Excerpt Time! Songs of Innocence by Anne Coates @Anne_Coates1 #Excerpt #AuthorTakeOver

Posted June 21, 2020 by Zoé in Author TakeOver, Excerpt / 0 Comments

Shifting our focus now on to Book 3, with Songs of Innocence, time for some tension building but first…

Excerpt Time! Songs of Innocence by Anne Coates @Anne_Coates1 #Excerpt #AuthorTakeOverSongs of Innocence by Anne Coates
Series: Hannah Weybridge #3
Published by Urbane Publications on May 24 2018
Buy on Amazon UK
Add to Goodreads
Also by this author: Dancers in the Wind, Dancers in the Wind, Death's Silent Judgement, Songs of Innocence, A Tale of Two Sisters, Perdition's Child

A woman's body is found in a lake. Is it a sad case of suicide or something more sinister?

Hannah Weybridge, still reeling from her friend's horrific murder and the attempts on her own life, doesn't want to get involved, but reluctantly agrees to look into the matter for the family.

The past however still stalks her steps, and a hidden danger accompanies her every move.

The third in the bestselling Hannah Weybridge thriller series, Songs of Innocence provides Hannah with her toughest and deadliest assignment yet...


Early morning in Peckham Rye Park composed its own symphony. An excited bark from an unseen dog. Birds sounding out their morning chorus high in the trees. A rustle of branches and leaves as a squirrel bounded from one tree to the next. The caw of a crow. A fox scratching the ground before marking the territory with his scent.


Two young boys sneaked around the lake – known locally as the Pond – to the far side and leapt over the low fence which bore the sign: no fishing, no bathing. Both were wearing dark hoodies, jeans and trainers that were cheap and without a fashionable logo. The smaller of the two slipped and landed awkwardly near the water’s edge.


“Shit.” A few stones he had disturbed splashed into the lake.


“Sh,” said the other looking around but only the ducks and Canada geese had heard and they showed a marked disinterest.


“How deep d’you think it is, Ollie?”


The other boy shrugged. “Dunno.” He elbowed his friend in the ribs. “Deep enough to cover you, Jace.”


Jason eyed the murky water with suspicion and shuffled backwards on his bottom. The boys unpacked their rucksacks in companionable silence.

Quickly they assembled their fishing tackle, Ollie opened the tin of bait and grinned as he took a moment to select a worm and handed the tin to his freckle-faced friend. They sat on the bank, partially hidden by a clump of bushes tall enough to make them less conspicuous. A large rat ran along the water’s edge near the reeds. Jason shuddered. He hated rats ever since he’d seen one eating rotting leftover food from a black rubbish bag that had split open in the stairwell in their block of flats.


“Ready?”


“Ready.”


Together they cast their lines. The plop of their baited hooks caused a slight ripple, which ruffled a moorhen’s feathers as it glided past. The mandarin duck with its spectacular red, orange, white and blue plumage perching on a low branch just skimming the water, raised its head but showed no curiosity in the boys.


Peace prevailed. Jason, felt his eyelids grow heavy, his long lashes brushing his cheeks. Ollie nudged him. “Don’t fall asleep, wanker.”


“I’m not.” Jason wiped his sleeve across his nose and sniffed.


Ollie handed him a sandwich from a sliced loaf bag he’d had in his rucksack and munched on one himself. Chocolate spread. His favourite. “I love it here. It’s like the country where my nan lives.”


Jason nodded though he’d never been anywhere really. Never somewhere as exotic and exciting as he imagined the country to be. His whole world was the council estate where he lived with his mum on the seventeenth floor of their tower block, and school. Both were intimidating and harsh. He only ever came to the park when Ollie invited him.


“Where does your nan live then?”


“Harlow. There’s a field and a brook at the bottom of her garden. I love it there. Love it.” Ollie finished his sandwich and threw the crusts to the pigeons patiently waiting nearby.


Suddenly Jason’s line tightened. “I think I’ve got something.”


Ollie helped him reel in. A small fish neither could identify wriggled on the hook. Both boys were too excited to notice that they had also disturbed something else that floated to the surface. A coot rose in a flurry of wings and seemed to scream out at the boys who looked up from their task to see a face staring out of the water. Then a hand emerged and appeared to point directly at them as the terrified fishermen both let out an almighty yell.


I wouldn’t want to be on that fishing trip!!!! Jeez!!!

What do other reviewers say?

GoodReads Reviewer says:- Anne Coates is a fabulous and talented author and a true lady whose writing reflects this and I have always enjoyed reading her topical themed thrillers. I do hope to read more Hannah Weybridge books in the future and I’d happily recommend this book and the whole series to crime readers young and old.

Hooked from Page One says:- Hannah absolutely fascinated me. We are given some information about previous cases that she has worked on during her career as a journalist and it really made me want to go back and start the series at the beginning. I have really enjoyed books recently that have featured journalists as main characters, and I have now added Hannah Weybridge on that list as well. I also really liked the relationship that she had with her daughter, Elizabeth which gave a very human aspect to her character and it made her really likeable.

GoodReads Reviewer says:- Songs of Innocence is full of wonderful characters, all of whom bring much enjoyment to reading this novel. I particularly found it interesting to read about Asian culture and arranged marriage, and found that the author tackled this subject with knowledge, empathy and compassion. There was much food for thought. This really is a gripping thriller of a read. And, oh! that ending! I cannot wait to read the next exciting instalment and find out what Hannah gets up to next.

GoodReads Reviewer says :- Hannah Weybridge is back and does not fail to provide an intriguing investigation yet again. Songs of Innocence has a cleverly written storyline addressing the issue of honour based crime. As usual, Hannah throws herself fully in to uncovering the truth, unaware her own safety is at risk. It is a brilliant plot which keeps you gripped. Songs of Innocence is a superb third book in this series.

Click the picture to see who is the innocent in this story

About Anne Coates

I love reading and the type of fiction I write is what I like to read. So my very short stories are often tales with a twist and the longer ones explore relationships – often within a family. Most of these stories were published first in Bella, Candis and other magazines and now appear in two collections published by Endeavour Press.

My debut thriller, “Dancers in the Wind”, was published by Urbane Publications in October 2016. This book is a result of an interview I did for a national newspaper and afterwards I thought “What if…” and so Hannah Weybridge came into existence and she continues her life in “Death’s Silent Judgement” published in May 2017 and “Songs of Innocence” (May 2018) again by Urbane Publications. The fourth book in the series, “Perdition’s Child” will be published in March 2020. You can find out more about my writing at www.annecoatesauthor.com

Journalism has led me into diverse fields from human interest stories to health and beauty to travel and parenting and so just over seven years ago I founded the website: www.parentingwithouttears.com writing about what inspires (or upsets) me and hosting articles and reviews by other writers and parents. This led to two parenting guides again published by Endeavour Press.

Before that I had written three books (two for Wayland) including “Your Only Child” (Bloomsbury) plus two books about applying to and surviving university published by Need to Know.

I live in SE London with three demanding cats and enjoy going to the theatre and cinema and socialising with friends. You can find out more about the parenting website on twitter @ParentingWT or more about what I am up to @Anne_Coates1

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