Swamp Ghosts… A Riverbend Novel ~ #Fiction #Romantic Suspense ~ @MarciaMeara

Marcia Meara, author of the popular Wake-Robin Ridge books, sets her second series in the sleepy little town of Riverbend, Florida, where the hungry creatures swimming in the dark waters of the St. Johns River aren’t nearly as dangerous as those walking along the quiet neighborhood streets.

Wildlife photographer Gunnar Wolfe looked like the kind of guy every man wanted to be and every woman just plain wanted, and the St. Johns River of central Florida drew him like a magnet. EcoTour boat owner Maggie Devlin knew all the river’s secrets, including the deadliest ones found in the swamps. But neither Maggie nor Gunn was prepared for the danger that would come after them on two legs.

On a quest to make history photographing the rarest birds of them all, Gunnar hires the fiery, no-nonsense Maggie to canoe him into the most remote wetland areas in the state. He was unprepared for how much he would enjoy both the trips and Maggie’s company. He soon realizes he wants more than she’s able to give, but before he can win her over, they make a grisly discovery that changes everything, and turns the quiet little town of Riverbend upside down. A serial killer is on the prowl among them.

About the Author

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, four big cats, and two small dachshunds. When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. At the age of five, Marcia declared she wanted to be an author, and is ecstatic that at age 69, she finally began pursuing that dream. Three years later, she’s still going strong, and plans to keep on writing until she falls face down on the keyboard, which she figures would be a pretty good way to go! Marcia has published six books to date, all of which are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle format: Wake-Robin Ridge A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2 Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3 Swamp Ghosts: A Riverbend Novel Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2 Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love You can reach Marcia via email at mmeara@cfl.rr.com or on the following social media sites: The Write Stuff: http://marciamearawrites.com/ Bookin’ It: http://marciameara.wordpress.com Twitter: @marciameara Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marcia.meara.writer Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/marciameara/ To keep up with the latest news and giveaways, sign up for Marcia’s Mail List here: https://marciamearawrites.com/mail-list-win-free-stuff/

Excerpt from Swamp Ghosts

The stream, clear and wide at first, rapidly became darker, and then narrow, as it disappeared into the trees. Lined on both sides with ferns and crinum lilies, it curved along its crooked way for three miles, before connecting with a slightly larger stream. That stream connected to another stream, larger still. This progression went on, each stream getting wider, before the last emptied into the St. John’s River. Even that last one was navigable only by canoe, the rest being too shallow and overgrown for anyone to explore. It was highly unlikely, if not downright impossible, that anyone could ever find their way upstream this far.

As Whitey walked along the narrow, shady path, he knew he was well protected from both the burning rays of the late-day sun and the prying eyes of strangers, which suited him just fine. No one will ever find out what’s back here. My treasures will always be safe, and my secrets, my own. He could hear the burble of the water rushing up out of the ground, and a smile spread across his face. Whitey loved his home and property, loved his snakes, and most of all—more than almost anything in the world—he loved Big Blue. He rounded the last curve of the narrow path, and a concrete block building came into view. Squat and low, it was painted a drab olive color to blend with its wooded surroundings. There were no windows on the back side. Just a door, heavily padlocked. He walked around the area for a moment, inspecting his handiwork, and making sure everything was still secure. He was, as always, a careful man…

Our Review

I have long been a fan of this author’s writing, especially the Riverbend series.

So it came as a shock to discover I had missed Swamp Ghosts, the very first book in this series.

I expected another gentle mystery laced with suspense. I also found romance, a serial killer, and enough suspense to keep me awake at night!

I loved some of the characters, including the wildlife, which I won’t describe, as you need to meet them for yourself.

There are ghosts in this story. I loved meeting Lester Purvis and his rare and unusual creatures. A very special man with an extraordinary hobby…

I recommend this series; every incredible story will stay in your heart forever…

Feeling Good Thursday…

Milo, our crazy cat, is growing by leaps and bounds. He seems to get longer every day!

He still won’t use the cat flap to leave the house, so just as well that the weather allows us to keep the back door open.

My new system of allocating one job for the day seems to be working. So far, I have managed to cross two jobs from my incredibly long to-do list, and it feels good.

