The Assistant
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175 pages

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I know many things about Larissa.

I know what she eats, which must-have brands she applies to her face, and the price of each carefully selected ‘piece’ in her multi-million-pound home in Belgravia.

Because Ris, as she is known to her many followers, likes to share.

And now I’m here, in her home, watching her every move.

Entrusted with her secrets and running her diary from the bijou basement flat, I’m on hand to fulfil Ris’ every need. Her right-hand woman. But what she doesn’t know is why I’m really here.

I’ve put a lot on the line to get this job, and now my plan can begin.

I’ve waited long enough.

From the bestselling author of Close to Me, now a major TV series starring Connie Nielsen and Christopher Eccleston


'This book! The tension, the intrigue! I was desperate to know what “The Assistant“ was up to… loved every second.' Jackie Kabler, author of The Murder List

'Brilliantly written ... Twisty, dark and witty. A total page turner!' Karen Hamilton, author of The Perfect Girlfriend

'A smouldering tale of obsession ... Amanda Reynolds weaves a skilful web of lies and intrigue, suffused with menace until the last killer twist.' Jane Bailey, author of Sorry Isn't Good Enough

'Sharp and fresh! A thrilling page-turner that captures the fake world of influencers, social media, and those in the shadows.' L.C. North, author of The Ugly Truth

'The Assistant will keep you up all night! A smart and twisty thriller, laced with dark humour and menace. A morality tale for our times.' T.J. Emerson, author of The Perfect Holiday

'A brilliantly crafted cat-and-mouse tale, predominantly narrated by the unforgettable Gail Frost – the assistant you do NOT want to cross. Domestic suspense at its very, very best. I loved every minute.' Caz Frear, author of Stone Cold Heart

'Such a gripping and unsettling read, with twists and turns a'plenty and an intriguing structure. I tore through it, in the company of the relentlessly creepy Gail.' Emylia Hall, author of The Shell House Detectives

'I was completely absorbed by the twists and turns and the unsettling atmosphere ... the twists and turns at the end made it impossible to want to do anything but read, read, read... Such a great book.' Alice Kuipers, author of Life on the Refrigerator Door

'Brilliant - unique voice and structure, with twists in plot and perspective that kept me guessing to the end.' Jo Callaghan, author of In the Blink of an Eye

'An absolutely gripping story, told in such a unique way.' Melanie Golding, author of The Replacement

Marvellously dark, clever, twisty and relevant. Highsmith for the modern age. I was completely gripped.’ Anna Mazzola, author of The Clockwork Girl

'Beautifully written … Gail is a superbly drawn, fascinating character and it’s a refreshing change to read something from the viewpoint of a woman ‘of a certain age'.' Nikki Smith, author of All In Her Head

'Oh, so twisty! The pages turn themselves in this menacing tale of lies and obsession. Amanda Reynolds nails tension and suspense in this fabulous book.' Victoria Selman, author of Truly, Darkly, Deeply

'A cracking twist.' Kate Riordan, author of The Heatwave



Publié par
Date de parution 05 avril 2023
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781837513536
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,2050€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.



For Hayley and Kate

Lexington Gardens

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Email Subject: Interviews with Gail Frost

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Email Subject: Interviews with Gail Frost

Diary Entry #1

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Email Subject: Interviews with Gail Frost

Diary Entry #2

Chapter 12

Email Subject: Interviews with Gail Frost

Diary Entry #3

Chapter 13

Email Subject: Interviews with Gail Frost

Diary Entry #4

Chapter 14

Email Subject: Interviews with Gail Frost

Diary Entry #5

Email Subject: Interviews with Gail Frost

Chapter 15

Email Subject: Interviews with Gail Frost

Chapter 16

Email Subject: Interviews with Gail Frost

Diary Entry #6

Chapter 17

Email Subject: Interviews with Gail Frost

Chapter 18

Email Subject: Interviews with Gail Frost

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Email Subject: Interviews with Gail Frost

Calls/Voicemails with Gail Frost – Monday 21 November 3.00pm:

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Email Subject: Interviews with Gail Frost

WhatsApp Messages – Monday 28 November

Chapter 26

Lexington Gardens

More from Amanda Reynolds


About the Author

Also by Amanda Reynolds

The Murder List

About Boldwood Books


A line of icing sugar Georgian townhouses of grand proportions shimmers in the spring sunshine, a light dusting of unseasonable snow making them glitter. The camera pans down the street until it lands on the number 56 painted in neat font on a white pillar of a house near the far end of the exclusive street, then up to the glossy black front door where a mature woman’s hand tentatively lifts the polished brass door knocker and releases it. We don’t see her, just the hand, devoid of rings, the skin aged, a slight tremor detectable.


It was late 2022 when I first met Gail Frost. An unremarkable woman. Eccentric even, in that great British tradition. Socially awkward, prickly, defensive, but I was soon sloughing off my preconceptions which were purely superficial and based mainly on her unkempt appearance and reduced circumstances, as well as those terrible photos printed of her and salacious headlines. I interviewed her in the dank bedsit she was renting in Reading. An awful place, mould on the walls. She was lucid, intelligent, and entirely compelling throughout the lengthy interview process.

The camera watches the grand door as the unseen woman waits for it to open, her breaths ragged, sounds of her clearing her throat, then the camera looks up to the very top floor and a roof terrace, lingering there until it snaps back to the door. She knocks again, louder this time and then we hear sounds of footsteps approaching from the other side. A figure is visible through the small sliver of obscured glass, someone is unlocking the door.


