The Daughter In Law
191 pages
English

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191 pages
English

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Description

'Compelling and claustrophobic, Nina is an exciting new voice and definitely one to watch' Phoebe Morgan, author of The Girl Next Door

'Chilling and creepy. An atmospheric and addictive debut.' Diane Jeffrey, author of The Guilty Mother
No one is good enough for her son…

As a single mother, Annie has an especially close relationship with her son, Ben. They have always been together. Just the two of them. So, when Ben brings home his mysterious beautiful new wife, Daisy, immediately Annie doesn’t trust her. Who is this woman who has taken her son away from her? And what is she hiding?

She’ll protect him with her life…

When Ben disappears, suddenly Annie and Daisy are all the other one has. Alone in Annie’s big, remote house, just the two of them, the tension is rising. And like any protective mother, Annie will stop at nothing to expose her new daughter in law, and the secrets she is hiding…

A gripping, psychological page-turner, perfect for fans of Sally Hepworth's The Mother In Law, Lisa Jewell and K.L. Slater.

'Totally addictive. I couldn't put it down!' Darren O'Sullivan, author of Closer Than You Think
'A claustrophobic, nail-biting thriller that draws you in and doesn't let go.' Naomi Joy, author of The Liars

‘Clever, emotionally draining and totally gripping. I absolutely loved this book!’ D E White, author of Remember Me

What readers are saying about The Daughter In Law:
'I give this book 5 Wows!'

'Absolutely fantastic had me gripped!!! Loved it! Can't wait for more from this author.'

'5 stars! What a great book!'

'This did not disappoint. Lots of twists and turns and I loved the ending. Cannot wait to read more from this author.'

'There is quite a few twists in this story but the biggest twist is the one at the end and I didn’t have a clue.'

'A ridiculously good book. I loved every single page and couldn't put it down.'

'Fantastic, creepy, dark and chilling.'

'This book was excellent!'

Fast paced, with twists and some turns you can see coming this is the perfect beach read.'
'A page turner that I couldn’t put down!!!'

'I couldn't put it down'


Sujets

Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 01 août 2019
Nombre de lectures 5
EAN13 9781838892180
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0400€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Extrait

THE DAUGHTER IN LAW



NINA MANNING
CONTENTS



Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

Chapter 56

Chapter 57

Chapter 58

Chapter 59

Chapter 60

Chapter 61

Chapter 62

Chapter 63

Chapter 64

Chapter 65

Chapter 66

Chapter 67

Chapter 68

Chapter 69

Chapter 70

Chapter 71

Chapter 72


Acknowledgments

Book Club Questions

More from Nina Manning

About the Author

About Boldwood Books
For my dad, Bob, who would have loved this
cunning plan.
‘Happy is the man whose faith in his mother remains unchallenged’
LOUISA MAY ALCOTT
PROLOGUE

I sat very still and felt the fear wash through me as the reality of the situation became clear. Little shots of pain pulsated around my body; my abdomen contracted. I felt dizzy and realised that at any point I could lose consciousness. I never thought it would be so easy to surrender myself but teetering on the edge here, I was faced with a choice: carry on or give up.
I tried to cast my mind back to a time when everything made sense, but I couldn’t remember when that was. He was supposed to save me. Now I was lost and another part of me was missing. What was the point in fighting any more? Where could I go from here? I knew I deserved this. It had been inevitable. I had got away with it for too many years already. This was my comeuppance.
Yet somewhere deep within me, a spark was still ignited. If I concentrated hard enough, I could feel it whirring quietly, like a small vibration. An instinct was pushing me forward, forcing me to fight and recover what was mine. It was a desire that was becoming more urgent. I knew what I needed to do and somehow, I would try to push past the weight of despair to find my way to the light again. To find my way to my love. And to the beautiful gift that was stolen from me.
1
ANNIE

