Out of Time: excerpt #MysteryThriller

In this exciting sequel to NINE LIVES,

Kate Devereau wakes up in hospital unable to speak or move after the brutal attack by her ex-husband.

Her brain has shut down, refusing to acknowledge the misery of her dark and disturbing past.

A past that conceals a web of painful secrets.

Michael Barratt, Kate’s old flame, brought her to the hospital insisting that her ex-husband had tried to kill her

And from the state of him, had tried to kill him too.

With the help of DI David Snow, Kate will gradually piece her shattered life back together,

only to discover her nightmare is far from over.

Her first instinct is to run, but Snow convinces her to stay to help him put an end to the nightmare.

A nightmare that will get a lot worse before it gets better…

An excerpt from Out of Time

When he discovered Michael Barratt’s location, Snow didn’t have to ask what happened as the constable’s face said it all. A lovely shade of green was indicating the man was having trouble hanging on to his breakfast.

The churchyard resembled a scene from a horror movie with blood everywhere. The victim had been attacked from behind. A single knife wound to the neck, causing him to bleed out in a matter of seconds. What had possessed the man to leave the safety of the church? You had to wonder at his mental state, for he didn’t appear to have had a death wish.

Snow looked down at the man lying on the grass, an attractive man, despite the scar tissue and missing hair. He felt a little sorry for him, not for dying, but for spending too many years searching for Kate Devereau, only to fall flat at her unforgiving feet. He thought again about the other woman in his life and the child. Michael Barratt sure liked to complicate his life, but to what end? Still, the fight was over for him now.

The area behind the church had been checked as soon as the body was found, but there was no trace of Jack Holland. Snow wasn’t fooled, he had to be around there somewhere, as he wouldn’t rest until he had Kate Devereau in his clutches.

She almost knocked him down as he opened the door to the church. ‘Where is he?’ she said, trying to sidestep around him. He put his hands on her shoulders. ‘You cannot go out there, Kate. I will not allow it. You will have to say your goodbyes later.’

Her face contorted with either rage or upset, he couldn’t tell which. ‘He is dead, Kate. He went outside against our instructions and paid the ultimate price. At least it would have been quick …’

She started to walk backwards away from him, a stunned look on her face as the truth sank in. Snow caught the attention of a WPC and indicated Kate shouldn’t be left alone. He watched them walk away and wondered what would happen next. He tried to reach Jim Harris on his phone but there was no answer. He left a constable to guard the door and went to find him.

Snow marched around outside the church, looking for Jim Harris. He refused to consider losing anyone else. He was so angry, if he could get his hands on Jack Holland, they wouldn’t need to lock him up.

He found his sergeant checking the cars outside in the street. ‘You need to answer your phone, Jim before I have heart failure …’

‘Sorry, Boss, it must be on silent. Saw a man hanging around out here, so thought I’d check.’

‘Since when do you leave the scene of a crime, Jim, whatever the reason?’

A scream from inside the church drew their attention, and they hurried inside, expecting the worst. Kate and Sam were sitting on the floor in front of the altar, and Kate was the one who had screamed. Sam looked up as they approached and pointed towards the altar. ‘Present from Jack Holland …’

Snow had to look hard to recognise what had been left on the velvet altar cloth, and his heart sank when he realised what it was. Kate’s flowers were lying there, soaked with blood. The most obvious message from a killer, intended to strike fear into the soul of his next victim, and from the look on Kate Devereau’s face, it had worked…

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