Five friends arrange to meet ten years after leaving sixth-form, but it is not the reunion they anticipated. The converted church where they are staying has been lavishly reburbished inside but it is surrounded by a graveyard. Almost immediately strange happenings unsettle them. Imagination, too much wine, or is there something else going on? This is Lisa Stone’s sixth thriller with a difference and is a fast-paced narrative in third person, 83,000 words long. It will be ready for submission by 1st August 2022.
As their car pulls into the country lane Sarah is shocked to discover their holiday destination is in the middle of a graveyard. The photos online hadn’t shown it from that angle. Her disquiet isn’t helped by arriving after dark, and believing in ghosts. Her husband, Roshan, who knows her well, tries to reassure her.
Austin, who has arranged their reunion is the perfect host. He cooks a splendid welcoming meal, and the wine flows. Sarah starts to relax and enjoy herself but that night she sleepwalks. In a terrifying ordeal she finds herself in her nightwear in the graveyard. It only ends with the arrival of her friends who have heard her scream for help.
The following day the friends explore the surrounding area, about which Austin is very knowledgeable. Sarah tries to concentrate on what he is saying but the nightmare from last night intrudes. While in the churchyard she sees the inscription on a memorial stone change to that of her mother who died when she was a child. It isn’t long before Brandon and Megan are experiencing strange and terrifying dreams too, only Austin and Roshan are unaffected.
Meanwhile in Coleshaw police station, about an hours’ drive away, DC Beth Mayes and DC Matt Davis are working on the Chanel Woman robberies, so called because she always wears Chanel no 5 perfume when committing her audacious robberies. She has escaped arrest for two years and the only clue the police have is the perfume she wears.
The friends follow the news about Chanel Woman, the whole nation is talking about her, as they try to make the best of their week together. They are struggling, and it is becoming increasingly clear their reunion isn’t working. They are different people now and are arguing a lot.
Their struggles are juxtaposed with the police investigation and come together on the night of Halloween. Austin suggests they play with an Ouija board as they used to at school. But as the planchette flies off the board, the lights go out, and a knock sounds on the front door. It is DC Beth Mayes and DC Matt Davis who have come to take Austin in for questioning in connection with the Chanel Woman robberies.
Shocked and in disbelief that Austin could be involved, and spooked by the unexplained happenings, the friends decide to cut short their holiday. But even at home their nightmares and delusions continue. It is only when Beth unearths the truth about Chanel Woman that she also discovers the real reason for the friends’ torment and strange happenings at the converted church.
As a writer of suspense thrillers I often ask myself what if? What if this happened instead of that? Or why a particular person reacted as they did. So often fact is stranger than fiction and these books start with a fact which I develop. You may be surprised to know, for example, just how many patients experience changes in their likes and dislikes after a transplant operation ~ The Darkness Within. Or how easy it is to look into someone’s home through their CCTV ~ Stalker.
Just a little bit about me. I live in England and have three children. I have always been a writ...
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