THE BACK ROAD
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In a quiet country village, secrets abound.
When a young girl, Abbie Campbell, is knocked over and left for dead on the back road of the village of Little Melham, waves of shock ripple through the small community and a chain of events, which threatens to expose long-kept secrets, is triggered.
For Ellie Saunders, the truth about that night puts both her marriage and the safety of her children in jeopardy–she has to protect her family, no matter what the cost. And Ellie isn’t the only one with something to hide. She and her sister Leo believe they have put their troubled childhood behind them, but Leo’s quest for the truth reveals a terrible secret that has lain hidden for years.
Ellie’s neighbour, former detective Tom Douglas, has escaped to Little Melham in search of a quiet life, but finds himself drawn into the web of deceit as his every instinct tells him that what happened to young Abbie was far more than a tragic accident.
In this gripping novel, the peaceful English countryside belies the horrible truths that lurk beneath the trimmed hedgerows, behind the closed doors of smart sitting rooms and within unspoken conversations.
THE BACK ROAD
Excerpt from The Back Road
Ellie jumped as her mobile started to vibrate on the worktop next to her. Her breath caught, and her arm froze in mid‐air. She knew without looking who it would be.
Should she answer? Would it be worse to speak to him, or to ignore him? She didn’t want to speak to him ever again, but couldn’t predict what he would do if she started to avoid him altogether. Snapping out of her momentary paralysis, she wiped her hands nervously on a tea towel and picked up the phone.
‘Hello,’ she said softly.
‘Why are you crying, Ellie?’ He was here.
Ellie nearly dropped the phone as her eyes flew in panic to the huge bi-folding glass doors that lined one wall of the kitchen, leading out to the side of the house. But the combination of the stormy skies and the brightly lit room made it impossible to see into the murky depths of the garden beyond.
The voice continued. ‘I’m watching you. I love watching you cook. But don’t be sad. It’s going to be okay, I promise you.’
Ellie’s heart pounded but she tried not to let her voice waver. ‘I’m not crying, and I’m not sad. Where are you? Please - you shouldn’t be here. There’s nothing more to say. I’ve said it all before.’
There was a sigh of exasperation from the other end of the phone. ‘Why don’t you let me in, and we can talk? I’m right here. The voice was quiet and persuasive, but Ellie shivered in fear.