Hi and welcome to FromBelgiumWithBookLove where it is my absolute pleasure to share with you an excerpt from Bound! My review is here in case you missed it the first time around.
Many thanks to Anne Cater for having me on the tour, and to Orenda Books for the excerpt.
Let’s have a quick look at the blurb first:
The New Zealand city of Dunedin is rocked when a wealthy and apparently respectable businessman is murdered in his luxurious home while his wife is bound and gagged, and forced to watch. But when Detective Sam Shephard and her team start investigating the case, they discover that the victim had links with some dubious characters.
The case seems cut and dried, but Sam has other ideas. Weighed down by her dad’s terminal cancer diagnosis, and by complications in her relationship with Paul, she needs a distraction, and launches her own investigation. And when another murder throws the official case into chaos, it’s up to Sam to prove that the killer is someone no one could ever suspect…
Ready? Okay, let’s get to New Zealand!
It was 3.00 a.m. before I’d finally got home and back to bed. I’d managed to get Declan organised and off to his grandad’s house. The boy was reluctant to leave his mum, and it had taken a fair amount of reassurance that she’d be okay before he conceded that between the exhaustion and grief it was best he try and get some sleep. Although I didn’t fancy his chances. A guard had been posted at Jill Henderson’s door, just in case, though I didn’t think it would be necessary. Whoever had done this had their chance to kill her and had chosen not to. They wouldn’t come to a very public hospital to finish the job. My mind had been travelling at a hundred kilometres an hour and sleep did not come easily. Naturally, I finally drifted off just in time for my alarm to go at 6.00 a.m. so I could get down to the hospital early and talk to Jill before the morning meeting at the station. The powers that be were expecting a full briefing. And to top it all off, I had to walk to work as my car was still out at Seacliff.
I carried a cup of tea in to Jill and sat down by her bed. She looked at me with puffy, red-rimmed eyes and quietly thanked me for the drink.
‘Declan is with your father. He’s going to keep him home from school and he’ll bring him in later to see you.’
She nodded quietly. Jill Henderson was the kind of woman who could make even those butt-ugly hospital gowns look good. Even slightly spaced out, with messed-up hair and a row of stitches and bruising across her forehead, she radiated a natural beauty and grace. She also radiated profound grief and shock.
‘He’s a great boy, you know, the way he’s been handling this. You should be very proud.’
‘I know,’ she said as she wiped her eyes. ‘I just feel so bad that he had to see all that, that he was the one who found us. It’s not fair. None of it is fair.’ Murder never was.
‘Are you able to talk about what happened last night?’ I shifted the chair around to a better position as I could see it hurt her to turn her head. ‘Any information you can give me now will help us get hot on the track of whoever did this to you. We need to work quickly before that trail goes cold.’ I always hated having to press people for information when they would clearly rather be left alone.
‘I don’t know that it will be much help,’ she said, and then took a long sip of her tea to steady herself. She must have been righthanded, because trying to drink it left-handed she looked as awkward as a cow with a musket. The shaking didn’t help, either.
‘We were watching Criminal Intent on TV and there was an ad break, so I went out to the kitchen to make a cup of tea. I guess it would have been around quarter past nine or so. The doorbell rang, which was odd, because it was late and we weren’t expecting anyone. John got up and answered it.’
‘Had you heard any cars come up the driveway?’ I asked.
She thought about it for a moment. ‘No, I don’t think so, but the TV was quite loud.’
‘Do you have a dog?’ They were always useful advanced warning systems.
She shook her head, and winced from the pain the action produced. ‘No, we had to put our old boy down last year. He was fourteen. Rufus had a good innings.’ She smiled with the memory. It was nice to see her face light up, however briefly. ‘We haven’t got a new dog yet, we couldn’t decide on a breed. We’ve only got the cat now.’ She looked concerned. ‘Is someone feeding her? No one’s at home; she’ll have to go into a cattery.’ My mind flashed a mental image of the cat’s self-service activities and I had to work hard to suppress the shudder. What did you do with a cat after that? Would you put it down? Would you be able to live with a cat in the knowledge it had quite enjoyed its human snack? Would you feel safe at night? This might need to be a snippet of information none of them ever found out about.
‘Don’t you worry about that. I’ll make sure she’s being looked after.
Ready for more? Great! Bound is out today in paperback and digital formats, and if you have a fondness for New Zealand accents you can also check out the audiobook!