Not My Daughter by Suzy K Quinn
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.9 MB
Suzy K Quinn is a British fiction author, and writes in three different genres: psychological thriller, comedy and romance.
I’m facing every parent’s worst nightmare. My daughter is missing – and it’s not safe out there…
After sixteen years of keeping my daughter from the dark secret of her past, I wake one morning to find her room empty, rucksack gone.
I can’t breathe. I think she’s gone to find her real father – the man I fled from years ago. He’s a famous musician; talented and powerful. Beloved by all. Only I know that beneath his charm is a monster.
I lied to protect her, but will she see him for what he really is?
After all, blood is thicker than water.
And now that he has her, he’ll never let her go a second time…
Liberty’s still not home and I’m starting to panic, pacing back around the kitchen.
The griddle sizzles as Nick lays large, flat mushrooms on hot oil. He watches the pan intensely, glancing between the smoking mushroom and a little black kitchen timer.
‘Great job, Nick,’ I say, trying not to sound as distracted as I feel. ‘Smells delicious. Liberty is going to love this. A plant-based feast.’
‘Yeah, it looks good, doesn’t it?’ says Nick, voice cheerful. ‘I’m going to try Darcy on one of these mushrooms tonight. It would be great if she ate a vegetable. This yellow food phase is just going on and on.’
‘I’m not sure it’s a phrase,’ I say. ‘I think it’s just how Darcy is. You told the nursery that Bella’s mother is taking her home tonight, right?’
Nick snorts, still watching the mushroom, spatula poised. ‘I was a parent before you came along, Lorna Miller. Don’t worry. I told them.’
‘I’m giving Liberty one last call,’ I decide, taking out my cell phone. Mobile phone, Lorna, mobile, not a cell phone. You’ve lived in this country for seventeen years …
‘Lorna.’ Nick shakes his head. ‘She won’t answer. How many times have you called today?’
My flip-flops shuffle on the slate floor. ‘Three?’
This is a lie.
‘Hold up.’ Nick points at the window. ‘I think this is her.’
Skywalker is going mad, jumping around at the gate.
‘Oh, thank God.’ I watch our front gate swing open on its pivot, and my tall, slender daughter appears, army backpack hanging from one shoulder. Her skin is lightly tanned from the sun. Different to my pale skin. I’ve always been pale. The palest kid in California.
Liberty’s wearing a messed-up version of her school uniform, her tie the skinny way around, skirt rolled up and something else: an oversized denim jacket with band patches sewn on it. I’ve never seen the jacket before, and … what happened to her hair?
I feel Nick’s arm around my shoulder. ‘Whoa. Very rock and roll. It suits her.’
‘What has she done to herself?’ My voice is shaking.
Liberty’s long, chestnut brown hair has been cut to her chin, flicked over in a deep side parting and streaked an uneven blonde, some parts bright white, others orangey.
I put my hand to my own hair. It was short like that once too.
When Liberty comes through the front door, I accost her in the hall beside Nick’s ‘Steps, Achieve, Goal’ pinboard.
‘Liberty, what happened to your hair?’
Skywalker barks and barks.
Liberty raises a hand to Skywalker. He sits instantly, tail still and obedient. ‘I cut it. And bleached it.’