#Excerpt of The Liar’s Wife by Samantha Hayes @samhayes @nholten40 @bookouture

#Excerpt of The Liar’s Wife by Samantha Hayes @samhayes @nholten40 @bookouture The Liar's Wife by Samantha Hayes
Published by Bookouture on November 22, 2018
Genres: Psychological, Thriller, Mystery
Pages: 372
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When Ella wakes up in a hospital following a hit-and-run incident, she is scared and confused. Close to tears, her eyes fall on a get-well-soon card on the window sill and the nurse reassures her that her loving husband will be back soon...

But Ella has never been married.

In fact, she has lived alone her whole adult life; working hard, rarely socialising, quietly harbouring a terrible secret from her past.

Fear sweeps through Ella when she instantly recognises the man who enters the ward. He is not her husband, but she knows that she must do as he says and play the part of dutiful wife.

What choice does she have? He was there the night of the fire, he knows her secret too…

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Samantha Hayes to the blog and with an exclusive excerpt from her novel The Liar’s Wife.

So before we check it out, what are bloggers saying about the book?

By the Letter book reviews says

The Liar’s Wife is a seriously compulsive read that you won’t want to put down. It was an addictive read that I couldn’t get enough of and the build up of tension was just off the scale. You know how great a book is when your heart is still racing hours after finishing the book as the adrenaline was still coursing through my body. Compulsive, addictive, what more do you need from a psychological thriller?

The Writing Garnet says

‘The Liars Wife’ is the type of disturbing which makes your stomach roll yet you can’t take your eyes off the paper. It’s the type of read which is so gritty, you’ll end up making your own eyes gritty trying to stay up until goodness what time to finish reading it (trust me, I was that person). What a fast paced, thrilling, highly addictive, and turbulent read which left me gasping for air! Hand on heart, I have never read anything like this before, but Samantha Hayes has certainly set the bar incredibly high for herself with her next book! Geeeeeeez!!!

Bibliophile Book Club (Ellen Reviews) says

So begins a dark and disturbing story of Ella being incapacitated and held against her will by a very dangerous (and clearly demented) man. Jacob is one of the most horrible characters I have read recently, my skin was crawling over his actions and my heart was in my mouth every time Ella had a confrontation with him or broke his many rules. I was desperate to know what this secret from the past was that Ella and Jacob shared and as The Liar’s Wife reached its epic conclusion my mind was well and truly blown!

Rae Reads  says

What can I say other than what a creepy and intense read this book is! Well alright I can say more although I’m not entirely sure where to start or even what to say as I would hate to ruin a single moment of this book. 

PROLOGUE

I  glance  at  the  office  clock  then  check  the  time  on  my  monitor  for what  feels  like  the  hundredth  time.  I  swear  the  hands  are  moving backwards.  The  conversation  brewing  around  me  is  making  me anxious,  worrying  how  I’ll  deflect  yet  another  invitation  without seeming  rude,  stand-offish,  ungrateful.

I  just  want  to  go  home.

‘We  could  make  a  night  of  it,’  Wendy  says  to  someone  as  she walks  past  my  workspace.

I  cower  down,  pretending  to  be  immersed  in  the  project  I have  open.

‘Depends  if  you  want  to  be  a  functioning  human  being  tomorrow,  or  not,’ a  male  voice  chimes  back  from  between  the  office partitions. 

There’s  laughter,  a  few  other  comments,  a  plan  forming  –  leave work  at  5.30 p.m.  on  the  dot,  head  to  the  bar  around  the  corner, have  a  few  drinks,  maybe  get  some  food,  more  pubs,  crawl  home, sleep  it  off.  I  can’t  help  the  shudder  as  I  stare  at  my  screen,  playing the  same  ten-second  clip  over  and  over  again.  I  don’t  know  if  it’s the  film  sending  shivers  through  me,  or  the  talk  of  a  night  out.

Work,  home,  sleep…

‘What  say  you,  Miss  Sinclair?’  comes  a  voice  from  behind  me. I  don’t  need  to  turn  around.  I  know  it’s  Adam.  He  rarely  uses my  first  name,  though  he  does  for  everyone  else.

