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Today it’s my turn to be on the blog tour for If He Wakes by Zoe Lea. I’m sharing with you an extract from If He Wakes a fantastic thriller that you won’t be able to put down.
You can always trust your best friend… can’t you?
When Rachel discovers a Twitter message arranging a romantic liaison she assumes her husband is having an affair, and follows him. What she witnesses is so much worse: a hit and run using his car.
Meanwhile, Rachel’s friend and business partner Suzie is increasingly worried about her fiance, who’s not been in touch for days. When Suzie learns of huge debts racked up in her name she fears he has run out on her, but then the threatening calls start and she thinks something terrible has happened.
Rachel and Suzie are both about to learn shocking things about the men they love, worse than they could ever imagine… Can their friendship survive?
‘A tense, pulse-quickening tale. If you read the first chapter, you can’t help but read the second. I flew through this perfect summer read of best friends in turmoil in one feverish session.’ Paula Daly
Rachel had been talking about how it was going to be tight, not only because they had limited time to organise and plan the twenty-first Gatsby party, but because she was trying to arrange a holiday as well. She had it in her mind that her daughters should experience Father Christmas in a Nordic setting whilst they were still young enough to enjoy it. With Katie at fourteen and Jessica at sixteen, Suzie thought they were far too old already, but she knew better than to voice her opinion on matters like this with Rachel, so she kept quiet and went to fill the kettle instead.
‘Phil thinks we shouldn’t take them out of school,’ Rachel was saying, ‘but as I explained to him, I’m booked up all Christmas week. I’ve three big charity dinners to cater for in town as well as my consultation work with the council and I like to do a bit of volunteering around this time of year, if I can fit it in, so if we’re going, it’ll have to be at the beginning of December. It’ll be the week after the Gatsby party so it’ll be a squeeze, but Katie’s fifteen next year. How much longer will she want to come on family holidays? And Jessica! Little Jessica is going to be an adult soon, she’s leaving college next year so if we’re doing it, it needs to be now and it’s a price difference of thousands! Not just a few hundred, but thousands.’
Suzie had barely been listening. With no children of her own she couldn’t really empathise with the whole ‘school holiday’ dilemma. She only understood that it was business; a higher demand for something meant a higher price. It went with the territory, if you were lucky enough to have children, then you had to endure certain things. Like paying more for a holiday, and besides, Rachel could afford it. Suzie only had to look at her big detached house, the car in her drive, the expensive coffee that was in her cupboard and the sound of her cleaner, Della, hoovering upstairs, to realise that for all Rachel’s moaning about prices, she had the money in the bank.
She stared out at Rachel’s large garden whilst the kettle boiled and thought instead about her honeymoon. In a matter of months she’d be Mrs Adam Staple. Lying on a sun bed, somewhere tropical, her new husband by her side and hopefully, if this party went to plan, a great new business on the go. In a few short years, if Suzie allowed herself to dream, she could be standing in a house like this, maybe not as big as Rachel’s, but certainly similar, and perhaps, if she was really lucky, with a child of her own. She could be the one who was gleefully moaning about child-care and overpriced holidays. Suzie smiled, excitement fizzing inside her.
As Rachel went on to talk about how the experience of visiting Norway would be so much more educational than sitting in a classroom, Suzie got out the mugs and checked her phone. Adam hadn’t yet called back. When she’d been paying for her coffee that morning, her bank card had been refused. Mandy was fine about it, said she trusted Suzie wouldn’t leave the country, but it was embarrassing all the same. She needed to call the bank, but wanted to speak with Adam first. Her fiancé was the one who managed the accounts, sorted the cash, fiddled the books. He dealt with everything financial, so she wanted to check with him before she started up blue murder about a frozen card. Could be that he was holding something back for tax deduction or something similar, which she knew he sometimes did.
She idly tried to remember when he’d said their self-assessments were due, when she’d become a partner in his business, the dates of their fiscal year and what cash sales she’d had that month. Or if she should use the other bank card, the one he said to lay off for a couple of weeks, where she might have put it, when she realised that Rachel had suddenly gone quiet.
All the talk of thieving airlines and husky rides had stopped.
She turned around to see Rachel hunched over the laptop, her shoulders rigid.
‘What’s wrong?’ Suzie asked, walking toward her, ‘what’s happened?’
Rachel didn’t answer. She simply turned slightly so Suzie could see the screen. Twitter. Rachel was on Twitter and as Suzie made sense of the page, she could see that she was on the private messaging section of the site.
‘I’m not sure what to think of this,’ Rachel said and pointed to the top message. Suzie read it aloud.
‘Meet me today at two, room booked at the hotel on Chester retail park. I’ll bring champagne. Can’t wait to see your hot body.’
She looked at Rachel who had gone pale, a confused look on her face. Leaning forward she looked at whose account Rachel was reading.
‘Big Smiles 33,’ she said. ‘Is that you?’
Rachel shook her head tightly and navigated the screen back to the inbox. Suzie could see a whole array of messages; some pictures that she couldn’t make out and all were addressed to someone named Shutterbug1718.
Title: If He Wakes
Author Name: Zoe Lea
Previous Books (if applicable): N/A
Genre: Thriller, Psychological Thriller
Release Date: 30th April 2018
Links to Book:
Zoe Lea lives in the Lake District with her husband, their two children, three dogs and peregrine falcons. She has previously worked as a teacher, photographer and freelance journalist and is a writer in the day and a reader by night. If He Wakes is her debut novel.
Author Social Media Links
Here are all the other blogs on the tour. Why not pop over and check them out?
Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you have enjoyed this post.
You can catch my other bookish posts here.
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