almost annoyed that she was being taken away from the real work.

‘Listen,’ Kingsley said, ‘I am going to send you both away soon because we need to excavate what has been found and we don’t believe you should see any of that. I know you want to find out more, and I promise that I will do my best to tell you what we have so far.’

She paused and became less business-like. Softer.

‘The team has unfortunately found what we believe to be human remains in the basement. They are partly decomposed, meaning it is impossible for us to tell at the moment who they might belong to or how they died.’

‘So, how long before you can tell us who it is or what happened?’ asked Rachel desperately.

‘It could take days, as we will have to run a lot of tests, but we will try to get you some answers as soon as possible. I know this is the last thing you want to hear, and I’m sorry to be the bearer of such news. We will ensure that you get all the support you need in the meantime.’

Tom felt sick. There were so many horrific possibilities flying through his mind. Still, if he kept wishing and praying, even with his hardcore atheism, then maybe, just maybe, the body in there wouldn’t belong to Alice.

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