Safe No Longer by Gayle Curtis
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 3.1 MB
One child dead. Another missing. The village has seen this before.
On a warm evening in late summer, best friends Raymond and Cara camp out overnight in the garden. By morning, Raymond is dead and Cara is missing.
DI Rita Cannan is called home to the sleepy seaside town of Green-on-the-Sea to investigate Raymond’s murder and try to find Cara—alive. But the case carries eerie echoes of another girl’s death that rocked the close-knit community, decades ago. If there’s a connection, if history is repeating itself, who knows more than they’re letting on? And how far will they go to cover their tracks?
There are only so many lies a small town can hold and when everyone is a suspect, Cannan has nowhere to turn. To discover the truth, she must confront her own past. But can she do so in time to uncover the identity of the murderer and find Cara—before more innocent lives are lost?
Most of the locals called him The Raven or The Tramp, depending on what capacity they knew him in, due to the many occasions he slept in the rafters of Thorpe St Faith’s church on Blue Green Square, or out in the open during the summer months.
Amos Geraint Browne was his full name. Very few people knew that about him. They were also unaware that he had a Cambridge degree and had worked as a copyeditor for the Telegraph before his world shuddered like a small earthquake, tilting his life on its axis until it finally settled, leaving a huge crack running through it.
Earlier that night, Amos had stumbled through the centre of the village square after it had fallen asleep following the bank holiday celebrations. It was littered with drink cans, screwed-up napkins, food wrappers and fag butts. Amos wasn’t interested in any of that: he didn’t smoke or take drugs, and he limited alcohol to the bitterly cold nights in the rafters of the old building. Sometimes he would find shelter in the graveyard – it felt marginally warmer outside than in the draughty church, with its high ceilings, arctic stone floors and expanse of chilled glass. Even so, he was grateful for the roof that protected him from all weathers during times when his mental health took a dip. These moments had been more frequent lately, and the only solace he seemed to find was in the confines of this particular sanctuary.
Amos located what he was looking for. His stomach lurched and grumbled at the sight of the half-eaten food on the few tables outside the Drum and Monkey. It was the place to be whenever there was a bank holiday and, being the last one of the summer, Jan the landlord had laid on live music and a barbecue. On one of the far tables there was a plate that looked like it hadn’t been eaten from, but it wouldn’t be the first time Amos had seen a mirage in the desert. He stepped cautiously towards it – a double bacon cheeseburger with chips, the pub’s speciality, and homemade coleslaw and salad. One bite had been taken out of the bun, but apart from that, it was untouched. Amos slid on to the bench and placed one hand over the food, feeling it beneath his palm. Confirming it was real and not a figment in the desolate land of food scraps he usually experienced, he set about the plate, giving not one care to any manners he might have been taught as a child. Some moments later he sat up, stretching his stomach, which always pained him when he ate anything substantial. He ended his stretch and rested his elbows on the table, glancing around to see if anyone was about, but all the revellers had left hours ago. The only movement was the gentle breeze whispering through the dry leaves of the trees that lined Blue Green Square. There weren’t many nights Amos didn’t venture from the church during the dead man’s hour to wander around the square and find somewhere to sit and watch the stars, or the wildlife that dared to creep around before daybreak. He loved this time of night when there was no one around – peace at last from all the noise he usually had to listen to.