Mind you, I am also managing to fit other things in, like housework, gardening, a little knitting for the soon-to-be-here baby, and some tennis watching. So, maybe the irons are gathering again!

Hopefully, they will remain workable and not become out of control again, because I am enjoying feeling in control.

I have also chosen the next two books to review.

A CENSURED DETECTIVE WITH NO LEADS

DCI Matilda Darke and her team have been restricted under special measures after a series of calamitous scandals nearly brought down the South Yorkshire police force.

A BRUTAL ATTACK WITH NO WITNESSES

Now Matilda is on the trail of another murderer, an expert in avoiding detection with no obvious motive but one obvious method.

A DEPRAVED KILLER WHO LEAVES NO TRACES

When his latest victim survives the attack despite her vocal cords being severed, Matilda is more convinced than ever of the guilt of her key suspect. If only she had a way to prove it…

and…

Shy, introverted Lucy Dennings lives a quiet little life in New York City, working for a nonprofit and keeping to herself. Every afternoon, she goes home to her empty apartment and Edgar, her houseplant, and every night, she loses herself in the pages of her beloved romance novels. Her lonely heart seeks solace in tales of passionate, enduring, all-consuming love, but more and more, Lucy feels she’s not just reading for pleasure but searching for a lost piece of herself in the pages. As if she once touched something beautiful but it’s been ripped away.

Until one day Lucy discovers a dead body in the alley behind her apartment. Even if it’s too late, her first instinct is to help.

Her second is to run.

Because the dead body isn’t so very dead, and suddenly, her little world isn’t so little but one in which dreams feel like memories, “inner demons” actually lurk in dark alleys, and a beautiful creature of darkness with amber eyes and wings like night might hold the key to what her heart has been aching for…if she doesn’t fall down the path of eternal damnation first.

#Repeat Review of The Necromancers Daughter by Diana Peach ~ #Asian Myth & Legend @Dwallacepeach

cover image of The Necromancer's Daughter

A healer with the talent to unravel death. A stillborn child brought to life. A father lusting for vengeance. And a son torn between justice, faith, and love. Caught in a chase spanning kingdoms, each must decide the nature of good and evil, the lengths they will go to survive, and what they are willing to lose.
A healer and dabbler in the dark arts of life and death, Barus is as gnarled as an ancient tree. Forgotten in the chaos of the dying queen’s chamber, he spirits away her stillborn infant and in a hovel at the meadow’s edge, breathes life into the wisp of a child. He names her Aster for Lea’s white flowers. Raised as his daughter, she, too, learns to heal death.
Denied a living heir, the widowed king spies from a distance. But he heeds the claims of the fiery Vicar of the Red Order—in the eyes of the Blessed One, Aster is an abomination, and to embrace the evil of resurrection will doom his rule.
As the king’s life nears its end, he defies the vicar’s warning and summons the necromancer’s daughter. For his boldness, he falls to an assassin’s blade. Armed with righteousness and iron-clad conviction, the Order’s brothers ride into the Leas to cleanse the land of evil.
To save her father’s life, Aster leads them beyond Verdane’s wall into the Forest of Silvern Cats, a wilderness of dragons and barbarian tribes. Unprepared for a world rife with danger and unchecked power, a world divided by those who practice magic and those who hunt them, she must choose whether to trust the one man offering her aid, the one man most likely to betray her—her enemy’s son.

My Review

I took my time reading this book, wanting to savour every word and emotion.

I was not disappointed.

The first intriguing chapters ensured that I would be enchanted until the end. Gone are the days when I could immerse myself in a book, forgetting all else until the end, but this story resisted being put down. The magic drew me in and would not let me leave.

The tension gradually increased until my nerves stretched to breaking point (I am desperately trying to avoid spoilers here), but by the end, I was sobbing like a baby.

A truly inspiring fantasy made real by such wonderful characters.

Definitely, one I will be reading again!

About the Author

A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life when years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books. She was instantly hooked.

In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.

Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

For book descriptions, excerpts, maps, and behind-the-scenes info, please visit http://dwallacepeachbooks.com.

