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Published by Hobeck Books

26th March 2024

Psychological thriller/suspense

Never Forgive You


How could you all have done that? You killed him. You stood and stared as he died and did nothing. We know who we are, and we know who you are. We will not forget, and we will never forgive you.


- Chapter 1 - Hetty



Uncle Archibald, or Archie, as he now preferred, had been waiting for them at the train station at Le Puy, drinking a black coffee and puffing on a cigarette. Having never met him before, Hetty noted he had dark circles and a sagging look about him, with shoulders bowed and head lowered. Maybe he always looked like that, but as his daughter Isabel was getting married this week, Hetty doubted it. This was the reason they were all travel weary and a bit cantankerous. A French wedding in the countryside. Archie tossed the still-glowing cigarette into the bushes and flipped the empty coffee cup into a waiting bin, already overflowing with rubbish. It bounced on the edge, wobbled and fell off. He didn’t bother to pick it up.

            They walked over, dragging their suitcases behind them. It had been a long journey from Brighton to here in the central massif in France, and not just in time. Hetty sometimes wondered if her boyfriend, Davey,   and his twin sisters, Ailsa and Jules, got on at all. So much unsaid weirdness in the air, covered by a patina of well-bred politeness. She couldn’t work out why and Davey was less than forthcoming.

            ‘It’s just family stuff, you know…’ he’d said, but she didn’t know and that was kind of the point. From the way he said that she wasn’t sure if he knew either.

            Now, Davey slipped his arm around her shoulders, bent down to her and whispered, ‘Behold, the father of the bride. I bet he’ll be glad when it’s all done and dusted.’

            ‘Not sure,’ Ailsa said, ‘if I’m looking forward to seeing the old place or not.’ Hetty noted that she glanced at Jules. She found that an odd thing to say. Surely, they must all be so excited to be back here?

            Davey made some sort of tutting sound. ‘Bit late as there’s Uncle Archibald now.’ He waved. ‘And he’s still driving that old Citroën.’ Hetty stared at the car. Rounded and low-slung. Painted a fifties olive green. She did wonder if it scraped the ground on occasion. She and Davey had bicycles at home in Brighton, as parking was non-existent and the buses and trains ran on time. So why bother with a car?

            Jules strode off, and Hetty heard her say to her uncle, ‘I thought you’d given up?’ as she leaned in for a hug. She eyed the cigarette butt still smouldering beneath a shrub. Hetty thought that although Ailsa might be the outgoing twin, reeling in new friends as if they were plump trout on the line and often saying stuff without thinking about it beforehand (or maybe she did think beforehand and decided to say it anyway), it was Jules whom she viewed as someone she’d like to spend time with, an ally in the MacGregor clan she was now part of. Mind you, Jules was a psychologist, at least in her final years of training, and Hetty wasn’t sure if she was always making judgements about them. You should mind your ‘Ps’ and ‘Qs’ in front of a psychologist in case they worked out you were a serial killer before you did. That was a bit unnerving.

            Archie made a grunting sound. ‘You try giving up smoking before your darling daughter’s wedding.’ His smile was lop-sided. He might be topping fifty, but he was still a handsome man. Rangy, sandy-haired and dressed in that inimitable shabby-chic style the uber-rich seemed to pull off without a thought. She could see where Davey got it from. ‘I promise to stop this filthy habit when they leave for their honeymoon. And not a moment before.’ He twisted and scooped Ailsa into his arms. ‘It’s good to see you lot. It’s been far too long. Eight years. I suppose it got a bit staid and boring for you all in the end, eh?’ Hetty noticed his eye twitched.


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