Lynda La Plante
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The exciting new standalone thriller from the No. 1 bestselling mistress of suspense
'Please don't let anything bad have happened to her, please don't let anything have happened to my baby…'
Marcus and Lena Fulford are the envy of their friends. Wealthy, attractive and successful, the couple, with their strikingly beautiful teenage daughter Amy, seem settled and content. But appearances mask a strained relationship almost at breaking point. Marcus's latest business venture has failed, draining Lena, the major breadwinner, dry. Putting Amy into weekly boarding school and striving to get her own career back on its feet, Lena remains alone in the luxurious family house as her marriage heads towards as amicable a divorce as she and Marcus can muster, and joint custody of their only child.
So when Amy arranges a sleepover with a school friend one weekend, neither parent sees the need to be in touch with her. Saturday, Sunday, Monday morning pass before Lena - seething from her first, unexpectedly confrontational, meeting with Marcus's divorce lawyer - phones Amy. Straight to Amy's voicemail. She must be in lessons. Lena sends a text. She waits. No reply, no contact whatsoever. It is only when Amy is reported missing from school and her friend's mother reveals that, instead of staying with them, Amy was visiting her father - a fact vehemently denied by Marcus - that Lena contacts the police. Her daughter has not been seen since Saturday afternoon.
As the police intensify their enquiries, their reassurances that Amy will be found safe and well begin to sound increasingly hollow. DI Victor Reid, in charge of the case, fears the worst - abduction or murder. A family under constant police and press scrutiny, a father who has seemingly lied about his alibi for the weekend, a mother whose perfect world is crumbling beneath her feet, a detective under pressure from his impatient superiors to deliver a result, the length of time that Amy has been missing gathering speed… all conspire to make Lynda La Plante's latest thriller her most tense and terrifying yet.
Where is Amy? Is she alive or dead? Lies and betrayal mount as the hunt for a missing girl becomes a search for a body…
me.’ ‘No problem, Professor, and thanks for all your help; it also gives me renewed faith that Amy may actually be alive and well.’ ‘Physically, yes, Inspector,’ said Cornwall grimly, ‘but psychologically, I fear not.’ ‘Once a thief always a thief,’ Jackson said to DS Styles as they left Lena Fulford’s house. ‘Dunn’s nervous and I don’t trust him. Get a search warrant for wherever he lives. Just look at his record – what on earth is she doing employing him?’ Styles reckoned that if Harry had
handcuff Marcus. ‘You can’t do this, you can’t.’ A uniformed sergeant booked Marcus in at the station and read him his legal rights. He was very subdued and used his phone call not to call a solicitor but Lena. She was shaken but stayed calm as he said that they thought he had something to do with Amy’s disappearance, but deliberately didn’t mention he’d been arrested on suspicion of murder. ‘That bastard that came to the house to see you, he was at the flat and making false accusations; I
I have given each of them a number, and it seems to me the most dominant and controlling one is number three. She, or he, is also the most dangerous and likely to be the one who would cause physical harm.’ Reid, fighting the urge to doze off, asked why he said ‘he’, and Cornwall explained that an alter could actually be male or female, irrespective of the sex of the person suffering DID. ‘Alter three takes over at any given opportunity, but predominantly when the other alters find themselves
sheets, on top of which were at least ten pairs of ladies’ underwear of different styles and colours. There were also separate bagged sheets and pillowcases from Marcus’s and Amy’s bedrooms. The assistant carried a clipboard, pointing out and checking off the tagged items they had been working on. The assistant suddenly laughed out loud. ‘The end of that thing reminds me of an ice-cream whip,’ he said, pointing to a skin-coloured vibrator in the shape of a very large penis. Reid did not find it
the same time I am aware of how long she’s been missing and I realize the outcome may be tragic. As a friend I will endeavour to be supportive because I know how much Marcus loves Amy and what a good father he is.’ Driving back to London, Reid mulled over the interview. Although he had no evidence to suggest the handsome and suntanned Simon Boatly was involved in Amy’s disappearance, he could not allay his suspicions. He wondered if the nail-causing-the-peephole story was a lie fabricated in