Hi guys, welcome to my first blog tour stop! Today I am sharing with you people an excerpt from Under Your Skin by Rose McClelland.
Under Your Skin by Rose McClelland
Publication day: 21st May 2020
Genres: Crime, Mystery & Thrillers, Contemporary
When Kyle’s wife Hannah goes missing, the whole town is out in force to try to find her. One person knows where she is. One person is keeping a secret.
Detective Inspector Simon Peters and Detective Kerry Lawlor have been brought in to investigate the case, but Hannah has left no traces and Kyle has no clues.
Local Belfast resident, Julia Matthews, joins the #FindHannah campaign and becomes friendly with Kyle, sympathising with his tragedy. As Julia becomes more involved in the case than she bargained for, she begins to uncover more secrets than the Police ever could.
Julia was only trying to help but has she become drawn into a web of mystery that she can’t escape?
Trigger warning: domestic violence, some sexual scenes and swear words
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“999, what’s your emergency?”
“It’s my wife,” Kyle blurts out. “She’s gone missing.”
“How long has she been missing?” the calm, monotone responder asks.
“It’s been since nine this morning,” he says, impatience lacing his every word.
“So that’s…” Calm voice must be counting on her fingers.
“Yes,” he bites back. “I guess. Yes, twelve hours. It’s not like her. She’s always home by now.”
Miss Calm asks, “Any history of mental illness, sir?”
He blanches. “Who? Me?”
“No sir. Your wife?”
He bites his lip. “No,” he begins. “No, I guess not.” Although there was that time the doctor suggestedantidepressants. But no matter. Miss Calm is now on to the next question.
“So tell me what happened. When was the last time you saw her? What mood was she in? Had there been any arguments?”
Arguments? Well yes, there had been, but that was hardly relevant.
“I saw her this morning before she headed to work. She was fine. I came home at eight tonight and she’s not here. She’s not answering her mobile. It’s not like her. I’m convinced something has happened. What if some rapist has captured her? The sooner the police look for her, the better!”
He realises that his voice is rising in octave with each sentence, but he can’t help it. What’s the point in talking so slowly on the phone when she could be sending a cop out straight away to look for her!
He feels his breathing quicken and walks over to the counter to pick up his packet of cigarettes. He pulls one out of the packet and tinges the end with his lighter.
“Can I take your name sir?” the responder asks, her voice too slow for Kyle’s liking.
“Kyle Greer,” he rattles off impatiently.
“And your wife’s name?”
“Hannah. Hannah Greer. Please hurry.”
But the responder maintains her calm, professional, monotone voice. “And your address?”
“One one seven Raven Reach, Belfast,” Kyle spits out each word as though his quick-fire responses might hasten the arrival of a policeman.
“Okay Mister Greer,” the calm responder answers with a heavy sigh. “We’ve put that on record. But I’d suggest you phone us back tomorrow if there’s still no sign of her. She may well return this evening.”
Kyle’s eyes widen. “So nothing’s going to be done?”
“We usually wait at least twenty-four hours sir, in the case of an able-bodied adult. Of course, if it was a child or a vulnerable elderly then…”
“Fine,” Kyle cuts in. “I’ll phone back tomorrow. Thanks for your help,” he spits, with a large dose of sarcasm. He clicks the off button and heads towards the kitchen. With his cigarette dangling in the side of his mouth, he pours himself a large glass of Vodka and Coke. Noticing that his hands are shaking, probably with anger at how unhelpful the responder had been, he gulps back the drink greedily. He re-fills his glass for good measure, walks towards the back door and sits on the back doorstep, smoking the rest of his cigarette and knocking back the drink. The night air is quiet; too quiet. He sits and waits. And while he’s waiting, he can feel the warmth of the drink start to trickle down to his toes.
“Under your skin” is Rose’s fourth novel. Her previous three novels were romantic fiction published by Crooked Cat. She has made the genre jump from “chick lit” to psychological thriller and is enjoying delving into a darker corner of her mind!
Rose has also written two short plays which were performed in the Black Box theatre in Belfast.
She discusses book reviews on her You Tube channel and writes theatre reviews for her blog.
She loves nothing more than curling up with her cats and a good book. She has two rescue cats – Toots, who is ginger with an inquisitive face and Soots, who is black and hops along on his 3 legs looking ever so cut.