Sunday 2 August 2020

The House Party - Mary Grand || Blog Tour

Someone is about to die… Someone is about to lie… At the intimate house-warming party for her glorious ‘grand design’, Kathleen confides in her best friend Beth that she is terrified of one of their close friends, but daren’t reveal which one. The guests are a tight-knit group, but Kathleen is convinced one of them is dangerous. 
The next day Kathleen’s body is found at the foot of a cliff and Beth must face the sickening truth that she may have been killed by one of their trusted friends. With little help from the police, Beth’s decides to seek answers. 
All the friends have secrets they are desperate to hide, but only one of them is ready to kill to keep theirs safe… 
The House Party is set on the Isle of Wight - insular,claustrophobic, and with nowhere to run. Mary Grand has written a heart-stopping novel of secrets, betrayal and desire, perfect for fans of Louise Candlish and Lucy Foley.

Author Bio – Mary Grand is the author of five novels and writes gripping, page-turning suspense, with a dark and often murderous underside. She grew up in Wales, was for many years a teacher of deaf children and now lives on the Isle of Wight where her new novel,

The House Party, which will be published by Boldwood in July 2020, is set.

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Chapter One

Beth hurried towards the cliff edge, following the tiny solar lights that lit the path. She stopped at the fence, where Kathleen stood staring out at the sea. Beth paused, petrified of doing or saying the wrong thing.

Reaching out tentatively, she touched Kathleen’s arm.

What is it? What’s wrong?’ she asked.

Kathleen swung round; no familiar smile or hug, her eyes wide with fear: an animal caught in a trap.

Beth wanted to put her arms around her but, for the first time in their long friendship, she wasn’t sure how Kathleen would react.

For God’s sake. I’ve been watching you all evening. Tell me what’s wrong,’ she repeated.

Kathleen ignored the question and waved up the garden towards the house. ‘What do you think of it?’

Beth looked at the giant glass cubes, each room brightly lit like a designer doll’s house. ‘It’s incredible. You and Patrick have worked so hard. I thought you’d be ecstatic now it’s finally finished.’

Kathleen didn’t answer, her expression the same one that had been painted on all evening: thin lips pressed together, wide-eyed, as if she hardly dared to breathe.

Beth frowned. ‘Sami told me you’ve given in your notice at the pharmacy. He didn’t understand why. You’re so good there. He’ll be lost without you.’

He’s just being kind. Anyway, he has his new partner now.’

Beth moved closer. ‘I don’t know what has been going on. We haven’t spoken properly for ages – it must be last November. I’ve missed you at yoga and our weekly catch ups.’

I’m sorry.’

Kathleen pulled her cashmere wrap around her shoulders and walked over to the swing seat. Beth followed her. The gentle rocking of the seat matched the sound of the sea dragging on the shingle far below. It seemed to sooth Kathleen, and she loosened the grip on her wrap.

Beth heard a soft, clucking, purring noise coming from a large hen coop. Kathleen looked over and said, ‘They’re settling in well. I collected a new baby yesterday. Well, a rescue.’ Beth saw a whisper of a smile and heard the soft Irish cream in Kathleen’s voice. ‘She’s in a cage within the coop. She’s in such a poor state, losing feathers; bless her. It’ll be good when they can come out of the run and roam, but I can’t let them out until we’ve put in the permanent fence.’

Beth glanced at the row of flimsy plastic fence panels. ‘I suppose so. Even a hen might knock those over, if the wind didn’t blow them down.’

I know, but it’s handy being able to move one or two panels when I come down to do my mindfulness in the morning. I can sit on the ground and look straight out to sea.’

At that time, I’m in old joggers and wellies feeding the guinea pigs and walking Ollie. Not quite so zen.’ Beth grinned, but it didn’t reach Kathleen. Instead the damp air seemed to cling to them, and Beth zipped up her fleece.

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