Rosie is homeless and winter is closing in. So she can’t believe her luck when a total stranger, Mr. Adams, invites her to stay.
But Mr. Adams has a secret. He has chosen Rosie because she reminds him of someone very special from long ago. Maybe she can even help him recapture that distant happiness.
Of course, she might need a little encouragement, but that’s fine…
What he doesn’t realise is that Rosie has a secret too, a secret that will have horrifying consequences for them both.
So instead of the heaven he had hoped to find, Mr. Adams finds himself fighting to escape the special kind of hell created by… the girl downstairs.
The madness is upon me again.
It is close to midnight.
And I am searching for the girl.
I start at the hut by the pier where I saw her late this afternoon. I think she might be sheltering here. I walk around it. I try the padlock on the door. I shake it hard. To see if she might somehow have got inside the hut. But she has not.
I am wrapped up well. It is a crisp, cold night.
A full moon.
I move quickly along the promenade.
One beach hut after another. I am locked into a rhythm. I look front, sides, back. Check the padlock. Nothing. I move to the next one. Front, sides, back. Check the padlock. Nothing. Move on. Again, again, again.
She is nowhere to be seen.
I fear for her. As a girl.
I worry what might happen.
I have seen more and more beggars lately in the town. Young men, mostly. Eastern Europeans, I think. I have no sympathy for them. They have youth and strength and vigour. There is work for them, if they wanted it. They choose a life of benefits and begging. I guess it pays more.
If I were a young homeless man, I would go to pubs and restaurants late each evening. Offer to wash up, clean the yard, clear rubbish – anything in exchange for hot food and drink. I would keep my self-respect.
It’s different for girls – young women, really. On the streets. They are weaker physically, and when they are wet and cold and hungry, they are vulnerable to offers of money and the inevitable descent into sex work.
I hurry on.
As fast as I can.
I think I know where she might be.
Thank you, Iain Maitland and Zooloo’s Book Tours
About the author
Iain Maitland is the author of three previous psych thrillers, The Scribbler (2020), Mr Todd’s Reckoning (2019) and Sweet William (2017), all published by Contraband, an imprint of Saraband. Mr Todd’s Reckoning is coming to the big screen in 2023.
Iain is also the author of two memoirs, Dear Michael, Love Dad (Hodder, 2016), a book of letters written to his eldest son who experienced depression and anorexia, and (co-authored with Michael) Out Of The Madhouse (Jessica Kingsley, 2018).
He is also an Ambassador for Stem4, the teenage mental health charity. He talks regularly about mental health issues in schools and colleges and workplaces.
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Girl-Downstairs-gripping-psychological-thriller-ebook/dp/B09LR5RXBK/ref=sr_1_1?crid=K9EGU9I6LHG9&keywords=the+girl+downstairs&qid=1638000710&s=digital-text&sprefix=the+girl+dow%2Cdigital-text%2C205&sr=1-1