If I had to find one word which sums up what Stranger Child is about, it would have to be revenge – but that nowhere near covers it.
Emma Jacobs met David – now her husband – several years ago, but they lost touch when she went to Australia. When she came back, she was horrified to learn that David’s first wife had been killed in a car accident, and his six-year-old daughter had disappeared from the scene. Now, six years later, Emma and David have put the past behind them and are happily married with a new baby, Ollie.
And then a stranger walks into their lives, and their world falls apart.
Emma discovers things about her own past that shock her, and when she contacts her old friend DCI Tom Douglas for help, their pursuit of the truth sets in motion a series of terrifying events that neither of them could have imagined.
Emotions run high in this book, and each of the main characters has to face a dilemma that nobody should ever have to deal with.
Can you tell us a little about your route to publication?
I am extremely fortunate in having an amazing agent who really looks after me well. I start with an idea of the story and the characters, and I send it to her. She mulls it over and comes back with the things she likes and the things she hates, and somehow or other we knock the outline into shape.
And then I write. I do nothing else – just sit at my desk and write. I love it, but the first draft is always pretty dire. However, it creates the framework, and from there I can go back and work out the detail.
When I’m happy, it goes for first edit – and I know that there will be lots of changes to be made. These are structural – sometimes quite major – but always good. There are a couple of rounds with the editors, and then it goes to line edit where we argue about the detail. Is this sentence necessary? Would we lose anything if we chopped out this paragraph? Then finally the copy edit – when I’m always surprised at the little details that I’ve missed.
We have Advance Review Copies prepared in paperback – this is something we have started with Stranger Child – and my publicists send out copies to anybody who is keen to review the book.
And as an independent author, I also have to think about the marketing, the cover, the blurb – it’s very much a full time job at every stage.
When Emma Joseph met her husband David, he was a man shattered by grief. His first wife had been killed outright when her car veered off the road. Just as tragically, their six-year-old daughter mysteriously vanished from the scene of the accident.
Now, six years later, Emma believes the painful years are behind them. She and David have built a new life together and have a beautiful baby son, Ollie.
Then a stranger walks into their lives, and their world tilts on its axis.
Emma’s life no longer feels secure. Does she know what really happened all those years ago? And why does she feel so frightened for herself and for her baby?
When a desperate Emma reaches out to her old friend DCI Tom Douglas for help, she puts all their lives in jeopardy. Before long, a web of deceit is revealed that shocks both Emma and Tom to the core.
They say you should never trust a stranger. Maybe they’re right.
(Warning: a couple of spoilers.)
This was my first book from author, Rachel Abbott. From the first page, this book had me hooked. I do like books like this; physiological thrillers that I can’t seem to put down. I was reading this book into the early hours where I looked up and suddenly realised it was three am.by
We’re delighted to welcome Rachel Abbott to Novel Kicks. She is the author of three novels, Only The Innocent, The Back Road and Sleep Tight. Her fourth novel, Stranger Child has just been released on e-book. Today, we will chat to Rachel about her book but first, she has shared an extract Stranger Child. Enjoy!
Emma glanced out at the dismal day. The black clouds heavy with rain were creating such gloom that the kitchen lights were a necessity even this early in the afternoon.
For a moment, she was in a trance, staring at nothing because in her head she could see summer days when the garden was finished, the beds bursting with newly planted flowers. She could almost smell the lavender she would grow in the borders.
She wasn’t sure of the moment that it happened. It wasn’t an instant in time, it was more of a gradual awareness, but as she stared blindly at the black window, dreaming of the happy months ahead, something moved at the edge of her peripheral vision. Her eyes refocused from the garden to the surface of the glass, the bright lights of the kitchen against the dark sky beyond creating a perfect mirror.
Every nerve ending in her body prickled, and she gasped as her brain finally acknowledged what she was looking at.
It was a pair of eyes. A pair of eyes that were behind her, watching.
Close behind her. In her kitchen.