‘Hidden’ by Lisa Sell was published as an eBook on the 27th August 2019 by Bloodhound Books and is also available in paperback. I am delighted to be closing this blog blitz along with two fellow book bloggers. I would like to thank Heather Fitt for inviting me to participate.
I have an extract for you all. First though here’s what the book is all about.
Jen Taylor has a secret.
In 1987 the body of fourteen-year-old Kelly was found on a railway track and Jen believes she was responsible for her death.
Now an adult, Jen is approached by Kelly’s mother, who asks her to help investigate her daughter’s murder.
But Jen is hiding more than anyone knows.
As the investigation is reopened by Jen, along with her former friend Claire, secrets from the past come to light and when another murder takes place, the case takes a sinister turn.
Did Jen really kill Kelly and can she ever right the wrongs of the past?
14th September 1987
Not wanting to be around Kelly wasn’t about losing credibility. Jen didn’t care if others mocked her and she already knew the consequences of judgement. Troddington looked down upon the council estate that blighted the town’s reputation. She ignored the sneers when people discovered where she lived. They didn’t see the estate’s camaraderie and its ethos of belonging. For Jen, it housed some of the best individuals a girl could know. She had Claire Woods, also from Renoir Road, for female companionship. More than this, there was Johnny Rose, from Turner Road.
Going to school with Kelly would end walking with Johnny. He was her best friend and a crush she’d harboured for years, never to be declared. Their lives became entwined when their families moved to the estate, six years earlier.
Johnny wouldn’t object to Kelly’s company. For a member of the Rose family, criticism was a regular occurrence. The problem was he left earlier than Doreen stated Kelly must leave. Like Jen, Johnny parented within his household. Early every weekday he took his brother, Benny, to the childminder, even though their mum didn’t work. Johnny’s brothers, Anthony and Ian, were too lazy and selfish to help. Johnny didn’t mind spending time with Benny. He adored the child.
The arrangement for Jen to accompany Kelly was confusing. Patricia and Doreen didn’t move in the same social circles. Patricia often made snide comments about ‘that disgusting Pratt family’. She detested the estate and regularly phoned the council, demanding a new home. The Pratts were one of her many reasons for leaving. They were one of the poorest families on the Rembrandt Estate. Doreen and Kelly wore jumble sales’ offerings because of Graham’s tight hold upon his wallet. His girls made do so he could make happy in the pub.
The Pratts’ frugal world was far removed from Patricia’s. She focused on social climbing in a mission to swap the crassness of a council estate for a cul-de-sac idyll. In the interim, she maintained the appearance of helping those less fortunate and seeking their adoration. Jen walking to school with Kelly became part of her manifesto.
The rebellious sound of her shoes scuffing against the kerb invigorated Jen. Patricia wouldn’t abide an expensive pair of Clarks shoes being ruined. Wearing them was a trade-off for Jen’s choice of uniform trousers. For once, her dad mediated.
Jen decided to make the best of a bad situation. Kelly couldn’t help what she’d been born into, any more than Jen. Maybe Kelly also lay in bed at night, planning a future that involved leaving her parents behind. Jen was certain Kelly’s dreams didn’t include being Johnny’s wife. Her tummy somersaulted at the deliciousness of the idea. Thoughts of marrying Johnny at Gretna Green and riding off into the sunset on a Lambretta, consumed her. The daydream shattered as she crashed into a pillar of knitwear and costume jewellery.
Sally Ponting made a show of using a wall for balance. ‘Watch where you’re going, Jennifer.’
Sally brushed away the invisible taint from her 1950s style twinset. She had one for every occasion, in every imaginable colour. The sleeve lengths changed with the seasons. A coiffured helmet head of hairspray topped each outfit.
‘Sorry, Mrs Ponting.’ Jen played nice. It would make life easier after Sally reported the incident to Patricia. In her mind, Jen apologised to “Picky Ponting”, an estate nickname. In reality, being rude to one of Patricia’s catty crew wasn’t wise.
Sally looked towards the Pratts’ house. ‘I see Patricia has arranged for you to walk with Kelly. I assume that’s where you’re going?’
‘Yes.’ Jen always lost her words around Patricia’s cronies.
‘Kelly’s often bullied. I’m so glad your mother sorted this out. She’s such a wonderful giving woman.’
Jen gave a saccharine smile. Sally wouldn’t sing Patricia’s praises if she’d overheard her bitching the previous day about how Sally belonged with the other rough elements on Pollock Road.
Fluffing her hair, Sally moved along. Jen headed for the Pratts’ house. Although only around a corner, the leap from Renoir Road to Pollock Road was pronounced. Jen noted pristine pavements morphing into an obstacle course of neglect. Kicking a crumpled can of shandy channelled her anger at Patricia, who wouldn’t be seen dead there.
A realisation hit Jen. This was how she could turn it around and be a winner. She wasn’t a snob, like Patricia, and never would be.
She knocked on the Pratts’ door, deciding to walk to school with Kelly, willingly. They might even become friends. Stranger things had happened.
‘Hidden’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-
About Lisa Sell
Lisa Sell is a thriller, crime, and mystery writer who also scribbles short stories. Throughout her writing career she’s blogged about the twists and turns on her site: www.lisasell.co.uk
To combat writer’s bum and keep mentally fit, Lisa is a runner. The consequence is she’s now a running bore but is proud of her achievements.
When she’s reading, Lisa practically hoovers up books. The to-be-read pile has become a tower, threatening to topple on her when she’s sleeping.
Music rocks Lisa’s world too, particularly a good eighties tune. If lost, you’ll find Lisa in a DeLorean, headed for her favourite decade.
Lisa’s cats, Feegle and Wullie, try to help her write but often fail. The furry pests demand attention and desk space. Lisa is currently applying for cat wrangling to be recognised as an Olympic sport.
Lisa is a happy pup to be part of the Bloodhound Books team. Just don’t tell the cats.
If you’d like to visit Lisa’s website/blog, click here: http://www.lisasell.co.uk or find out more by following her on social media: