A country drive quickly turns into a nightmare for newly-weds Paige and Hal Loche
When you are in the bush, pregnant, and your husband is hurt what do you do? Will you trust just about anyone?
When their car gets a flat tire in the Australian outback, it should be a simple job for capable Hal to fix. His wife pregnant, he sets to it. But an accident befalls him, leaving him immobilized. Paige is now their only hope of getting out of the bush.
“How the cruelty of a stranger changes a couple’s life for ever.”
When Paige chances upon a stranger, it seems her prayers are answered. But the stranger doesn’t want to help. She wants something else, and it’s not Paige’s husband. Hal is expendable, piece by piece it seems, but her baby isn’t.
What will Paige do to protect her unborn child, and at what price?
Targeted Age Group:: Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I've always enjoyed mysteries and suspense. I read my first Stephen King novel when I was fourteen and became hooked on dark tales and the art of writing. In Backwoods Ripper, I wanted to create a story about an ordinary couple in an extraordinary situation then explore the lengths people will go to in order to protect the ones they love.<br />
My novel is set in Australia's beautiful South West region; an area that can be wild and isolated. I've travelled the South West and can't help being inspired by the forests, beaches and bushland.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The characters are based, to some degree, on people I've encountered. For the most part, they start off as figments of my imagination and then develop character traits. From there, physical appearance and backstory pour in as I begin to build the story. Character names usually come to me right away and this helps me to visualise the way a character will look.<br />
In Backwoods Ripper, the antagonist is woman who's losing her grip on reality and devolving. She's a strong single-minded person; tightly wound and on the verge of violence. The idea for her character came to me almost fully formed. Then it was just a matter of tweaking her appearance and mannerisms.
“Where is she?” The words hit him like a slap. He remembered Lizzy slapping him earlier and opened his eyes.<br />
The sunlight waned. Long shadows cast by the window spread a gloom. He shifted his head left and saw Lizzy standing over him. Looking up at her, the loose creases of skin under her chin framed angry spots of red filling her cheeks.<br />
“She’s gone,” Lizzy said. “And I bet you put her up to it.”<br />
He tried to think of something to say, but his thoughts were scattered and his mouth felt packed with cotton wool. Lizzy moved to the end of the bed and pulled back the sheets. He winced as the cool air hit his leg.<br />
“Grab his shoulders.”<br />
He tried to sit up and ask whose shoulders she meant, but something slid under his neck. It took him a moment to realise someone else stood in the room. A face swam above him. He took in a slack mouth and dark empty eyes. The thick smell of eggs and unwashed hair filled his nostrils. He grimaced and tried to pull away, but the woman with her arm under his neck held tight.<br />
He knew he had the strength to shake her off, but as he struggled, hands wrapped around his ankles. His legs lifted and all thoughts of resistance vanished. A sheet of agony enveloped him; he screamed.<br />
“No. No don’t,” he heard himself begging, and almost didn’t recognise his own voice.<br />
Hal felt himself being lifted off the bed. The bones in his lower leg ground together and the world darkened. He seemed to hang in mid-air for a moment and then his butt hit something, the rest of his body quickly followed. He tried to rock forward and grab his leg, but his shoulders were pressed down. Something slid across his body and he felt pinned in place.<br />
He looked above him and could see faces. Lizzy’s and the other woman’s floating eerily. He began to understand that he was on a stretcher and a fleeting memory of being in this position before came to him.<br />
“What are you doing?” He managed to get the words out through clenched teeth.<br />
Lizzy glanced down and regarded him with emotionless, shark eyes. “That snake bite’s infected. We need to take your leg off or it’ll kill you.”
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