I’m delighted to be taking part in the tour today for Rachel Abbott’s new Tom Douglas thriller, Come A Little Closer. I have an extract to share with you.
They will be coming soon. They come every night.
Snow is falling softly as a young woman takes her last breath.
Fifteen miles away, two women sit silently in a dark kitchen. They don’t speak, because there is nothing left to be said.
Another woman boards a plane to escape the man who is trying to steal her life. But she will have to return, sooner or later.
These strangers have one thing in common. They each made one bad choice – and now they have no choices left. Soon they won’t be strangers, they’ll be family…
When DCI Tom Douglas is called to the cold, lonely scene of a suspicious death, he is baffled. Who is she? Where did she come from? How did she get there? How many more must die?
Who is controlling them, and how can they be stopped?
Praise for Rachel Abbott
‘A properly addictive, leave-the-light-on thriller.’ – Red Magazine
‘This fast-paced thriller will have you racing through to its shocking conclusion.’ – Closer
‘Almost unbearably tense, with a killer twist.’ – Good Housekeeping
‘The tangled web Rachel Abbott weaves is both intriguing and horrifying and I found myself living this story. I was totally gripped by it.’ – Kath Middleton, author and blogger
‘What a cracker of a book! Spellbinding. Breathtaking. The pace just builds and builds to the climax giving you a really uneasy feeling in your bones. And that ending! OMG! What a shocker!’ – Kim Nash, Kim the Bookworm blog
It is over for another night. I was subjected to nothing more than an hour of words, but such powerful words. Words chosen intentionally to confuse me.
They must know I’m not eating the food they give me. I pick at it and push it around my plate, trying to look as if I have lost my appetite. I feel ungrateful because they say they only want to help me. But I don’t understand what is happening to me.
All I know is that I have done something terrible, something that defies belief. Worse, though, I don’t remember a thing about it, and that keeps coming back at me time and time again, hitting me with a force that almost knocks me down. Could I really have done what they tell me I have?
I look at the other two women who are here with me, sitting at the wooden table under the bare light bulb. Both of them seem resigned to their lives and how things have to be. We are here for our late-night cocoa. But I won’t let a drop past my lips, however enticing the sweet smell of chocolate.
It’s been a hard day for all of us, as is every day. But while the others accept it with resignation, I can’t do that. There are things I want to know, to understand. They don’t get it. They can’t figure out why I have to question everything.
One of the others seems a little more focused. She’s the younger of the two – even younger than me, I think – and from time to time I see a spark of intelligence in her eyes, as if her real self is trying to battle through the fog.
‘Why are you here?’ I ask her, keeping my voice low, my mouth disguised by the mug of cocoa that I’m pretending to drink.
It’s not the first time I’ve asked, but tonight she seems a little more responsive than usual.
The other woman raises her weary eyes. ‘You shouldn’t ask questions. It’s not allowed.’
I want to tell her that I’m an adult, not a child, and I will make my own rules. But I don’t want to show my hand. She’s more likely than the other to tell tales, I think.
‘Sorry,’ I say. I have to think of a way of getting the younger woman on her own when she is slightly more alert than usual. In the end, though, the matter is taken out of my hands as the older woman excuses herself and heads towards the bathroom.
The younger woman’s head is bowed, staring into her cocoa, but then I realise that without raising her head she has lifted her eyes and is looking at me.
When she starts to speak, her voice is cracked but low so she can’t be heard by anyone except me. I move closer. From behind the mug, I whisper one word: ‘Careful.’
I think I see a slight nod. Then she puts down her cup and rests her head between her hands, squeezing as if she’s trying to force some sense into her brain. She knows we can be seen and heard by others outside the room.
‘I don’t know why I did it,’ she says softly. ‘I loved him. Why would I do that?’
I want to ask her what she means, what she did, when it was, how long she has been here, but before I get the chance the buzzer sounds and we push back our chairs to return – as we must – to our rooms. As we shuffle along the corridor, I hear her mumble two words.
‘Safe here,’ she says with a nod, and I’m not sure if she’s trying to convince herself or me.
She may think we’re safe, but right now all I can think about is why they are coming back tonight. Only one of us is ever selected each night – and that was me earlier.
They know something is wrong. They have to. That’s why they’re coming back.
Conjures up all sorts of things in my mind. What about you?
Rachel Abbott was born just outside Manchester, England, and spent most of her working life as the Managing Director of an interactive media company. After her company was sold in 2000, she fulfilled a lifelong ambition of buying and restoring a property in Italy. She now splits her time between homes in Italy and Alderney, where she writes full time and has just completed her seventh novel.
Rachel launched her first novel Only the Innocent in November 2011. The book was self-published in the UK through the Kindle Direct Publishing programme on Amazon, and reached the number 1 spot in the Kindle store just over three months later. It held its position for four weeks, and was the second highest selling self-published title in 2012.
Since then, Rachel has gone on to write a further four best selling novels – The Back Road, Sleep Tight, Stranger Child and Nowhere Child (a novella). Her fifth book, Kill Me Again, was launched on 17th February 2016 and her sixth – The Sixth Window on 21st February 2017.
In August 2015, Amazon confirmed that Rachel is the UK’s bestsellling independent author over the last five years. She is also listed at number 14 in the list of bestselling authors – both traditionally and independently published – over the same five year period.
Her fourth novel – Stranger Child – was the 11th bestselling novel in the first half of 2015 and the most borrowed book during that period.
Connect with Rachel Abbott
Facebook Page RachelAbbott1Writer