My favourite room is the spare bedroom at the front of the house. It gets all the light in the morning and looks so inviting. I’ve done it up like a picture I saw in a lifestyle magazine: a checked throw across the end of the bed, floral sheets and hooked back curtains, a little wicker chair in the corner with a few well-read paperbacks stacked on top of it, and a white vase on the bedside table. It really is the most comforting place to be. Of course, no one ever uses it. I like to keep the house looking nice. But it was only ever going to be me and my son.
Getting out of bed was particularly hard this morning. It has been every morning since Ben left. I keep thinking, what is the point? I’ve been feeling that empty hopelessness for several months now. Since Ben deserted me.
For her.
I’d heard all about empty nest syndrome but I never imagined for a moment it would happen to me. I never actually thought he would leave. I thought we would just keep existing together. Forever.
He kept so much of his stuff here initially, that I felt sure he would return – but just last month, he came and took the lot.
It’s so quiet here now. It was quiet anyway, that’s why I took the house. It’s the house I grew up alone in with my father, but fled from as soon as I was able to support myself.
How do you define an unhappy childhood? In those days it was unheard of to make an allegation about your relative. I accepted the violence – it was, after all, part of him and all I had ever known. Throughout my motherless upbringing, the beach house provided a sanctuary for me with plenty of places to hide. I got stealthier as I grew and with my legs pulled up tightly into my chest and my head pressed to my knees, I would squeeze myself into an alcove, the airing cupboard or the shed with the ringing sound of my father’s threats in my ear. Later on, I would sneak out and find my way back to my bedroom past my father’s drunken snores. The next day he wouldn’t remember a thing. Had I not been able to escape down to the shore to skim pebbles or poke about in rock pools, then I would have run away sooner. The sea kept me safe. But as soon as I turned sixteen I took myself hundreds of miles away. I never heard a whisper from my father, who had told me daily I reminded him too much of my brazen excuse of a mother. Then he was dead and the beach house was mine. I left it sitting empty for a while, too scared to return, too busy trying to salvage my own marriage. Then Ben arrived and I knew it was time.
When I returned here all those years later with my son, it was fairly run down and rotting in places I couldn’t get to, much like my father for all those years. The brown weather-worn cladding needed a sand down and varnish and the white framed windows were peeling, but overall the exterior wasn’t so bad. I did the best I could with it and I could overlook most of the natural decay when I scanned the vast horizon and breathed in the fresh sea air.
It’s a remote spot, perched right on the edge of the peninsular before it slopes round into the sea. Standing in the garden or looking out of the window, you would be forgiven for thinking there were no houses for miles, but there is one around along the shore and to the left and then they begin to scatter more frequently as they feed towards the village. People rarely walk this far down as the shore is a little more rustic with huge pieces of driftwood and great mounds of seaweed washing up daily. Besides, the stretch of beach at the end of the garden and over the low battered wall essentially belongs to me. We are protected a little from the wind by a few surrounding trees, but it does get a little breezy here at times. But when it’s still and the sea looks like a flat piece of mirror you could walk across, that’s when I love it the most. Of course, I love the waves too, especially the ferocious ones that thrust themselves towards the wall. I like to watch those waves and feel my own fury in them.
A house on the seafront, much like a savannah plain, is the perfect spot to see when enemies are approaching. And anyone who tries to come between me and my son, I consider an enemy.
But despite the weather and the waves, I know the house is empty. And although I try to fill my days with mundane daily tasks, I too feel empty. I need to feel fulfilled again. I need my son back. Back where he belongs.
There’s no one downstairs humming a tuneless song whilst they make their breakfast. There are no dirty trainers in the hallway, or piles of washing in the laundry basket. There are no toast crumbs on the kitchen side, or butter streaks in the marmite. The house is so eerily quiet. I have never experienced this. Not since having Ben. I forced all the bad memories away from the time I lived here as a child and made it all about me and Ben. It’s our sanctuary; our hub. Our place away from the world.
Now he’s gone. He hardly texts or rings. She has him wrapped around her little finger. Calling all the shots no doubt.
It was a real shock when Ben told me he had met someone. It was more of a shock when he told me he had gone and got himself married. He had been spending a lot of time at her house, that I knew. But I had no idea things had evolved so quickly. And to have done it without telling me, his own mother, first. We used to be so close. I am not coping so well.
I did the right thing, of course. I invited them over for something to eat – mostly because I needed to get a good look at the woman who thinks she has replaced me.
But I know it’s only temporary. I can’t be replaced. My son can’t live without me.
The thought of her coming into my house tomorrow, the woman who I have never met who has taken my son away from me, was almost too much to bear. But I caught the despair before it developed into something more distressing and just felt thankful that Ben was coming home to see his mum.
I stood in the front spare room, letting the light from the morning sun heal me all over. The faint salty smell from the shore just a few feet away creeps through the open window. I could hear the gentle lap of the waves and I like the way a little of nature sneaks inside. Even on a bitter winter’s day like today this room brings with it a feeling of hope. A promise that today will be the day. It’s encouraging me to feel something. And I can. Just about. The sun edges around the house to my bedroom later in the day – at different hours depending on the season – and occasionally I take my time to lie down and bask in its glorious rays. I almost go into a state of meditation. I’m not a meditator. I wouldn’t even know if I was doing it right. But something about it feels so relaxing that it must be doing something to my soul.
I looked out of the window at the ocean at the way the morning light glitters across the tips of the waves. It still fills me with awe and a profound sense of invigorating peace. I couldn’t possibly be anywhere else but here. I chose well when I decided to raise a family here.
Ben and I made some glorious memories.
I like to get out at least two or three times a week. Since retiring from the pharmaceutical business a few years ago, I have endless units of the day to fill. Of course, when Ben was here I filled it with tending to his needs. Now it’s just me and the sudden spate of time befo

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