‘No Longer Safe’ was published on the 4th February 2016. Today it is my turn on this blog tour. I have been given an extract but first here’s my review.
When Alice receives a totally unexpected invitation in the post from a friend who she hasn’t heard from in several years, she is keen to accept it. Karen, who she was friendly with at University has invited her to come and stay with her in a remote cottage in Scotland. Alice sees this as a chance to rekindle their lost friendship. What she doesn’t expect though is two former students to also turn up, people she was never exactly friendly with. This instantly changes everything.
As the snow keeps falling and the atmosphere in the cottage chills, Alice notices that Karen isn’t like how she used to be. Then someone dies and she finds herself caught up in a tangled web with no way of escaping. What happens next is for you to find out.
I really enjoyed reading ‘No Longer Safe’. Well written, this was a very exciting story and one which was hard to put down especially later on. I could feel the atmosphere and what it must have been like staying in the cottage with no way of getting away with all that snow. I would have found it very claustrophobic I reckon.
To me it was obvious from the start that things weren’t what they seemed. Things just didn’t add up. Personally I think Alice jumped the gun a bit too quickly, but then I guess when you get an invitation out of the blue like that it is hard to resist.
I just knew there was something fishy about Karen and I didn’t trust her at all. She wasn’t the nice person Alice thought she was. I would never have guessed in a million years what she was planning though. I wasn’t particularly keen on the other two people staying in the cottage. I especially didn’t like Mark.
‘No Longer Safe’ will take you on a rollercoaster of a ride with a very unexpected and shocking end. This is an ideal book for fans of psychological thrillers.
I give this book 4 out of 5.
It’s time now for an extract from the book.
No Longer Safe by AJ Waines
Chapter 1 (part only)
You were the last person I expected to hear from. After all this time. After all the cards and letters that had come back marked ‘return to sender’.
I drifted from the hall into the sitting room, carrying the envelope on both outstretched palms, like a piece of newly discovered treasure. One slice from Dad’s paper knife and it was open. At first I thought it was an invitation to a wedding, but there was no card; instead it was a letter wrapped around a glossy brochure of a castle nestling amongst snow-capped mountains.
It was your handwriting for certain. I looked straight down to the bottom of the second sheet to confirm it. Karen Morley. That’s when I had to sit down. My head was suddenly too big for my body and I couldn’t trust myself to read without feeling giddy. Was it really you? I checked the address – Brixton – in London-terms that meant you were practically on my doorstep. No distance at all.
I made my brain slow down so I could trail my eyes across the curves of your fountain pen. That was a novelty in itself – the personal touch – when nearly everything that landed on our doormat these days was typed. But that was very much your way of doing things, Karen – making people feel special, making that extra effort to show you cared. Would be wonderful to see you again…remembered your birthday…love to invite you…important time for me…
I read the first part again. It was an invitation, but not to a wedding. You were inviting me to a cottage in the Highlands – on holiday.
I slid from the arm of the sofa into the seat. Nearly six years without a word and now this. I tried to reach you after we finished Uni, of course I did. You were the one who stood out, the friend I thought I’d found for life. Once Uni was over, other associations tailed off and calls were replaced with Facebook updates with the odd round-robin email. But ours was different.
To be honest, I hadn’t expected you to fall away like you did, Karen. We’d established a real bond – or so I thought. Afterwards, you moved to Bristol while I moved back to London, but I was certain we’d visit each other; I’d travel one weekend, you’d travel the next. I had my heart set not only on keeping in touch, but staying best friends.
I did go to stay with you at the start – just once, remember? You replied to my emails for a while, sent a cheery card that first Christmas, but then, like the rest, you drifted away from me and I never heard from you again. Until now.
I held the letter under my nose, stupid I know, just to see if there was a trace of you left on the paper. Then I held it to my chest and allowed your presence to sink into me again. You were my inspiration, the person I wanted to be. I’d never felt that kind of admiration about anyone before. You brought everything alive and coaxed me out of my shell.
With no siblings and a small disjointed family, my only proper relationships were with my parents and I’d always found them impossible to talk to. It had never occurred to me to bare my deepest feelings to them. You were different. I knew straight away the first time I spoke to you. All my doubts and failings came tumbling out, because you made me feel so safe, without any sting of judgement. No one had ever offered that to me before. No one else ever seemed to notice when something was wrong. I’d spent most of my life going it alone, because I was awkward and shy and people didn’t know what to do with me.
I brought my hand to my mouth. It must be a mistake. You must have mixed me up with someone else and posted the invitation to the wrong person. That would explain it. This was too much to expect after almost six years of silence; it was too big a deal. An invitation to spend fourteen days together out of the blue, without any preamble? But then that was you, Karen – always surprising people, keeping us all on our toes.
About AJ Waines
AJ Waines has sold over 100,000 books worldwide and topped the UK and Australian Kindle Charts in 2015 with her number one bestseller, Girl on a Train. Following fifteen years as a psychotherapist, she is now a full-time novelist with publishing deals in France, Germany (Penguin Random House) and USA (audiobooks).
In 2015, she was featured in The Wall Street Journal and The Times and was ranked in the Top 20 UK authors on Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). She lives in Southampton, UK, with her husband. Visit her website and blog, or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
‘No Longer Safe’ is available to buy on Amazon – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ebooks-No-Longer-Safe-J-Waines-ebook/dp/B018UAAAW4