The Lost Girls by Helen Pryke

The Lost Girls

The Lost Girls by Helen Pryke
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.8 MB

Years ago his sisters died. Now he wants them back.
Seventeen years ago he lost his sisters.
Now he wants them back.
Four years ago, two teenage girls were abducted.
Four years ago, a ten-year-old boy was murdered.
Both cases remain unsolved.
Desperate to find their missing sisters, Michael and Chloe ask investigative journalist Maggie Turner to help them. And what starts as a simple investigation, soon turns into a frantic race against time.
The kidnapper took the girls to replace his sisters; sisters who died seventeen years earlier.
Forced to face traumatic events from the past, Maggie finds herself in the middle of a nightmare that can only get worse…

‘We don’t know yet. We’ll have to wait for the autopsy to confirm the cause of death. He was fully clothed but there was some bruising around his neck, so he may have been strangled. We should know more by this afternoon.’

‘Christ.’ Maggie threw the half-finished cigarette on the ground and buried her head in her hands. ‘I hoped… I mean, there was always the chance…’

‘We did too, Maggie.’

‘He was murdered?’

‘We think so. From the evidence so far… but we need to wait for the autopsy report…’ Sally’s voice trailed off.

‘How could this happen, here, in a place like this? Bedhampton is supposed to be safe, Nicola and I grew up here. It’s unthinkable…’ She stopped, a sob blocking her throat.

‘I’m so sorry.’ Sally put her arm around her shoulders, and this time Maggie let her. She leaned against the woman who had come to mean so much to her over the last few weeks and wept bitter tears of desperation. She thought of Nicola and Richard, supporting each other through their grief, and wondered how she would get through it, all alone. She was only the aunt, what did she matter? She mentally berated herself for being so selfish; she’d lost a nephew, whilst they had lost a son.

‘Why do you put up with me?’ she said out loud with a sniff. ‘I’m a pathetic, forty-one-year-old woman who only thinks of herself, with bits of me sagging that were pert up until a few years ago. Christ, I feel old.’

‘I’m only five years younger than you, and I was looking forward to us getting saggy together,’ Sally replied, stroking her hair. Maggie remained silent, her head whirling with thoughts.

They’d gone through too much in too short a time, and Maggie knew their relationship would never stand the blow of Thomas’s death. She would carry the resentment inside her for the rest of her life, unjustly blaming Sally for not finding him sooner, for not saving the boy who’d lit up those bleak days she’d felt so alone.

There had been an instant attraction between them, one they’d both fought hard to ignore. But as the days passed with no sign of Thomas, they’d turned to each other, first for comfort, and then for love. Maggie couldn’t understand what Sally saw in her; after years of working as an investigative reporter, the long hours and stress had taken their toll. Her dark, almost black hair had more than a few strands of grey, and there was a smattering of wrinkles around her hazel eyes. She felt old, in stark contrast with Sally, who always slathered rich cream into her skin every night to keep it as smooth as a twenty-year-old’s. Even though she was only five years younger, her light-brown hair didn’t have a single strand of grey in it, and her body definitely wasn’t sagging. For a while, Maggie hadn’t cared about the differences; for once in her life, she’d accepted that she was loved, pushing aside her self-doubt and loathing, and had given her all to their relationship. But now things had changed.

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