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A gripping thriller which had me hooked from the first page. A well-written, intelligent a
Published by Bloodhound Books
19th July 2022
Psychological thriller/suspense

From My Cold Dead Hands


The train to Victoria was packed. Pushing others aside, I fought to get on and grab a seat. They might grumble, but what did they know? Hide in plain sight. Hunkered into my seat by the window, I pulled my cap low over my eyes and tucked my hair into my hoodie. Someone landed with a thump next to me, almost causing me to scream. My mind a supernova on steroids. Bright lights spiralled at the corner of my vision. Keep it in. Keep the howl welling inside of me in. But no, I was all right. For now. Tilting my head, I scanned around me. There were too many witnesses here, but then, when had witnesses ever been a deterrent? Never.
        As the train jolted out of Brighton station and the city melted away into the countryside, that terrible image overlaid what was in front of me. It was as if I were seeing it afresh, over and over again. So much blood. How could there be that much blood? My legs wouldn't stop shaking, adrenaline and exhaustion vying for possession of my body.

Waiting at the door as the train slowed into Victoria, I stayed in the middle of the crowd surging for the gates. My hand trembled as I punched in my ticket. Don’'t look back. Don’t show your face.
         I forced myself to walk. Although my body was set to flee, to race, I couldn'’t risk that. Don’t look back. Except I couldn'’t help myself. One quick glance over my shoulder. A smokescreen of unknown people behind me. My breathing ragged, I hugged my arms around myself, clinging to the bag strung across my shoulder. I'd chucked the one I'd previously owned into a bin in Brighton station. This new one was my lifeline.
         Walking up Victoria Street, the buildings on either side loomed above me, stealing my light, my air. So close now, so very close. At any moment, I expected a voice behind me, a hand to grab me, pain and then terror. Left down Buckingham Gate, tears blinding me. Where was it? St. James’ Court Hotel. Red building? There it was. Speeding up, all I could see was red: red brick, red blood.
         Oh, fuck! I’'d made a terrible mistake. The entrance to the hotel was on the other side of the road. How had I got that so wrong? Disorientated, my head full of things I didn’t ever want to see, too many tears.
         I spotted the doorman, all suited and booted with his peaked cap, standing under the ever-so-fancy arch. Rummaging in the bag, I grabbed hold of the hotel key. This will save me. I can't stop myself. I run, run toward that sanctuary, the tears streaming down my face.
‘           'Help me! Please, help me!’ The cry ripped from my throat.
         The doorman raised a hand. Yes, he recognised me, but there was a strange look on his face. His mouth moved, made shapes, though I couldn’'t hear the words, as the white noise in my head blocked it out.
‘          'Help me!’' I was shrieking now, and then I saw it. Something vast and black came at me from the side, and it didn’'t stop, couldn’t stop, and then the impact sent me into the air. Spinning like a thrown dolly, I smacked against the tarmac, knowing there was pain but not feeling it yet. Shouts and cries came as if from a distance. A dark shape lunged over me. Had I been caught?
         I watched my hand open, that precious hotel key skidding away from me. No, no, no!
Help me.

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