Published by Bookouture on November 22, 2018
Genres: Psychological, Thriller, Mystery
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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?
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!!!
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.
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.
‘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…
Thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for the tour invite and the Publisher and the author for an excerpt from the book.