Letters from Elsewhere

Today’s visitor is Luciano, who has popped over from the pages of Torn, the debut thriller by friend and author Karen Moore.

Luciano is writing to his estranged English wife, Hanna, to explain his reasons for keeping the identity of his family business a secret.

Carissima Hanna

I’m writing this letter because it’s the only way I can apologise for all the hurt I’ve caused you. I feel compelled to explain myself. We never really had an opportunity to discuss the situation properly, with you leaving Sicily so suddenly.

This situation is all my fault. I should have been honest with you from the start. But I was so scared that my family situation would make you run a mile. I couldn’t have that, Hanna. I wanted you too much, and I know the feeling was mutual. I have never felt such chemistry with someone and will never do so again, of that I’m sure.

Even my family took to you, although they had their doubts about welcoming a stranger into their midst. Our relationship was probably doomed from the start. We came from such different backgrounds – you, from your upright English middle-class, well-educated family, and me … well, brought up in the family business. For me, this is a way of life, one from which there is no escape and impossible to challenge. If I tried to do so, I would dishonour my family and curtail any hope of reaching old age. You will no doubt find this difficult to accept.

I did think about telling you, but it never seemed to be the right time. And the longer I left it, the harder it became. In the end, it was just impossible, and inevitable that things between us would turn out badly.

 

Sicily

But what a price I have paid, Hanna. Happiness with you and Eva, the chance of a family life of my own. Maybe if I had told you the truth earlier, you would have understood, even learned to accept it and stayed with me. But I doubt it. That would have been too much to ask of anyone. We would never have had those years of intense happiness, years I will always remember with such fondness. Losing you is like a physical pain that rips through my body each passing day. But I have no choice. My only consolation is knowing that you’re safe and far away from this life.

Finding out the truth the way you did must have been unbearable. You did the right thing, getting away from here as fast as you could. My dilemma was trying to protect both my families. The darkest day of my life was letting you go.

Perhaps now you understand a little how difficult all this has been for me and how deeply I regret all the hurt I’ve caused you. You will always have a place in my heart.

Forgive me.

Luciano

Torn by Karen MooreAbout Torn

Like any mother, Hanna would do anything to protect her small daughter, Eva.

When she discovers that her husband, Luciano, is not all he seems and their blissful life on the island of Sicily is threatened, she wastes no time in seeking refuge abroad. But just as they are settling into their new life, Eva disappears.

In a race against time, Hanna is forced to return to Sicily and face the dark world of organised crime in a bid to secure her daughter’s safe return. She must also confront the truth about Luciano’s business dealings and their horrific consequences.

But will Hanna succeed in getting Eva back and bring Luciano to justice, or are the stakes just too high?

Find Torn on Amazon

About Karen Moore

Karen Moore, authorKaren Moore is passionate about all things noir – crime, mystery, thrillers – and writes in that genre.

She has been writing all her life, mostly for work purposes, and is now delighted to be able to spend more time developing her own creative work.

Her debut novel, Torn, is a dark tale of intrigue and betrayal set in Sicily and North Wales. She is currently working on the sequel.

Karen worked as a tour guide across Europe, North America and Canada, followed by a career in PR and marketing. She has lived in France and Italy and is now based in Cheshire, England.

You can find Karen on Facebook and Twitter.

Letters from Elsewhere

Please welcome Andrew Shepherd, today’s visitor. Unfortunately, Andrew’s life hasn’t turned out the way he hoped and expected. Fifteen years ago, he and Matthew Clancy were brilliant young genetic researchers on the Human Genome Project at Cambridge University. But a scandal caused them to lose their jobs, and nowadays Shepherd finds himself down on his luck, teaching biology part-time at a young offenders’ institute. Clancy, meanwhile, became a professor and now has a successful genetic testing company. You can read Shepherd’s letter to Clancy. It’s more than a little disturbing!

Andrew Shepherd has flown in from the pages of the soon-to-be-released thriller, Reprobation by Catherine Fearns, another Crooked Cat novel.

20th July, 2017

Dear Matthew,

I hope this finds you well. You made yourself very clear at our last meeting, but I feel I must make one final attempt to bring you in on the OS1 project.

