I have been hearing excellent things about the writing of Jaime Raven and so I’m thrilled to be able to share an extract from his latest book, The Mother, here on Linda’s Book Bag as part of the launch celebrations.
Published by Avon Books on 7th September 2017 by Avon, an imprint of Harper Collins, The Mother is available for purchase through these links.
I’ve taken your daughter, as punishment for what you did …
Prepare to be gripped by the heart-stopping new thriller from the author of The Madam.
South London detective Sarah Mason is a single mother. It’s a tough life, but Sarah gets by. She and her ex-husband, fellow detective Adam Boyd, adore their 15-month-old daughter Molly.
Until Sarah’s world falls apart when she receives a devastating threat: Her daughter has been taken, and the abductor plans to raise Molly as their own, as punishment for something Sarah did.
Sarah is forced to stand back while her team try to track down the kidnapper. But her colleagues aren’t working fast enough to find Molly. To save her daughter, Sarah must take matters into her own hands, in a desperate hunt that will take her to the very depths of London’s underworld.
An Extract from The Mother
‘I’ve just called the office and told them to circulate the photo and alert uniform. Just to be on the safe side.’
It should have reassured me but it didn’t. Instead his words brought a sob to the surface and I had to force myself not to burst out crying.
‘Take this,’ Brennan said, handing me a handkerchief he produced from the inside pocket of his suit jacket.
I lowered the visor and looked at myself in the mirror. The face that stared back at me was pale and gaunt. I suddenly looked much older than my 32 years.
Tears sparkled in my eyes and my short brown hair was dishevelled from where I’d been raking my hands through it.
I dabbed at my eyes with the hanky and then used it to blow my nose.
‘You need to tell me where to go,’ Brennan said.
I cleared my throat and told him to take a left at the next junction and then the first right after that. He didn’t respond, just concentrated on the road ahead.
‘Thank you for coming here with me,’ I said. ‘I’m grateful.’
‘You don’t need to be,’ he said. ‘I couldn’t let you do this by yourself. I can imagine what you must be going through.’
Brennan, who had a grandson a similar age, had met Molly a couple of times when I’d taken her into the station. He had always been understanding of the problems faced by single mothers in the department and I’d come to view him almost as a father figure as well as my boss.
Right now I was so glad he was with me. I knew he would do whatever he could to help me find my daughter.
‘It’s the house up there on the left behind the privet hedge,’ I said.
My childhood home was a semi-detached pre-war property in a quiet, tree-lined street. My father’s ageing Mondeo wasn’t parked out front so I took that to mean that he was still at his allotment.
‘Have you got a key?’ Brennan asked.
I nodded and extracted my keys from my shoulder bag.
A short paved pathway led up to the front door and as I approached it my emotions were spinning. I didn’t bother to ring the bell, and my hand shook as I fumbled to insert the key in the lock.
As soon as the door was open I called out and stepped inside. But my heart sank when there was no response.
‘They might be in the back garden,’ Brennan said as he followed me in.
I hurried along the hallway and threw open the door to the kitchen, hoping to see or hear Molly.
Instead I was confronted by a sight that caused my stomach to give a sickening lurch.
About Jaime Raven
Jaime Raven is a full-time author living in Southampton UK. He spends some of his time writing at his second home on Spain’s Costa Calida. He has three daughters. He was born in London and grew up in the gritty streets of Peckham where his family were well known street traders.
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