Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Into The Void, courtesy of Rachel’s Random Resources.
I have an extract for you today, but first let’s see what the book is about.
How easy is it for a man to simply disappear?
When rural banker Richard Harper is reported missing, DSS John (Archie) Baldrick and DC Ben Travers are drawn into the tangled details of the man’s life. Would Harper really have chosen to leave his seriously ill wife, and abandon his pregnant girlfriend? Or is there a real threat behind the abusive emails he’d been receiving from desperate clients in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis?
On the home front, Archie’s marriage is rocky and his two teenage daughters are giving him all sorts of trouble. The frail but beautiful Helena Harper and her magnificent house offer an oasis of calm as Archie struggles to discover who is responsible for her husband’s disappearance. Has he really been abducted, tortured or killed? Or is Richard Harper himself behind everything that has happened?
Archie and Travers ultimately face a race against time as the case descends into a bewildering morass of obsession, violence and murder.
Longlisted for the 2019 Michael Gifkins Memorial Prize for an Unpublished Novel
Finalist in the 2020 Ngaio Marsh Awards for Best First Novel
Introduction: Archie’s police work on the case of the missing man is interspersed with snippets from his home life. Both of his daughters are giving him trouble, each in their own way. This is a scene from the novel where we meet them – in particular the elder daughter, Alicia.
Archie regarded his daughters across the dining table. Alicia, almost sixteen, grumpy, sullen and beautiful, twisted the spaghetti elegantly onto her fork using the bowl of the spoon. A tiny frown drew her perfectly arched eyebrows together slightly as she concentrated on getting the mouthful into her mouth without actually touching her lips, as if she were wearing lipstick. Was she wearing lipstick? Archie wondered. And surely her brows and eyelashes were far too dark for someone with such blonde hair – though now that he looked at it closely he could see that there were artificially regular stripes in her hair, of alternating honey and gold. He felt afraid for her, that her beauty was becoming too much the dominant force in her life, obscuring what he was certain was a perfectly functional brain. She was besieged by boyfriends who changed without warning, the current one seamlessly replaced as soon as something better came along.
‘How’s the study for exams going, Leicy?’
She stopped mid-spaghetti-twirl and rolled her eyes. It’s Alicia, Dad. Don’t call me Leicy.You know I don’t like it. And yeah, studying’s fine.’ She looked at him with her amazing green eyes. ‘Haven’t you got any other topic of conversation?’
He bit back a retort, that they never asked him anything about his life or work. Why on earth would they be interested? He barely remembered what his own parents were like when he was a teenager.
Alicia, though, had read his mind. ‘How is your new constable going?’ she asked ingenuously. ‘Ben, isn’t it?’
Archie swallowed a mouthful of spaghetti. He had seen the way she’d looked at Travers when he had called in to introduce himself to the family the night before last. And worse, Travers’ grin when he had looked at her.
About the Author
Christina is an author and proofreader living in the Waikato region of New Zealand. Several of her short stories have been published in anthologies, most recently in Fresh Ink: A Collection of Voices from Aotearoa New Zealand 2019. Into the Void is her first crime novel and was longlisted for the Michael Gifkins Memorial Prize in 2019. It is also a finalist in the 2020 Ngaio Marsh Awards for Best First Novel.