Happy Friday and a big hello to Sarah Flint. She is here with the blog tour for her latest novel in the D.C. Charlotte Stafford series, Mummy’s Favourite, released by Aria in January
He’s watching… He’s waiting… Who’s next?
Buried in a woodland grave are a mother and her child. One is alive. One is dead. DC ‘Charlie’ Stafford is assigned by her boss, DI Geoffrey Hunter to assist with the missing person investigation, where mothers and children are being snatched in broad daylight.
As more pairs go missing, the pressure mounts. Leads are going cold. Suspects are identified but have they got the right person?
Can Charlie stop the sadistic killer whose only wish is to punish those deemed to have committed a wrong?
Or will she herself unwittingly become a victim.
Sarah and Aria have shared an extract today.
***** beginning of extract*****
He was Hunter by name and certainly a hunter by nature, though his look was more prey than predator. At thirty years old, he’d had the appearance of an old man, short, chubby, bald and ruddy faced. Now, as a fifty-six-year-old Detective Inspector, his body was at last representative of his age.
Charlie loved the man, not in a romantic way; he was old enough to be her father. But he was everything she aspired to be: a fearless leader, a principled, hard-working officer and a thief-taker second to none; but with the added benefit of being highly organized and always punctual. She knew beneath the stern veneer that he loved her, in his own way, too, although he would never in a million years admit it and treated her more like an errant schoolchild.
Judging by his reaction today, however, she was lucky he had still assigned her to do the enquiries.
Anyway Paul was only teasing. He could be a mischievous bugger sometimes and she knew that he had long ago worked out that she had a soft spot for Hunter. He only had to mention their boss’s name to get her blushing.
She put her arm around Paul’s waist and squeezed him back. She instinctively recognized a friend, foe or neutral, almost within minutes of a first meeting, and he was definitely a friend. He also had the knack of seeing through her outwardly hard-working, happy, confident exterior to the insecure, vulnerable soul underneath. Not many people could do that; she put on a good act.
He was looking rather bleary-eyed this morning. She’d noticed him while Hunter was speaking, sipping carefully from a steaming mug of black coffee. Paul specialized in the sexual orientation and transgender investigations. He was normally immaculately turned out, his blonde, slightly thinning hair gelled carefully and his beard neatly trimmed. Large diamond earrings glinted in both ears and his tongue sported a gold stud which he clicked against the back of his teeth when he was concentrating. Finishing off his smart, man-about-town image were jeans, stylish shoes and a neatly pressed shirt buttoned up to the collar. Today, though, his usual clipped appearance was more dishevelled than dapper.
Keen to change the subject away from herself she patted him on the back.
‘Bit of a heavy weekend eh, Paul?’
He wiped his brow, pulling an expression of mock indignation.
‘You can’t imagine what happened to me on Saturday night, Charlie. I met the man of my dreams, complete with the most amazingnipple rings. Get yourself sorted and I’ll fill you in, so to speak.’
Charlie nodded. She took off her jacket, tried and failed to brush the creases out of her shirt and trousers, and ran her fingers through her hair for a third time.
‘Right, that’s me sorted.’
Bet looked up from her computer terminal and shook her head.
‘What are you like, Charlie? Pop into the toilet and wet your hair down then slip my coat on and give me your stuff. I’ll run the iron over them. Don’t let the boss see you like that again or next time he really will do his pieces. Or worse than that, you’ll be grounded.’
She did what she was told straight away. There was no way she wanted to be left in the office, if there was a chance of getting out she wasn’t going to argue with Bet either.
Bet was a friend too, almost twice her age and more like a surrogate mother than a colleague. She was the oldest member of the office, early fifties, apple-shaped, thick, greying hair, smoked like a trooper and married four times. There was nothing Bet didn’t know about the world of domestic violence, both from work and personal experience. Coppers could be just as volatile as the next man or woman and she’d picked a few bad apples in her time.
Charlie logged on to her computer while Bet busied herself.
***** end of extract.*****
With a Metropolitan Police career spanning 35 years Sarah has spent her adulthood
surrounded by victims, criminals and police officers. She continues to work and lives in London with her partner and has three older daughters.
Mummy’s Favourite is available to buy now. Click to view on Amazon UK