Today I’m thrilled to be sharing an extract of Victoria Jenkins’ new novel, “The Girls In The Water”. It sounds fantastic, and I’m really looking forward to reading it!
About the Book:
When the body of Lola Evans is found in a local park on a cold winter’s morning, Detective Alex King and her new recruit Chloe Lane are called in to lead the hunt for the killer.
Days later, a second girl goes missing. It seems the two shared a troubled history, and were members of the same support group. Who is the monster preying on these vulnerable girls?
As the detectives start to piece together the clues, Chloe realises that she too is in danger – as she uncovers secrets about her own brother’s death which someone will kill to keep hidden.
Alex and Chloe are soon fighting for their lives, and in a race against time to reach the next victim before it’s too late…
Chilling and totally compelling with an utterly surprising twist, The Girls in the Water is perfect for fans of Robert Bryndza, Sarah Hilary, and Patricia Gibney.
Extract, taken from the Prologue:
The slap came from nowhere, sudden and sharp. Her nail caught the boy’s skin, slicing his cheek. He put a hand up, tracing the wet trail of dotted blood that bubbled to the surface of the wound. The boy looked at the magazine held outstretched in her other hand. Its opened pages, vivid in their accusations, showed an array of images: naked flesh, skin on skin; so many things he had heard about, but had never really seen this close up and in detail.
The child still in him wanted to laugh at the sight of bare bodies. The child still in him remained scared of the ferocity of his mother’s tongue, fearing her verbal assaults almost as much as the physical force of her anger.
‘This is sick,’ his mother spat. ‘Why would you look at it? What’s the matter with you?’ She was shouting now. Her anger was visible in the red flare of her cheeks, in the fists that had formed at her sides and had turned her bony knuckles white. It was tangible in the venom with which her words were spoken.
The boy didn’t want to feel this kind of anger, but in that moment – in so many moments before and after it – he hated his mother. Even at such a young age he recognised her hypocrisy, and he hated it. He hated this life and everything she had made him.
‘Nothing to say, have you?’ she snapped, his silence heightening her anger.
She grabbed the boy by the hair and dragged him to the kitchen. The sink was filled with dirty water left from the last lot of dishes that had been washed. Lifeless bubbles lay flat on the surface of the water, the occasional few giving their last sad pops before disappearing.
‘Maybe we can clean your eyes out,’ she suggested.
He didn’t try to fight her, and later he would wonder why. He hadn’t struggled as she had tightened her grip on his hair, or fought when she had shoved his face into the murky water. He never had. His mind went momentarily blank, as he had worked so long to train it to do.
When his mind was blank, he could be anywhere. He could be anyone. Sometimes the boy was a pilot. He had always liked the idea of what being a pilot might be like: of being able to go anywhere, his own hands navigating his destiny. That freedom. He would imagine the roar of the engine, the surge of the wheels on the runway; the tsunami in his stomach that would rise and subside as the plane left the ground and took its first steep tilt skywards.
Other times he was an actor. He would imagine himself on a stage, dressed as someone else, speaking someone else’s words. He was someone
else. His audience stretched in front of him, but he could never see them; they were shrouded in the darkness, the only lights focused upon him. He wanted to be someone else, anywhere else.
He held his breath under the water for as long as he could, snatching gulps of air when he was pulled back up. After what seemed for ever but was little longer than thirty seconds, his mother let go. He stood hunched over the sink, coughing and choking, his dark hair dripping water down his face.
That night, he lay in his single bed and imagined the most horrific images his young mind could conjure. When his mind was no longer blank it was filled with the purest kind of hate: a rage so intense that it sometimes scared him.
The boy hated his mother.
One day he would make her pay.
About the Author:
Victoria Jenkins lives with her husband in South Wales, where she writes crime fiction and teaches English. The Girls in the Water is her debut novel, the first featuring Detective Inspector Alex King and Detective Constable Chloe Lane. The second book in the series will be published in late 2017.