 ‘About  what?’  I  reply,  leaning  into  my  screen,  pretending  to concentrate,  tweaking  the  film  clip  for  the  sake  of  it.  Anything  to make  him  think  I’m  busy.

‘A  piss-up  after  work  to  celebrate  Helen’s  engagement?’

He  comes  into  my  little  cubicle,  plonking  himself  down  on the  corner  of  my  desk.  I  slide  my  coffee  cup  away  from  the  edge.

‘But  Helen  isn’t  in  today.  She’s  gone  on  a  course.’

‘So?’  Adam  says,  shrugging.  ‘Doesn’t  mean  to  say  we  can’t celebrate  without  her.’

I  look  up  at  him,  my  heart  flipping  an  unsteady  beat.  I’m  pretty sure  they  only  ask  me  out  of  duty,  but  I’m  running  out  of  excuses.

‘Any  excuse  for  the  pub,’  I  say,  adding  a  smile.  ‘But  I’m  sorry,  I can’t.  I  really  have  to  finish  grading  this  clip.  I’m  running  behind as  it  is.’

Adam  thinks  about  this,  pulling  a  ‘fair  enough’  face.  In  the past  I’ve  used  sick  relatives,  hospital  appointments,  tiredness,  sore throats,  vague,  nondescript  plans  and  lack  of  money  as  reasons  not to  join  in  with  work  gatherings.  They  don’t  push  it.  It’s  generally accepted  that  ‘Ella  never  comes’.  But  still  they  keep  asking.

I  know  it’s  not  them.  It’s  me.

Adam  folds  his  arms.  Shows  no  sign  of  leaving.  ‘That’s  the school  fire-safety  film,  right?’  he  says,  squinting  at  my  screen.

‘Yes,’  I  say,  replaying  the  clip  yet  again,  skipping  past  that  bit. 

It  never  gets  any  easier.  ‘I’m  just  struggling  with  the  animated section  in  the  middle.  I  know  it’s  for  kids  but—’

‘You  do  know  the  deadline  has  been  put  back,  don’t  you?’

I  stare  up  at  him,  swallowing.  The  clip  plays  on  –  the  sound of  crackling,  popping  and  then  roaring  somehow  even  more disturbing  without  the  images.  I  close  my  eyes  for  a  second  but, behind  them,  the  flames  are  still  there.

It  only  takes  seconds  for  a  fire  to  spread… 

the  voiceover  says.

 How long  does  it  take  you  to  get  out?

‘Oh…  I…’  I  say,  choking,  coughing.  ‘I  didn’t  realise.’

 ‘So  in  that  case,  Miss  Sinclair,  why  don’t  you  down  tools,  shake out  your  hair  and  come  and  get  lashed  with  the  rest  of  us?’  Adam says,  leaning  forward.  He  reaches  over,  his  armpit  in  my  face  as he  takes  hold  of  my  mouse,  about  to  log  out  of  the  system  for  me.

‘No!’  I  swipe  away  his  arm,  knocking  over  my  half-finished coffee.  It  spills  all  over  my  keyboard.  ‘Christ,’  I  say,  leaping  up  and grabbing  a  bunch  of  tissues  from  the  box  on  my  desk.

Adam  quickly  raises  his  hands,  backing  off.  ‘OK,  OK,  I  get  the hint,’  he  says,  adding  a  laugh.  ‘Just  thought  the  real  Miss  Sinclair might  want  to,  you  know,  come  out  to  play.’

I  drop  my  head,  my  hand  pressing  half  a  dozen  tissues  onto  my desk  and  keyboard,  waiting  for  the  mess  to  soak  up.  Then  I  turn, catching  sight  of  Adam  as  he  leaves,  shaking  his  head.

‘No,’  I  say,  too  quietly  for  him  to  hear.  ‘No,  she  doesn’t.’

