Short Writing Sample: Silent

The Internet connection remains problematic, as do the grey skies and cold weather.  I’ve been working on a third novel, Silent, a psychological thriller set in the north of England. In Silent, main character Gavin has to return to Harlesden Hall, the scene of several murders five years earlier.  One of the survivors has sought Gavin’s help but has disappeared and Gavin is trying to find her.

I text, hey, cheers for your help and sorry to get you up here for nothing, but let me get on with it, okay? Speak soon.  

I switch off the phone and continue on my way, taking in deep air in the hope of catching a scent from those student days of five years ago. A rhythm, the hint of a voice or laughter. Perfume.  But I only catch the silence of the fields and the river and the bleakness all around me, the traces of memories; the echoes of a chilly breeze, despite the fact it’s summer. The abandoned mills and old factories at the foot of the side hill leading up to Harlesden Hall. The overwhelming scent of manure in the air. Thundery clouds reflected in the surface of the river. The silence that is rarely calm. Echoes and traces of death and sorrow  from more than a century of suffering.

The climb up the hill takes me about ten minutes and I have to keep pausing to catch my breath, thankful that I’ve never taken up smoking. I arrive at the long driveway to the house and walk down, past the tall hedges and the bushes, stopping suddenly by the hilly mound at the bottom of the grounds.

Someone’s watching me in the driveway. It’s pretty obvious this time. I hear a branch snap. Feel the intense gaze directed at me.

A game. Cat and mouse.

Except I’m not playing the mouse.  No way.

 

Meanwhile, my other two novels – Secrets by Lawrence Estrey and EggHead – are available from Amazon in paperback and e-book. 

Check out the reviews for my debut novel Secrets.

Newspaper article on author.

Local musician publishes crime thriller

EggHead by Lawrence Estrey – A Review

Received this awesome review on my second novel EggHead, a psychological thriller set in the UK.  Teen Fiction/Young Adult:

5.0 out of 5 stars suspense in a grim northen landscape 17 Feb 2013
By ***
Format:Paperback
Egghead is a youngster stranded in a grey windswept northern seaside town. He got involved in something horrible three years before and has had to hide here. We get mysterious glimpses of the past in flashbacks. The scenes are vividly painted and the characters are gradually revealed. You’re kept on edge as the story races on. You can’t put it down. The atmosphere is dark and menacing, and you are swept forward to what seems an inevitable grim conclusion.
 
 
 
 

More Snow

Snow hit the UK again earlier in the week, but most of it has gone now.  Below are some of the photos I caught in Highgate Wood, North London.

wpid-highgatewoodone.jpgwpid-hggatewoodsnowthreebw.jpgwpid-highgatewoodtwobw.jpg

In the meantime, I’m working on a new novel, Silent, a psychological thriller set in the north of England about a group of music students brought together in a house with a disturbed history.  My other two novels – Secrets by Lawrence Estrey and EggHead (teen fiction) – are available from Amazon in paperback and e-book. 

Check out the reviews for my debut novel Secrets.

Newspaper article on author.

Local musician publishes crime thriller

Cold and Frost

Temperatures have plunged again here in the UK and the pavements have become slippery again.    Plus, internet connection poor again.

Meanwhile, I’m working on a third novel, a psychological thriller set around a stately hall, involving five music students.   The hall has a dark history and one of the students inadvertently reignites the past, leading to fatal consequences.  Five years later, central character Gavin and the other survivor of the hall Lucy find themselves in trouble.  Much of the story comes from Gavin’s perspective in the first person, but some sections are told from Lucy’s viewpoint using the third person. 

In the following sample, Lucy takes on the role of viewpoint character:

‘What’s this?’ she says to herself.

There, lying on the post mat in the hallway, is an A4 packet, hand delivered. She stops short. Glances around.

A photograph drops to the floor.

A photograph of herself, done in black and white.

There are five photos in the package, all of her. 

In one, the photographer has captured a shot of her in central Manchester on her way to a wine bar to meet a girl she knew from Uni. In another, she’s walking past the local church, reading an email on her phone. The next photograph shows her leaving a supermarket. The fourth has been taken near Manchester Piccadilly. In the final snap, she’s heading towards her local pub, talking hurriedly on her phone. The most frightening photograph of all, since the photographer has included the date the photograph at the bottom of the image and she remembers the occasion clearly, the clothes she wore that day….the day former music student Gavin called her back from London and they arranged to meet.

The stillness closes in, growing audible. That day, someone was following her, but she didn’t realise it. They know all about her and Gavin.  Although the stalking seems a recent thing, it has been going on for much longer in practice and the person has been tracking her movements for more than three months.

The landline phone rings, startling her.

She grabs the receiver.

Silence.

‘What do you want?’ she says.          

No answer.

She detects faint breathing in the background. 

Male breathing.

A man watching her, following her about.

Photographing her and editing the images in black and white.

Posting photo packages through the door of her flat. 

‘The police have been,’ she lies. ‘And they’re on to you.’

Silence.

Cruel, tormenting silence.  She hates silence, always has hated silence. How the person on the other end of the line understands the power of silence.

The caller hangs up.   

Meanwhile, my other two novels – Secrets by Lawrence Estrey and EggHead (teen fiction) – are available from Amazon in paperback and e-book. 

Check out the reviews for my debut novel Secrets.

Newspaper article on author.

Local musician publishes crime thriller

Limited Internet Connection At Present….

Having trouble getting a connection at present, so I’ve not posted as much as usual. 

Currently, I’m working on a third novel, Silent, another psychological thriller set up in the north of England.  In the story, a group of piano students spend a week together in a stately hall, but events from the past combine with present uncertainties, producing an atmosphere of danger and paranoia. 

In the following excerpt, central character Gavin returns to the hall five years after events spiralled out of control. 

Flowers scattered nearby.

Wreaths.

Wreaths ripped to bits and tossed on top of a single pile of rubbish.

Who the hell’s killed a sheep and placed its head by the remains of these flowers?

What type of sicko would do something like that and destroy the wreaths?   

I feel eyes staring at the back of my neck. 

Eyes studying me.

I swing round, but there’s no one around.

Just tall hedges and bushes and the views in the distance.

‘Who’s there?’ I call. 

No answer. 

Just echoing silence.

Mocking silence.

Meanwhile, my other two novels – Secrets by Lawrence Estrey and EggHead (teen fiction) – are available from Amazon in paperback and e-book. 

Check out the reviews for my debut novel Secrets.

Newspaper article on author.

Local musician publishes crime thriller