Gail and I were to meet many times over the following weeks and then months. I quickly set aside the opinion I had formed of her based on what I’d read in the tabloid press. I would ask you to do the same. Come to her story with fresh eyes. Come to her story with compassion. As this series airs, I would ask you again, Gail, to be in touch. We care about you. We want to help you.

“We are rarely brought down by a nemesis exacting revenge. Those scenarios exist only in stories, bad ones at that. No, the dispiriting but prosaic truth is… we are our own worst enemies.”

Gail Frost November 2022


The large front door to Lexington Gardens opens... we see the two women meet face to face for the first time.

What do I remember of that time back in April? Well, everything, of course. As if it were yesterday. How the icy air funnelled into my nose and mouth and shocked my lungs. And the grate of a metal gate being opened to the residents’ gardens across the road, a very ugly dog pulled through it, and my first glimpse of the long row of five-storey mansions. And how very beautiful that spring morning was. And so quiet. A slice of blue sky as the snow clouds cleared above Lexington Gardens. As if even the weather, on the first day of April, knew better than to play the fool at the home of Larissa Elroyd-Fox, or Ris as you probably know her better.
Number fifty-six was within thirty, maybe forty paces of me, but I do have a short stride. Not that I’ve measured it, but I’ve been told so, repeatedly in my younger days. Although wouldn’t every child walk slowly compared to an adult?
Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, Lexington Gardens. One of London’s most magnificent Georgian terraces, right in the heart of Belgravia. The home of the rich and powerful. And imposters. Like Ris. She was thirty-two when she met a multi-millionaire twenty years her senior. Not the twenty-something ingenue you might have assumed from the lurid headlines and paparazzi photo ops. A cocktail waitress turned pseudo-celebrity turned influencer, whatever that means. The bimbo who’d somehow bagged Miles Fox, of the Fox Hotel Empire. A handsome man in his fifties. Lured away from his family by the fake smile and the fake lips and the fake boobs. Head turned by trickery.
Number fifty-six cost the newly-weds twenty million pounds just over two years ago. Not an improbable amount for one of the most prestigious addresses in London, but even so, would you spend twenty million on a home for two people? It’s obscene, in my opinion. Think of the good you could do with that kind of money. How much difference it would make in the right hands. Most people won’t earn a fraction of that in their whole lives. I certainly won’t. Lord only knows what it’s worth now, with all the effort and money lavished on it. The transformation of house and owner chronicled in prolific and excruciating detail via Ris’ social media accounts. Because did it even exist if not? The ultimate irony in a tale which could very much be subtitled ‘be careful what you wish for’. For notoriety has brought Ris what she always wanted, but was it what she needed? Oh, don’t look at me like that, as if I don’t know what I’m talking about. I’ve witnessed that same condescension on other journalists’ faces. The ones who came before you, knocking hard at the door I opened for you this grey Sunday. Don’t make me regret that decision. Casting doubt on my words as they did, twisting their meaning to make me out to be a fantasist, or losing my marbles. I am just about to turn fifty-seven, not a hundred and seven. I have all my faculties. And I am the only one who saw what happened, first-hand.
We both know what wealthy people are capable of. The rich, especially the nouveau riche, are not only entitled, but they are careless. And they stop at nothing. The likes of you and I, we are… inconsequential. But we are ignored at our peril. Am I right?
Of course I am.

* * *
You know I lived in during the week whilst I was in Ris’ employ? The flat came with the job of executive assistant. Another basement, yes, but it was very different to here. Pristine. Not a spot of mould in sight. Nothing grand, mind you, but a bijou, pleasant abode, and the perfect location to observe and plan. Both talents I have honed over many years. I may not have a university degree, or a decent employment record, but I have other transferable skills. The ability to melt into the background, for instance, as I did that first day. No doubt immediately forgotten by the only observers to my arrival, that ridiculous dog and its owner, a sulky teen who dragged it through the park gate. I was of no import, and certainly no interest to either of them. The reverberating sound of metal clanging shut as the gate closed. The gardens locked at all times.
Security of course, is always a concern, but especially somewhere as desirable and monied as Lexington Gardens. The lower-level windows are grilled on most of the houses, ensuring no vulnerable point of entry, but not at fifty-six. It would ‘spoil the kerbside appeal’ according to one of Ris’ mid-renovation posts. A rather unwise share, wouldn’t you say? But people give away all manner of information without even thinking.
And all the houses have sophisticated-looking alarm systems.
The code to number fifty-six will likely have been changed by now, if Ris has any sense at all, which is debatable. But I’m sure Hubs , as she always so horrifically referred to him, will have taken the necessary precautions.
The alarm made a horrible sound that one time I set it off. Ear-splitting. Not something I’d care to repeat. But any noises were distant as I approached my future home that crisp morning: the hum of traffic, the far-off drone of a pneumatic drill, a snatch of birdsong then a siren wailing, but muted, in the distance. As if the city knew its place as much as I felt mine.
Other than an occasional passing van or car, the only sounds came from me. My breaths short and staccato: an internal mantra keeping time with my heartbeat. Don’t-go-back. Don’t-give-up. Not-now. Not-now. And of course, a flutter of delight as I spotted the two pillars framing the door, as well as the pristine coir mat, and an ornate metal boot scraper found in Portobello Market. All so identifiable from Ris’ doorstep snaps. The covered porch cloistering the entrance is imposing enough to repel all but the most persistent of callers.
The door is also very impressive. Hard to explain unless you’ve been there, but it looms over you with its deep gloss black. The mirror-shine gold knocker catching the sun and my eye, a catch i

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