It’s  amazing  how  much  mess  half  a  cup  of  coffee  makes.  After  I’ve unplugged  my  keyboard,  dried  it  out,  wiped  all  around,  dabbed the  papers  that  got  wet  as  well  as  putting  back  everything  just  as it  was,  I  sit  back  down,  head  in  hands.  5.23 p.m.  Seven  minutes until  the  others  leave.  Seven  minutes  until  I’m  off  the  hook. 

And  Adam  was  right.  Looking  at  the  time  schedule  for  this  job, I  see  the  deadline  isn’t  until  the  end  of  next  week  now.  So  many projects  come  and  go  that  it’s  easy  to  lose  track  of  the  ones  that change.  But  this  one…  well,  it’s  not  been  easy  and  I  had  hoped it  would  have  been  assigned  to  another  editor.  The  fire  service, in  conjunction  with  the  local  education  authority,  commissioned a  series  of  safety  films  to  show  in  schools. 

Know  Your  Exit is  the  film’s  title  and,  if  the  campaign  saves even  one  life,  then  it  has  been  worth  it.

I  rest  my  head  in  my  hands.  Sometimes,  there  is  no  way  out.

‘Don’t  flog  yourself  all  night,  will  you,  Ella?’  a  voice  says  from behind.

Not  Adam  this  time.  I  swing  around,  give  him  a  little  smile. 

Liam’s  OK.

‘I  won’t,’  I  reply.

He  has  his  jacket  on,  a  work  bag  on  his  shoulder,  an  expectant 

look  on  his  face.

‘You  sure  you  won’t  come  to  the  pub?’  he  adds,  hesitating.

I  admit,  it’s  almost  tempting.  Anything  to  get  away  from  this project.

‘I’m  sorry,  I’m  really  tired,’  I  say.  ‘Anyway,  I  left  my  purse  at home  this  morning.’  The  truth,  at  least.  ‘And  I  don’t  want  to  be cycling  home  too  late.  The  rain’s  getting  heavier,’  I  add,  glancing out  of  the  window.

‘Well  I’m  happy  to  buy  you  a  few  drinks.  Or  lend  you  some cash  if  you  prefer?’  There’s  hope  in  his  eyes.

‘Really,  it’s  fine,’  I  say,  shaking  my  head.

‘How  about  a  lift  home  then?’  Liam  says,  persevering.  ‘I’m borrowing  my  mum’s  car  today.  I’m  sure  we  can  get  your  bike  in the  boot  somehow.  And,  to  be  honest,’  he  says,  glancing  at  the others  gathering  by  the  door,  lowering  his  voice,  ‘I’m  not  fussed  about  going  out  either.  I  can’t  drink  because  I’m  driving.  You’d  be my  get-out-of-jail  card.’

‘Thanks,  but  I’ll  just  finish  up  here  then  get  home.  You  have a  good  night.’  I  turn  back  to  my  monitor,  hoping  that’s  the  end of  the  conversation.

‘Maybe  another  time  then,’  he  says  before  leaving,  though  I sense  he  waits  a  moment  in  case  I  change  my  mind.

When  he’s  gone,  when  the  others  have  all  grabbed  their  stuff and  headed  out  towards  the  lifts,  when  the  office  is  finally  silent, I  lay  my  head  down  on  my  desk  trying  hard  not  to  cry…

Follow the rest of the tour here

Thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for the tour invite and the Publisher and the author for an excerpt from the book.

About Samantha Hayes

Samantha Hayes grew up in Warwickshire, left school at sixteen, avoided university and took jobs ranging from private detective to barmaid to fruit picker and factory worker. She lived on a kibbutz, and spent time living in Australia and the USA, before finally becoming a crime-writer.

Her writing career began when she won a short story competition in 2003. Her novels are family-based psychological thrillers, with the emphasis being on ‘real life fiction’. She focuses on current issues and sets out to make her readers ask, ‘What if this happened to me or my family?’

The Liar’s Wife is out now!

2 Comments

  1. jenchaos76
    November 26, 2018 / 9:55 am

    Seems good to me. Wives doing things good or bad are usually exciting.

    • Zoe
      Author
      November 26, 2018 / 11:28 am

      I have a copy to read and I can’t wait after the reviews!

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