Is a killer born…. or created?
A missing child.
A killer on the loose.
A past that refuses to die.
When a six-year-old boy disappears from a local fair, every parent’s worst nightmare is about to come true.
And for Detective Inspector Nicki Hardcastle, twenty-two years after her own nightmare began, the past she thought was buried starts catching up with her – and fast.
Leading the hunt for the missing child, Nicki soon finds the chase takes on a personal twist, with her own memories haunting her every move.
With time set against them, and a killer following his own chilling agenda, can Nicki and her team stop history from repeating itself?
Only time will tell.
But it’s time they don’t have.
5 Arlington Crescent
Saturday 16th March 2002
Balancing the plate of bread crusts on top of his mug, he nudged open the kitchen door. Dad unlocked the back bedroom earlier that morning when bringing in his breakfast of bread and water and had left it unlocked. It was a sign that he was, for now, forgiven. He’d spent only two nights in the back bedroom this time, which lightened his heart. The kitchen was flooded with sunlight, the back door wedged open with a heavy, cast iron weight. The day outside had dawned bright and clear.
Mum was at the sink, her hands submerged in a bowl of washing up water, humming quietly to herself as she wiped the soap suds from the dishes. There was a faint aroma of lemon in the air. He crossed the kitchen floor and placed his mug and plate on the draining board and saw his mother glance sideways at him, a faint smile twinkling at her mouth. She looked tired – dark circles hung beneath her eyes, and her skin was pale and lifeless. But she was happy – she had to be happy, she was humming.
A shadow fell across the kitchen. He glanced towards the back door just in time to see his stepfather’s hulking frame fill the space, blocking out the sun. He thought he saw his mother flinch, but maybe it was his imagination.
“Ready, son?” Alan Woods held up a muddied football in one hand, a wide grin plastered to his unshaven face.
Hesitating, he warily eyed the football.
“Come on!” urged his stepfather, stepping backwards out into the garden, sunlight suddenly replacing his shadow. “Let’s have a kick about. Build up those muscles of yours!”
He found himself edging towards the back door, his legs moving of their own accord. Resistance was futile, he knew that. When Dad wanted to play football, then they played football. Although, really, it was an excuse for his father to run him ragged around the garden, forcing him to jump and squat, all as a pretext of ‘building him up’.
‘Let’s make you into a man, my boy!’ he would say, before thumping the ball towards him. ‘Toughen you up!’
But it beat being locked up in the back bedroom.
He quickened his step towards the back door, wanting to get it over and done with before he changed his mind, when he heard a faint jangling sound of metal scraping over the kitchen floor. He turned back to see his mother stepping away from the sink and heading towards the fridge. As she moved, the metal chain clasped around her ankle scraped over the ceramic floor tiles.
Mum must’ve been bad too, he mused, before heading out into the garden.
Thank you, Michelle Kidd and Zooloo’s Book Tours
About the author
Michelle Kidd is a self-published author best known for the Detective Inspector Jack MacIntosh series of novels set in London. She has also recently begun a new series which is set in her home town of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk – starring Detective Inspector Nicki Hardcastle.
Michelle qualified as a lawyer in the early 1990s and spent the best part of ten years practising civil and criminal litigation.
But the dream to write books was never far from her mind and in 2008 she began writing the manuscript that would become the first DI Jack MacIntosh novel – The Phoenix Project. The book took eighteen months to write, but spent the next eight years gathering dust underneath the bed.
In 2018 Michelle self-published The Phoenix Project and has not looked back since. There are currently four DI Jack MacIntosh novels, with a fifth in progress, and the first DI Nicki Hardcastle novel is due for release in August 2021.
Michelle now works full time for the NHS and lives in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. She enjoys reading, wine and cats – not necessarily in that order
Website : http://www.michellekiddauthor.com
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B099FMGZ16
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099FMGZ16