On the surface, Gaby Parker has it all; however, behind closed doors, is a woman who lives in constant fear of the man who was supposed to love her: her husband, Kyle. Beaten, desperate, and broken, Gaby realizes the only way to escape from her violent husband is to kill herself — on paper. Gaby is dead, and Riley Locklin is born, residing in the tranquil coastal town of Chesswick Bay Montauk where she hopes to start over and meets a man who shows her bruises aren’t kisses.
Meanwhile, back home, Kyle is doing everything in his power to prove Gaby isn’t dead.
But…police find her burnt-out car and remains?
Kyle isn’t buying it; he knows she’s still alive. He launches his own full investigation to find his wife — and he’ll stop at nothing to claim her back. A female Detective assigned to his wife’s case doesn’t like him very much after discovering a domestic violence report – scorned by the history of her mother’s domestic abuse, she’s determined to send Kyle down for his wife’s murder.
And then he finds her. Will Gaby finally take a stand?
This book contains themes that some readers may find disturbing. Contains possible triggers.
For every copy of this book sold 10p will be donated to The Katie Piper Foundation.
Yellow tape still concealed Burbank Woods. The fresh woodland had been engulfed in a misty grey fog, the road stained in thick black soot with fractured pieces of glass that glistened in the early morning sunlight on the morning the car was found. Even days later the smell of burnt rubber and plastic hung in the air. The debris remaining of the mangled wreck made it tough to identify a possible victim—until one of the police officers discovered a licence plate, crumpled like a scrunched up piece of paper, but not too damaged that the numbers and letters couldn’t be read. After a simple enquiry, it was discovered that the car was registered to Mrs. Gabriela Parker, a woman who had been reported missing by her husband just a few short hours before. This wasn’t just an accident. Isla could feel it, taste it, smell it; there was so much more to this. From across the room, Isla saw him—the man she was sure was responsible for his wife’s disappearance. She knew that there was much more to this than what the sonofabitch was letting on. His arrogance infuriated her. He had a certain swagger in his walk, making a statement with every step.
“What the fuck is he doing here already?”
“Parker’s lawyer got the conference moved forward. They want optimum viewing time. People want to hear a statement from the husband,” Hardy answered, lifting a steaming polystyrene cup to his lips, gently blowing the steam before he took a loud sip.
“Of course they do. It just proves he’s even more of a slick sonofabitch. I wonder what kind of cock and bull sob story he is going to invent. This should be good.” Isla grabbed a notebook and a pen and headed across to the growing crowd. Kyle was surrounded by hungry journalists. She pushed her slender body through the sea of people.
“It’s almost time,” a PR woman shouted.
“It’s not a bad turn-out,” Hardy said to Isla.
“Middle-class white woman, wife to a powerful investment banker goes missing, a body that we can’t identify, yet. Of course it was going to be a good turn-out. These scum suckers live for the drama, don’t they?” Isla had a love/hate relationship with the press. It annoyed her how involved they became. They acted as if they, themselves, were cops. But, they also had their uses too.
Kyle’s dark hair was slicked back. He was dressed in business casual blues; he walked into the conference room. Isla could see the awaiting journalists perk up when he came in, nudging one another, pointing. Isla could lip read Marsha Henley’s lips. “That’s him.” Marsha Henley was a pit bull of a journalist. If there was blood, she could smell it for miles off. Over the years she and Isla had locked horns, but now they had reached a level of respect for one another—two women in a man’s world, fighting for truth and justice. The PR woman came into view again; she placed a cardboard poster of Gaby Parker on an easel. The blown up picture of Mrs Gabriela Parker showed a beautiful woman with flawless skin, full lips and dark chocolate eyes. She had a thick main of perfectly groomed crimson red hair that framed her stunning features. In the picture she was smiling. But it was a smile that Isla knew wasn’t real. She called it the “Stepford smile.” It was forced—nothing but a show. Behind that smile was a woman that was dying inside. The old cliché was true: Eyes are the windows to the soul.
“Lips may do the talkin’ but eyes do the tellin’.” That is what Isla’s mother had always said, and it was a truth that Isla had lived by. Even before she became a cop.
As soon as Kyle climbed onto the platform and took a seat on an aluminium chair, the room started to illuminate with cameras as they flashed repetitively. The scuffle of feet scraping against the floor and the constant clicking sound filled the room. Isla folded her arms across her body and kept her gaze on Kyle.
Let the world see what a great showman you really are.