The Cry of the Lake
Out July 21st 2020
Adult, Psychological Thriller
A gruesome discovery unravels a dark trail of murder and madness.
A six-year-old girl sneaks out of bed to capture a mermaid but instead discovers a dead body. Terrified and unable to make sense of what she sees, she locks the vision deep inside her mind.
Ten years later, Lily is introduced to the charismatic Flo and they become best friends. But Lily is guilt-ridden – she is hiding a terrible secret which has the power to destroy both their lives.
When Flo’s father is accused of killing a schoolgirl, the horrors of Lily’s past come bubbling to the surface. Lily knows that, whatever the consequences, she has to make things right. She must go back to the events of her childhood and face what happened at the boat house all those years ago.
Can Lily and Flo discover what is hiding in the murky waters of the lake before the killer strikes again?
Death smells of macaroons.
Amelie was slumped over the kitchen table, face in a plate of meringues. Spearmint-green flakes stuck to her left cheek. Her glazed irises remained fixed upon a vase of spiky dahlias, cut and arranged by Grace that very morning. Every tangerine petal was bug and blemish free; my sister was well known locally for her green fingers.
My body sagged and my A level folders fell onto the floor.
‘About time, considering this is all your fault,’ said Grace, appearing from the pantry in a veil of chlorinated steam. She threw a ball of latex at me.
This was really happening.
I peeled on the gloves, unable to stop gawping at Amelie’s violet lips.
‘Would you believe it?’ continued Grace. ‘I ran out of black sacks. Had to nip out and get some more.’ She took a step closer towards me and lowered her voice to a whisper. ‘Where have you been?’
I reached into my tunic pocket for my phone. Grace cocked her head on one side so that her marmalade curls parted, revealing a tiny sliver of snowy hair against her scalp. She narrowed her eyes for a second then flapped her hands about her temples. ‘Never mind. You’re here now.’ She leaned forward and pecked the top of my forehead. ‘We’ve got lots to be getting on with. You can start by bagging her up. The packing tape is in the top drawer of the dresser.’
Grace wafted out of the room, her strappy sandals clicking across the hallway.
For some reason Amelie wasn’t wearing any shoes.
After I finished, I stared down at my handiwork; a black shiny parcel criss-crossed with brown tape. Grace stood there, leaning on the mop, her toe tapping to some hidden melody within her mind.
‘We’ll put her in the utility room for the mo.’ It was as though she was talking about an old hat-stand that was going to the charity shop.
Charlie signed with Darkstroke Books in May 2020 and The Cry of the Lake is her debut novel.
Charlie lives in the UK and is very much a morning person. In fact, she likes nothing more than committing a fictional murder before her first coffee of the day. She studied Theology at Worcester College, Oxford and now lives in a Leicestershire village with her husband, three teenagers, golden retriever and tortoise.
She is currently working on her next novel ‘The Curse of the Emerald Cross‘. Two dead bodies are found down a priest hole within the grounds of Collyhurst Abbey; a sixth-form boarding school for girls run by nuns. One of the bodies belongs to a local drug dealer, the other is the charred remains of Mother Agnes who went missing ten years ago and is found with an emerald cross stuffed inside her jaw. But what are they doing there? DS Ruby Simmonds is sent in, undercover, to investigate. She must puzzle her way through well-dressed scarecrows, bonfires, emerald crosses and fallen oak trees before she breaks the wall of silence and discovers exactly why both the victims were killed and by whom.
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