For her blog on all things writing, please visit http://mythsofthemirror.com.

Ready for an adventure?

The Ferryman and the Sea Witch

The Sorcerer’s Garden

Sunwielder

The Bone Wall

The Melding of Aeris

Unraveling the Veil Series:

Liars and Thieves

Allies and Spies

Lords of Chaos

The Shattered Sea Duology:

Soul Swallowers, Book I

Legacy of Souls, Book II

The Rose Shield Tetralogy:

Catling’s Bane, Book I

Oathbreakers’ Guild, Book II

Farlanders’ Law, Book III

Kari’s Reckoning, Book IV

The Dragon Soul Saga:

Myths of the Mirror, Book I

Eye of Fire, Book II

Eye of Blind, Book III

Eye of Fire, Book IV

Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters: A Children’s Space Tale

In The Tree’s Shadow ~ #Review #Fantasy Anthologies @dlfinnauthor

A collection of short stories where dreams and nightmares coexist.
Nestled inside these pages, you’ll meet a couple in their golden years who take a trip with an unexpected detour, a boy desperate to give his brother the Christmas gift he asked for, a girl with a small glass dragon who is at the mercy of her cruel uncles, and a young mother who has a recurring dream about murder. You’ll be introduced to worlds where people get second chances and monsters might be allowed their desires, while angels and dragons try to help. Happy endings occur, but perspective can blur the line between good and evil in these twenty-seven tales. Since the stories vary between 99 and 12,000 words, whether you have only five minutes or an entire evening to settle into reading, there is something that will suit your time and taste.

About D.L. Finn

D.L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, and adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventures with an open invitation for her readers to join her.

Our Review

In The Tree’s Shadow is an unusual and welcome collection of short stories.

I especially enjoyed The Dolphin, such a sweet story. I can imagine spending eternity in the sea as a dolphin, waiting for my family.

And Bonsai, as I would love to think of bonsai trees having souls. They live, so why not?

The Day the Earth Moved was terrifying to read and must be terrible to experience for real.

Happy or sad, spooky or mysterious, these delightful stories allow us into the mind of the author as she explores her love of all things dark and supernatural. Each and everyone will remind the reader of so many moments and memories in their own lives…

WIP Wednesday…

I am delighted to have reached the mid-way point of my WIP, The Mystery of Folly’s End, considering what kind of year we are all having. Despite everything, I have found so much comfort lost in the storyline.

The tension has gone up several notches as the characters struggle to get their bearings. I know where they are heading, but it is a constant strain for some of them. I find it fascinating to watch how they try to figure it all out, especially the ones who think they can get away with murder. (no spoilers here!)

Everything else falls by the wayside, as these chapters are the most important, in my humble opinion.

The tone of the story rests on a good middle, leading to a satisfying ending, at least for me!

Thinking about how different things come to fruition, made me think of our new apple tree. It’s one of those dual-fruiting ones with two kinds of apples. You will be pleased to hear that it did flower this Spring and for the first time, these flowers did not fall off. Looks like we will have fruit, but which ones?

Autumn promises to produce all manner of goodies, a new book and new apples!

Throwback Thursday: Not My Life… #Mystery #Fiction

Dreaming sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?

All too often, it can be anything but. Not exactly nightmarish, but many weird, confusing images that can make you feel uncomfortable.

You find yourself worrying about them; what do they mean? Is there a message there somewhere? Why do we dream?

Doctors and psychologists have come up with some interesting theories over the years, but do they really know?

Common sense would seem to suggest that it is just the brain sorting through the day’s images when we are asleep, and most of the time, it does sound likely. But what about all those dreams that seem to mean something? Or those that seem to warn us of danger?

Then there are those that appear to predict the future, which then come true. What are we supposed to think about those?

Personally, I don’t dream much, not that I can remember anyway. The odd romantic fantasy about whomever I fancy at the time, but these are getting rarer. (unfortunately!)

Sarah Curtis, the lead character in Not My Life, is being driven slowly insane by upsetting and confusing dreams where she seems to be someone else entirely. Someone very real and in a lot of trouble.

