Thanks to Sarah at BookOnTheBrightSide Tours for inviting me to take part in the #BlogTour for the new book from Hélene Fermont , His Guilty Secret. today I’ve got an extract from the book for you!
Secrets & Lies Are Dangerous.
When Jacques's body is discovered in a hotel room his wife, Patricia, suspects he has been hiding something from her.
Why was he found naked and who is the woman that visited his grave on the day of the funeral? Significantly, who is the unnamed beneficiary Jacques left a large sum of money to in his will and what is the reason her best friend, also Jacques's sister, Coco, refuses to tell her what he confided to her?
Struggling to find out the truth, Patricia visits Malmö where her twin sister Jasmine lives and is married to her ex boyfriend. But the sisters relationship is toxic and when a family member dies shortly after, an old secret is revealed that shines a light on an event that took place on their tenth birthday.
As one revelation after another is revealed, Patricia is yet to discover her husband's biggest secret and what ultimately cost him his life.
His Guilty Secret is an unafraid examination of the tangled bonds between siblings, the lengths we go to in protecting our wrongdoings, and the enduring psychological effects this has on the innocent...and the not so innocent.
Hélene Fermont is the author of three books. Because of You and We Never Said Goodbye are also available on Kindle and in print from Amazon.
Extract from His Guilty Secret
After saying goodbye to the priest, the three of them returnedto the car. As Rudy was about to drive off, Patricia turned to look at the cemetery behind the church and saw a woman dressed in black step forward from where she’d been standing under a tree.
Attempting to get a closer look at her, Patricia had a strange feeling of déjà vu. She had no recollection they’d met yet felt intuitively they had something in common. As the woman walked towards Jacques’s grave, then bent down and placed a single red rose on top, Patricia’s heart started to beat frantically. She was on the verge of getting out of the car, when she heard Rudy ask, “You look as if you’ve seen a ghost, what’s wrong?”
Patricia swallowed hard, her mind racing. She urged him todrive to Jacques’s solicitor’s office in Knightsbridge, scared that Coco might get even more upset if she mentioned what she had seen.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Rudy persevered, thinking it wasodd she’d composed herself so quickly. “How about we get something to eat and drink first? I know a great bistro not far from here.”
Patricia and Coco shook their heads simultaneously.
“I couldn’t eat a thing, knowing my brother’s on his own in the cemetery!” Coco said.
“Me neither,” Patricia agreed. “Let’s just sit in the car for awhile and calm down. We’re fortunate Father O’Brien took care of everything, I wouldn’t have coped without him.”
Parking in a quiet corner opposite a common, Rudy turned tolook at them, his eyes on Coco. “Why don’t you take off your veil and tell Pat how you feel? She knows what you’re going through.”
Coco complied. Patricia was shocked to see how ill she looked, her face pale and drawn, her eyes swollen from drinking too much and her mouth trembling. “I don’t think I can go on without him, I miss him so much…Oh, Pat, why did he have to die and leave us?”
“I know you’re hurting, but we’ll get through it together.”
Patricia knew Coco had seen the woman in the cemetery as well.
She’d turned and looked round when Patricia did. “I know you noticed her…The woman visiting Jacques’s grave. Who is she? I’ve never seen her before.”
Withdrawing her hand, Coco averted her eyes. “I don’t knowwhat you mean. We were the only people attending his funeral; I never saw a woman at Jacques’s grave.” Hiding her face with her hand, Coco prayed that would be the end of it. If Patricia insisted she’d seen the woman, Coco knew she wouldn’t rest until she knew who it was.
“You’re lying! I saw you staring at her beneath your veil thenlook away as if you were scared. Who is she and why are you so worried I’ll find out about her?”
Rudy hadn’t seen the woman, but now his face turned red in anger. “Well, you heard her! What are you hiding from us now, Coco? Isn’t it bad enough you didn’t tell us you’re addicted to tablets and booze? Just tell Pat who that woman she saw in the cemetery is!”
Awaiting her response, Patricia knew Coco was lying. They’dknown each other for too long to keep something from each other.
“Please just tell me who she is. Unless you’ve got something to hide, you’ve no reason to keep it from me.”
Looking straight into her eyes, Coco replied, “I haven’t seenanyone in the cemetery. You’re upset, and you’re imagining things. Leave me alone, I’ve more important things on my mind than some imaginary woman!”
Realising her friend couldn’t be persuaded to tell the truth,Patricia distanced herself as much as she was able in the backseat. She sat, seething with anger until she could no longer suppress her feelings. “I don’t want to argue with you today of all days, but rest assured I won’t let you lie to me longer than is absolutely necessary!”
Her voice shook as she restrained herself from lashing out at the woman she’d viewed as her sister. It was obvious to her Coco didn’t value their friendship as much as she’d been led to believe.
Listening from the front seat, Rudy nearly had a fit. Whywould Coco behave that way? Perhaps her brother told her he was involved with someone? Jacques at all times spoke highly of his wife, surely he’d have noticed if he was unhappy in his marriage? It was beyond him why anyone would want to cheat on Patricia. Rudy couldn’t make sense of it all. It was evident he’d never known his friend as well as he’d believed.
“You’re both upset,” he said eventually, painfully conscious ofthe silence between them. “Perhaps the solicitor’s request you meet him on the same day as the funeral was a mistake?” Met with more silence, he sighed and drove on to the solicitor’s office.
As he assisted them out of the car, Rudy noticed the panic in their eyes and heard Patricia whisper in Coco’s ear, “Forget what I said earlier, I’m sorry I shouted at you. Jacques would have hated seeing us like this. We must support each other, instead of arguing at a time like this.”
Coco’s eyes filled with fresh tears. Patricia put an arm aroundher shoulder, her mind focused on whatever was so important that Jacques’s solicitor had insisted they come to his office that afternoon.
- Extract from His Guilty Secret