As they walked back towards where the body was, he wondered where the other attack had taken place. He’d have to read up on it as soon as he got back to the station. A maize field was a perfect environment in which to hide a body – seasonally almost impenetrable especially now while the crop was taller than he was and just about to be consumed by monstrous forage harvesters, that devoured everything in their path. If the girl hadn’t seen the birds, the harvesters would have gone through, leaving nothing. The thought stopped him in his tracks.
‘You might have been hurt.’ He was addressing the girl, who once lost in the maize, would have been invisible to the drivers of the forage harvesters.
She shrugged. ‘Well, I wasn’t. I think it’s this way – it’s where most of the birds are.’
Glancing up, he saw that she was right. The maize was dense around them as they found their way through, pushing aside the woody stems, every now and then glancing up at the birds circling above. Up close, Jack was astonished at how many there were.
In front of him, the girl stopped suddenly. ‘It’s just through there. I’ll wait here.’
Apprehension had replaced her previous air of self-assurance, understandably, he thought, as she stood back to let him pass her. Jack nodded. ‘Of course.’
Just a few metres on, the maize started to thin out. Then as he glanced sideways through the leaves, he saw a hand.
From the international bestselling author of The Bones of You
comes a haunting and heartbreaking new psychological thriller about the distorted nature of reality, the unreliability of memory, and the enduring power of a mother’s love.
A blighted memory. A child who seems never to have existed. A watcher in the shadows.
When they find Evie Sherman, battered and left for dead in a maize field, the young woman has no recollection of who she is. After three days in a hospital bed, the fog in her head begins to lift, and she remembers two names: her own, and that of her three-year-old daughter, Angel. Evie is convinced that Angel is in grave danger. But the police can find no evidence of the girl’s existence.
It’s clear that Evie is having some kind of mental breakdown—or is it? Even in the depths of her amnesiac darkness, Evie knows her daughter’s voice, her chameleon eyes, every precious hair on her head. So how can she be losing her mind?
As Evie’s grasp on reality slips away, she finds herself haunted by the same three-word warning, which she hears over and over: Trust no one. But whom is she being warned against? The police? The doctors and nurses? Or the mysterious figure who’s been watching her, who knows all her secrets, has a hidden agenda—and perhaps their own twisted version of reality.
Praise for the novels of Debbie Howells
“A terrific new talent.”
—New York Times bestselling author Peter James
“An intriguing dark psychological thriller—truly brilliant!” —Lisa Jackson
“Has been compared to Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones. Unusual and haunting.”
“Creepy-delicious…a super-quick read, good domestic suspense with a bit of woo-woo.
The English village setting was an extra perk!”
—Liz French, Senior Editor, LJ Reviews
“Heartbreaking yet utterly compelling . . . a memorable debut.”
—Sam Hayes, author of Blood Ties
“A brilliantly twisty read that delves deep into the dark heart of the seemingly perfect family.”
—Tammy Cohen, author of First One Missing
“A combination of lyrical writing and smart mystery. It's a winner.”
—Sandra Block, author of The Girl Without a Name
“An intelligent thriller. . . . Written with heart and real depth, and with some real hand-over-mouth moments.”
--Rachael Lucas, author of Coming Up Roses
“Compelling . . . Howells has a knack for conveying authentic emotion.” --Publishers Weekly