This excerpt picks up the story when Sarah has wandered into the woods and gets lost…

I didn’t know where to go, so I let fate lead me off towards the woods. I walked for a while, trying not to think of anything. I told myself I should be feeling the beauty of the place.
The trees in their splendid autumn colours. Leaves fall here and there, making little drifts under the trees. I had heard somewhere that catching a falling leaf was supposed to bring good luck. I tried, but it was impossible. They seemed to fall gently towards you and then, at the last minute, darted away on a capricious breeze.

Trying to catch one frustrated the hell out of me. I gave up and sat for a while on a dry log, eating some chocolate I found in my pocket. Then I realised I had no idea of where I was and it was getting dark. I should have brought a loaf of bread with me to leave a trail, like Hansel and Gretel.
I didn’t feel too afraid; they would find me sooner or later. And later might be better. I walked on between ever-thicker undergrowth, hoping it was the way out. That a path, any path, would appear soon.

I found myself in a clearing with a pool, large rocks and slow-running water. My throat was dry enough for me to scoop up a handful, and it was surprisingly good. Deciding I was definitely lost and too tired to walk any further, I gathered up as many fallen leaves as I could to lie down in and buried myself for the night.

The temperature had dropped considerably, and my bed of leaves gave little warmth. I slept fitfully, dreaming of who I really was. A girl called Kelly. And Tommy, my four-year-old brother, who once again had been sent to the coal cellar as punishment for wetting his bed. It wasn’t his fault. Father had made him drink far too much water; he must have known he would wet the bed. And mother, she did nothing to stop his cruel games.
There had been times in the past when she did, only to be cruelly beaten herself, without saving Tommy or myself from whatever punishment he saw fit. I knew the house I was in, these people, my parents, as well as my own skin. Yet there was another place with gentle people I could sense but somehow couldn’t reach.

Soft cold rain washed the dream away, and I awoke alone on a bed of wet leaves. Lost, waiting to be found. Too tired to move. Too dark to try to find my way out. Morning couldn’t be too far away; I would try again then…

We would love some feedback for this book…

Grow Damn It! The Feeding and Nurturing of Life #Review #Parenting & Family Humour @CherylOreglia

Grow Damn It! is a captivating work by Cheryl Oreglia, who uses uncommon honesty and arresting humor to draw you into her cantankerous life, forty-year marriage, and revolving empty nest. She claims the space between past and future is where our potential is created or destroyed.

If you don’t like where your life is going, dig deeper, and write a new story. By weeding out the things that clutter her life, she invites you into a refreshing space with some of her most popular posts from her beloved blog Living in the Gap.

She surrounds herself with a gaggle of intriguing friends, along with a large and rambunctious family who challenge both her and the reader to live fully in an ever-changing world. Her provocative writing dares us to confront our lives not only with optimism, but courage, and uproarious laughter. Oreglia uses her experience to explore what matters most in life… the degree to which we love and are loved.

About the Author

Born and bred in the San Francisco Bay Area, Cheryl Oreglia hosts a lifestyle blog called Living in the Gap, which appears weekly as she corrals the time to write and reflect on the mundane. Oreglia says, “I do have a life outside of my head, and it squeezes between me and my keyboard like a frightened child. What can you do? On the surface, my life is common, I’m married with children, even grandchildren, a retired educator who lives for weekends at the lake, but just below the surface is a unique voice, one that I hope will resonate with you.” Grow Damn It, is a customized, over-the-hill, gritty, compassionate view of life. Oreglia says, “we’re not going to bloom where we are planted, we’re going to break the damn pot.”


Cheryl Oreglia is in the prime of her life, she claims this is not up for debate, a recently retired educator, married for forty years to the guy she met in high school. Together they have raised four exigent children, along with a couple of dogs, and one sassy cat. Oreglia entered a masters program as she was entering menopause sweating her way through a MA and into a second career. She has been hosting a blog entitled Living in the Gap that was acknowledged by Krista Tippett and five thousand followers on Twitter.Grow Damn It is a compilation of her most beloved essays tackling not only the frivolous, but the more challenging aspects of life. Oreglia lives in California with her husband. 