The preliminary results are astounding, and I am convinced it will be a success. Both patients are doing very well. Patient 1 was initially unresponsive, but following a course of dexamethasone the virus began to take, and I can now confirm the soteriological marker is present throughout his body. The lad hasn’t quite grasped the necessity of periodic boosters throughout his lifetime, but I believe that further Bible study will convince him.

But Patient 2, Matthew, Patient 2! A viable pregnancy was achieved after only two months, and I must congratulate myself there on my amateur IVF abilities. The foetus is now at 20 weeks’ gestation, and both mother and baby are in full possession of the OS1 marker. She is a simple girl, and although it pains me to say it, her learning difficulties proved useful in getting her to accept the treatment. She is living with me, and I feel that I am justified in having rescued her from a life of violence and poverty to one of, well, what can we say? As for the birth, I am in two minds as to whether it should take place in hospital. There may be dark forces of which we are unaware, working against us, and this baby must be protected. The pregnancy is currently unregistered, and if you were to come in on this, Matthew, we both know someone who could help her deliver at home.

Think of it! A child born without sin; think of what it means! All we ever wanted as geneticists was to make a difference, and what greater difference could there be. Matthew, you cannot deny what we discovered. Together; yes, we discovered it together. What happened in Cambridge was not blasphemy, and it was not by chance. You say that you fear the consequences of deviating from God’s plan, but this, Matthew, this is God’s plan for us. We are prophets. More than prophets, we could be the veritable architects of the Second Coming.

I intend to submit the paper, with or without your blessing. You cannot prevent it. This secret is not ours to keep. The title shall be ‘Spontaneous versus artificial mutation of the OS1 gene: a soteriological approach’ by Andrew Shepherd, PhD. I had hoped that your name would be on it too; indeed  without the support of your good name and institution I have no credibility. Baptiste has been generous in supplying the necessary equipment for my lab; however he is not the person I need.

And so in vain hope, I leave you with the latest draft of my research paper. I hope it will become our research paper.

Yours,

Andrew

About Reprobation

Reprobation by Catherine FearnsAre You One Of The Elect?

Dr. Helen Hope is a lecturer in eschatology – the study of death, judgement, and the destiny of humankind. She is also a Calvinist nun, her life devoted to atoning for a secret crime. When a body is found crucified on on a Liverpool beach, she forms an unlikely alliance with suspect Mikko Kristensen, lead guitarist in death metal band Total Depravity. Together, they go on the trail of a rogue geneticist who they believe holds the key – not just to the murder, but to something much darker. Also on the trail is cynical Scouse detective Darren Swift. In his first murder case, he must confront his own lack of faith as a series of horrific crimes drag the city of two cathedrals to the gates of hell.

You can buy Reprobation on Amazon.

About Catherine Fearns

Catherine Fearns, author of ReprobationCatherine Fearns is a music journalist from Liverpool, UK. She writes about heavy metal for Pure Grain Audio, Broken Amp and Noisey, and her short fiction and non-fiction has appeared in Offshoots, Toasted Cheese, Succubus, Here Comes Everyone and Metal Music Studies. She is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association. Reprobation is her first novel and has a Kindle release date of 16th October 2018 (paperback edition available now). A sequel, Consuming Fire, has been signed for publication in early 2019.

You can find Catherine on her website and on Twitter.

 

I’m taking a short break from the blog. While I’m away:

  • There will be no Letters from Elsewhere this Friday, but the popular series will be back the following Friday.
  • I have a post coming up on Angela Wren’s blog today and other guest posts are planned for a month or so hence.
  • OlgaSwan - LamplightLamplight by Olga Swan is being published by Crooked Cat this Thursday. Lamplight is a thriller – book 1 in the David Klein series. David Klein is eighteen when he runs away from the poverty and orthodoxy of his Jewish home in Birmingham, England, for the bright lights and opportunities of New York. But trouble is in store.

    From the anguish and terror of nearly drowning at sea, the story moves between New York, Birmingham and eventually to Breslau in Germany where, when working as a war reporter, he meets Karin. Together, they live through the burgeoning terror of Nazi Germany in 1938.

    You’re invited to join the launch party on Facebook. And the ebook is available now for pre-order on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Baby with rattlePlay nicely while I’m away and I’ll reveal all on my return.