Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Extract: Little Bones - Sam Blake


To celebrate the publication of the third book in Sam Blake's Cat Connolly series, No Turning Back, I'm thrilled to share an extract from the first book, Little Bones.



Cathy’s mind whirred. The women who had vanished in Wicklow and Kildare had haunted her as she’d recovered from her injuries after the bomb. Unable to get back to boxing straight away, she’d needed to get her fitness back, as well as find space in her head to deal with it all, so she had started running. Perhaps she’d been running away from everything that had happened, she wasn’t sure, but the mountains had been the perfect place. Empty and silent, with only sheep for company, long tracks criss-crossed the hills, took her around the edges of silent lakes, and as she’d pounded the peaty ground she’d half expected to stumble over a body, to see the white of bone shining against the heather.
‘All the women who have disappeared seemed to be fairly confident, easy to talk to. Maybe the same happened with Sarah Jane.’ Cathy paused, her face creased in a frown. It didn’t feel right, but they had to explore every single option. ‘We really need to know who Sarah Jane has come into contact within the last few weeks.’
‘Thirsty’s got her phone log now, so we can go through it.’ Cathy couldn’t read O’Rourke’s expression as he spoke – he was keeping his face deliberately blank.
Jesus, what had happened to her? She could be lying half dead somewhere in a bog up in the mountains right now . . .
Cathy took a slow breath, trying to still her heart. Sarah Jane needed them to be methodical now, to be professional. She needed them to find the strands, the threads that would lead back to her. Panicking wouldn’t help anyone.
‘This isn’t a random thing, though – someone went to the trouble of taking her computer. They had her address.’ Cathy could hear the certainty in her voice. It was the one thing they were absolutely sure of, and in her gut she was certain they needed to work from there outwards.
Cathy’s mum leaned forward to check the milk jug, ‘Perhaps it was someone she met online, on one of those dating sites, someone who was worried the computer would link him to her?’
Cathy sighed, thinking back to her last college essay. ‘Maybe. Maybe someone was stalking her online, had befriended her.’ She paused. It was a real possibility. ‘The type of offender who does that is going to be very careful, a planner. And that type of person is not necessarily going to be acting out of character immediately after the event, or beforehand for that matter. They will be a habitual liar, could easily be a psychopath who finds it easy to kill.’ Cathy stopped abruptly as she realised what she’d said.
Theresa Connolly reached across the table for Cathy’s arm, squeezing it hard. Cathy’s blurry eyes fixed on her mother’s engagement ring, a cabochon ruby set in a nest of diamonds. Her dad had sold his first car to buy it. ‘It could be nothing like that. You know what Sarah Jane’s like. She’s very highly strung, and she’s always getting lost. Maybe she just needed some time out.’
Cathy threw her mum a glance. Really?
‘Is there anyone you can think of that Sarah Jane’s mentioned recently? Someone new on her radar? A JDLR, someone who gave her the creeps?’ O’Rourke had asked her the same question at least a hundred times over the previous days. Cathy shook her head, running her hand across her eyes.
Cathy’s mum cut in, ‘JDLR?’
O’Rourke clarified, ‘Just doesn’t look right. Copper’s rule of thumb.’




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