Our Review

The introduction to this book could have been written by me.

All of my thoughts and feelings from the last few years were all there, written with humour and more than a little chagrin. Cheryl Oreglia’s sense of humour shines like a beacon throughout.

I loved the chapter about Cheryl’s relationship with the magnolia tree. To realise that trees probably know us better than we know ourselves was enlightening. How many of us regard the trees in our gardens as treasured members of our families?

I love all trees, and this chapter moved me to tears.

In short, this is the story of one woman’s life, beautifully and insightfully written. It will steer you from laughing uncontrollably to emotional wreck status several times over.

I know I will read this book again, as in not so small a way, it makes sense of all the chaos in the world…

Fifteen First Times: Beginnings: A Collection of Indelible Firsts #Review #PersonalTransformation @pokercubster

This book is a collection of stories about some of Kaye’s first-time experiences with life’s most natural events. Told through the intimate conversational writing we’ve come to know from this author, poignant personal stepping stones to learning moments are revealed. She encompasses the heart of each matter with sincerity and sprinkled inflections of humor.

From first kiss to first car to walking in the desert with four-inch heels, Kaye’s short coming-of-age stories take us through her awakenings and important moments of growth, often without warning. Some good and some not, life lessons are learned through trial and error, winging it, and navigating by the seat of her pants.

About the Author

D.G. Kaye

D.G. Kaye was born and resides in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of Conflicted Hearts – A Daughter’s Quest for Solace From Emotional Guilt, Meno-What? – A Memoir, Words We Carry, Have Bags, Will Travel, P.S. I Forgive You, and her newest release – Twenty Years: After “I Do”. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer and writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

Kaye writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and the lessons that were taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome some of the many obstacles that challenged her. From an emotionally neglected childhood, to growing up with a narcissistic mother, leaving her with a severely deflated self-esteem, D.G. began seeking a path to rise above her issues. When she isn’t writing intimate memoirs, Kaye brings her natural sense of humor into her other works.

D.G. began writing when pen and paper became tools to express her pent-up emotions during a turbulent childhood. Her writing began as notes and cards she wrote for the people she loved and admired when she was afraid to use her voice.

Through the years, Kaye journaled about life, writing about her opinions on people and events and later began writing poetry and health articles for a Canadian magazine as her interest grew in natural healthcare. Kaye became interested in natural healing and remedies after encountering a few serious health issues. Against many odds, D.G. has overcome adversity several times throughout her life.

D.G. began writing books to share her stories and inspiration. Her compassion and life experiences inspire her to write from the heart. She looks for the good and the positive in everything, and believes in paying it forward.

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return, Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

D.G.’s Favorite Saying: “Live. Laugh. Love …and don’t forget to breathe!”

When D.G. is not writing, she’s reading. Her favorite genres of reading are: biographies, memoirs, writing and natural health. Kaye loves to read about people who overcome adversity, victories and redemption and believes we have to keep learning–there is always room for improvement! She loves to cook, travel, and play poker (when she gets the chance).

You can find D.G. on social media and her author and blog pages:

http://www.dgkayewriter.com

http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster

http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye

http://www.youtube.com/DebbyDGKayeGies

http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7

Our Review of Fifteen First Times

A Collection of Indelible Firsts

My First Car

I share many memories of my first times with Debby, and the most memorable for me, was my first car and learning to drive it. This was my first taste of independence, and I loved every minute of being behind the wheel.

For The Love of Shoes

Shoes struck a different note with me; however, as being tall, I apparently have rather large feet. Finding shoes that fit has always been a nightmare for me.

First and Last Love

Although I share many of Debby’s Fifteen First Times, I never did find the love of my life, although there were plenty of almosts. I am envious of the love she shared with G and very sad that she must mourn him every single day…

This intriguing book is so many of our lives in a nutshell…

Jaye’s Days… One of the Best in a While…

Jaye’s Days

Yesterday, I had the day off from writing and book-related activities. I was determined to catch up on some of those jobs around the house and garden that I have been ignoring of late.

I started the day with a little gentle yoga, more to let my body know I was serious. This set the tone for what turned out to be a very busy day.

