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Her Sister's Child: A heart-stopping psychological thriller with an incredible twist by Alison James

Her Sister's Child: A heart-stopping psychological thriller with an incredible twist by Alison James

Author:Alison James [James, Alison]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781800192683
Publisher: Bookouture
Published: 2020-11-26T00:00:00+00:00


It’s late enough for there to be no sign of activity on her street. Marian gets out of the car and checks that none of her neighbours are around before lifting the Moses basket out of the car. Four tiny sets of fingers wave up at her and the discontented whimpers start up.

‘Shhhhh,’ she whispers to them. ‘No need to cry now. We’re home. Home to see your daddy.’

28

Paula

Someone has brought a ghetto-blaster to the banks of the Regent’s Canal, and it’s playing Lil’ Kim loudly and with too much bass. A handful of soggy exercise books floats on the scummy water, their pages catching against an upturned supermarket trolley. Paula sits and watches as a two-litre bottle of cider is spiked with 95% proof vodka from the Polish shop.

This lethal cocktail is passed around and gulped down amid giggling from the girls and raucous chants of encouragement from the boys. Carly is drunk, singing in a slurring voice and flashing her knickers, before stumbling and falling over on the sun-scorched grass verge. Debbie Ashcroft is already vomiting.

‘Here, Paul.’

Adil passes the bottle to Paula but she shakes her head, standing up and smoothing down her school skirt. ‘No, I need to get going.’

‘Pau-ulll!’ Carly slurs, reaching to grab her hand, but missing.

Paula ignores her and stomps down the tow path. She can’t quite get the sight of Lizzie out of her head, or the sound of her. The catch in her throat as she gasped with pain.

She has to wait ages for a bus, and by the time she reaches the flat in Tottenham it’s almost dark. She rings the bell a couple of times, but the lights are off and there is no reply.

‘Hello? Lizzie?’

The silence is ominous. She looks around the door of the lounge, but there is no one there. The cat is curled up on the grimy sofa and raises its head to look at her, its eyes glowing like tiny headlamps.

In the bedroom, she can just make out the shape of her sister, curled up under the duvet. Paula expects switching on the light to wake her, but it doesn’t. She remains deeply asleep.

‘Lizzie!’

Paula shakes her shoulder, but although she rolls onto her back with a snorting noise, she does not open her eyes. Paula’s foot makes contact with an empty vodka bottle, which rolls noisily across the floor. Some instinct makes her pull back the duvet. Lizzie is dressed in a clean nightie and the huge dome of her stomach is gone. There’s still a discernible bump under the fabric but it’s much smaller, like a balloon that’s had half the air let out of it. The bed sheets are clean and the room seems unnaturally tidy.

Paula strides quickly to the wardrobe, where she stored the Moses basket, nappies and baby clothes she bought. They’re gone. All of them.

Hurrying back to the lounge, Paula switches on the light and starts to search the room. She pulls the sofa away from the wall, startling the cat, but there’s nothing behind it.



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