Kate was happily married and madly in love with Niall. When he is kidnapped and then released two weeks later, with no memory of what happened to him, her life is torn apart. Niall forces her to become the consummate actor. At his hands she suffers one humiliation after another. He has changed for the worse. Much worse. Only no one will believe her.
Each time she gets closer to finding out what happened to him, people die. When Kate is buried under a weight of lies, dead bodies are stacking up around her and the police are hunting for her, something inside of Kate snaps. Now nothing will stop her from getting at the truth.
There is only one man who stands in her way. Her husband. The problem is, there is one lesson he has chosen to forget. Some people are worth dying for. Kate will go to any lengths for those she loves.
Meet Kate. She’s a fighter.
Targeted Age Group:: 18 years upwards
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
In an era when marriages and relationships break down, when some people suffer from an array of mental health problems, be it genetic, accidental or brought on by one’s environment, I wanted to explore how far someone might go for the people they love. And in a world, which seems to feed on a diet of lies and untruths, I wanted to write a book which takes secrets long kept and to see how they might unravel in a story. Kate Bevoir is the strong female lead and when she is faced with a sudden change in her husband, how might she react. Well, in a world sometimes populated by insanity, she fights back.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I started off with the main female character, Kate and imagined her husband, Niall and two children, Thomas and Jessica. The wider family was important. On Niall’s side I conjured up their history and background… owners of Betteshanger Castle: Jonathan and Beth and Niall’s grandmother, Greta, in her 89th years, who has dementia and lives with Niall’s parents. Kate’s sister is Rosemary. She and her husband Mike are unable to have children, although they have considered adoption.
Other characters that spring up in the book play their parts according to their character and the set of circumstances they face. They do their best, as we all do, but, like all of us, they are not perfect.
“Each anniversary, we will age, you and I. Age will separate you from the children. It will, of course, be no
fault of yours. Yet, it has to be faced… It will be all down to me.
What would you do?
I wait. I have always waited.
What should I do?
You have no answers.
The question is, do I?”
PRESENT DAY – 7 MONTHS IN
You are a bastard, an utter, outright bastard. I watch, frightened, as you walk rapidly past me towards the shower. I can hardly breathe. Your body causes such a draught, the hem of my dressing gown quivers. I know that feeling well. I kept my eyes averted. You ignored my presence – a freshly fed lion avoids its prey. Relief spreads rapidly through me. It is a welcome contagion.
I need my fix, my daily view over Exeter to the surrounding hills, the busy estuary teeming with life and a teasing glimpse of the rugged moors beyond. It is this illusion of freedom that ever draws me. Forever sustains me. Dopamine, my powerful drug. Every morning I crave it.
I hoist the curtain back. It is long, like a suffragist’s dress. Enough to take in an uncontaminated morning free of your presence. My smile evaporates, unlike the heavy clouds, which have descended overnight. The elements have conspired. The one glimmer of hope I knew shone in my eyes, vanished. It has been taken from me. I search, desperate for something different. Anything to capture my attention, to distract me.
Occasionally, the rooftops of the city’s houses poke their noses above the fog. It has smothered everything else in its wake, apart from the tallest of the tall trees and the towering edifices of the city’s spartan choices of high-rise buildings. I feed on this frugal breakfast. Yet, I cannot avoid my feelings.
The dull weather drip feeds a weariness into my bones. The gravity of tiredness I feel, weighs heavily in my body. It is an unwelcome visitor from the heavens. Of course, I know the veil will pass soon. The sun will have its way. Burn off the cloud, shrink and dissolve the mist. However, it will all come too late. The views over the city no longer gave me solace, like Jonathan Livingstone Seagull I had lost my way. The fantasy of freedom is over and with it, each tomorrow takes longer to arrive. My heart aches. I let go of the curtain and the fragile flap of hope it provided, falls away.
This morning I had looked at your hard back, the muscles knotting and rippling as you stretched your arms high and wide in the moments before you strode off naked to your watering hole. Your loud yawn told the house and those who take shelter in it – this is your territory and all that live under this roof – are your pride. Only, you take no pride in us
You used to Niall. You used to be the loving father, the caring and passionate husband. But caring was cut out of you before they let you go. How else can I explain what you have become?
Before you were taken, I loved you. Now? I do not know who you are anymore. As for passion, you have plenty of that; it leaves me cold. Fear subjugates my body when you compel me upon your whim.
My children – I refuse to think of them as our children anymore – were mercifully asleep in the early hours when you did your deed and, thank God, saved from hearing the eruption of pain when it escaped regrettably from my mouth. The animal growl you released, purring on the sadistic when you heard my moan, was a sickly pleasure I knew was gained from my
suffering. Our lovemaking is no longer the time I cherish. Those days and nights when they were, are gone.
To think it was only seven months ago, the day before you disappeared, when I still found you so utterly adorable that my heart would beat outside my chest when you touched me. I know it sounds all so absurd, as if I am a prepubescent teenager, but it did. Our years together had not diminished my feelings. They had grown stronger in fact.
Your alter ego breaks into my reverie. I look up. Steam rolls out of the bathroom door, the scent from the shower gel you now use flies with it. Everything about you is different. Yet, you look the same down to every mark on your body. Even the tone of your voice is you to a tee. Your mannerisms are just so. Familiar faces, you know, and they know you, welcome you back as if you are the man they know and like.
Your parents were overjoyed when you returned. Relief had flushed their faces, their son, their only son, alive. They had acted as if they might never see you again. A part of me, a frighteningly big part, wishes that could now be the case. But what of me, what have I allowed myself to become? I am the consummate actor. As far as anyone knows, we are a
nice normal family. How I laughed at the irony of that joke woven into a doormat at a local store. I am that doormat. It is hell. A month in following your return taught me that.
We had just been kissing, pulling, nibbling each other’s lips, as lovers do sometimes, just before we – when the cold metal edge of a knife’s blade had slithered across my skin. I was lying pinned to the bed underneath you. My legs wrapped around your hips. My joy metamorphosed into an ugly fear.
“Voice your thoughts and fears to anyone… you and the children will die… you understand?…” you had said.
Your breath had licked the nape of my neck in a grotesque version of intimacy. I had lain in stunned silence, my belly exposed. Crazily, the thought of Mandy, my first dog flashed in a manic storm across my eyes. The bitch on her back. Submissive. Only I was too scared to speak, too scared to move. Thoughts crowded my brain. Let me tell you now. A powerful man – money, build, connections – will have his way. Like it. Want it. Or not.
“And if I die by some accident,” you had continued, your breath now a horrible intrusion on my neck, “or the police come to arrest me, you know Kate, don’t you, I will see you dead from the grave or the cells. Where I am, will make no difference.”
I had nodded, the serrated edge of the knife biting into my skin as my head moved downwards. Shameful submission blotted my confidence, but did nothing to stem the warm trickle of blood. Satisfied, I would be an amiable slave; you completed your first act of humiliation and rolled over, with only one destination in mind, sleep.
I had gotten up then, tears washing the eyeliner in streaks across my cheeks and stumbled blindly into the bathroom. My immediate thoughts raced to the toilet, keen as I was to flush you out of me. I showered too, hoping the viciously hot water would act as self-flagellation.
A compulsivity possessed me and I became trapped in a cycle of scrubbing soap continuously between my legs. It was futile. I gave in and allowed the water to pound my body. As it did so, I became conscious of the past. Each splash of molecules scattered horrible memories of another moment. It bubbled unwanted to the surface and I was transported to a dreadful pit, to a world populated by insanity. Its darkness has never left me. Yet for others’ sake I keep it hidden. I call it the day after K-Day.
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