I tackled a bedroom wall that had developed mildew over the winter months. I had already scrubbed it down, so it was time to apply some mould-preventing paint. Hopefully, it won’t come back.

Then I changed the carpet strip in the living room doorway. Thanks to Milo using that spot as a scratch pad, the edge of the carpet had frayed, and the existing strip wasn’t wide enough anymore.

After lunch, I ventured out into the garden. To be fair, I stood there for several minutes, wondering where to start. There are so many things to do out there that my brain didn’t have any idea what would be first. I decided on the worst job of all, mowing the lawn. Something my ageing back strongly objected to, but I rested every time I emptied the cuttings. Once that job was out of the way, I was feeling a little smug, so I sprayed all the weeds on the patio.

I worry about myself sometimes, as my love of killing things is usually reserved for my stories.

A quick check of the bonsai confirmed the next round of repotting for some of them was overdue, but not today. I thoroughly watered everything and called it a day. I hadn’t done nearly enough, in my opinion, but it was a start!

I thought I deserved a quiet, restful evening, but that never happened. The minute I collapsed onto the couch, my hands itched to write. I managed to finish a new post and the best part of a chapter…

I wonder what today will bring?

#ThrowbackThursday : CrossFire by Jaye Marie #CrimeThriller #Fiction

DI David Snow has another killer to catch, a killer as mysterious as the crimes he commits. 

Betrayal and lies come to the surface as Snow struggles to find the truth, but is he looking in all the wrong places?

Can he outwit the killer, or will the truth cost him his life?

Excerpt from CrossFire

‘Do you know why we have brought you here today, Ann?’

Ruth thought she would ease her way in rather than accuse her straight off; triggering any hostility wouldn’t get them anywhere.

The woman stared at Ruth, her pale, colourless eyes searching for clues. ‘Nah… but I ‘spect you’ll get to it pretty quick…’

Ruth indicated a brown paper bag on the table beside her. ‘We found a pair of work boots at your house, Ann. According to your husband, they’re not his. Are they yours?’

Ann Taylor glared at Ruth. She seemed to be enjoying the interview, her arrogance showing through her previous nervousness. ‘Dunno, can’t see them, can I?’

Ruth undid the bag and placed the dirty boots on the table. Most of the mud had dried and fallen off but still didn’t seem like the kind of boot a woman would wear. ‘Are these your boots, Ann?’

Without looking at the boots, she shook her head. ‘Nah, I don’t think so.’

Ruth looked at Snow, but not for confirmation. She wondered why he was choosing to stay silent. What was the point of sitting in if he wasn’t going to contribute? Not that she cared, one way or the other. She had only looked at him to signify inclusion.

She looked back at the woman. ‘Are you quite sure, Ann?’

The woman shrugged her shoulders and refused to speak.

‘For the benefit of the tape, Ann Taylor has refused to answer.’

Ruth decided to read out the coroner’s report, detailing every bruise and damage to the child’s body. When she read the part about the boot imprint on the child’s back, she slid the photograph across the table in front of the mother.

‘Did you do this, Ann?’

When the woman didn’t answer, Ruth decided it was time to play the ace card, and she looked forward to it. This cold-hearted bitch of a woman was about to be arrested, but not before Ruth had enjoyed herself. ‘Are you aware that the person who wore these boots would have left significant DNA inside them?’

Ruth paused, watching as the realisation sunk in.  ‘And are you also aware that we have tested your DNA, and it has been proved that you are the owner of these boots?’

The fear and shame were beginning to show on the woman’s face, and Ruth watched, wondering what she would do now. She didn’t have to wait long to find out.

Ann Taylor’s face seemed to implode as the terror of being found out took effect.  ‘I swear I don’t remember that part… I know I were angry, but when she fell over and banged her head, I thought she was dead…’

‘So what did you do then, Ann?’ Ruth knew what had happened next but not which one of them had done it.  ‘Were you aware that Amy was still alive when you dropped her into the canal?’

The horror was all-encompassing as the woman realised the enormity of what she had done. She looked around the room, just once, before she started screaming…