Today I’m delighted to be on the blog tour for Bad Seed by Jessica Eames. Many thanks to Tracy Fenton for my tour invite.
About this book…
Family is more than blood. More than DNA. You can choose your family.
But what if you choose wrong?
Nicola thought she’d gotten away with it.
Since her husband died, life has been getting back on track. She has a new boyfriend, Phil. A new home, living next door to her brother-in-law, his wife and their children. She is closer than ever with her daughter, Sarah. She even likes her job at the local shop, though she’s had some time off recently with illness. The doctor says its menopause, that it’s nothing to worry about. As if he could know how she’s feeling.
Nicola is finally moving on with her life.
But then she receives the note. Someone knows what she did. They know the secret she doesn’t even think about when she is alone.
Nicola is going to die. Just like her husband did.
A gripping domestic thriller told from the points of view of three women from the same family, each with their own heart-wrenching revelation.
I stare down at your coffin, at the sleek, dark, wooden box that hides your already decaying face, its shiny newness at odds with the rest of the graveyard. The minister’s words wash over me as he tells us how much you will be missed, how much you meant to everyone here, how we must celebrate your life, all the more so after your tragic death.
Like mine, everyone’s eyes are trained on your coffin, but they steal glances at me when they think I won’t notice, watching me to get their cue on how to behave. If I am stoic and still then they will be, if I sob uncontrollably then it’s OK for them to do so, too. I sniff and blink out a set of tears, feel them trace heat down my cheeks, taste the salt of them as they pool in the corners of my mouth. The eyes turn back to you.
You would have wanted this, I know. Wanted the classy coffin, its perfection hiding you at your worst, the crowd of friends and family to prove just how popular you were. The outdoor ceremony, heels sinking into grass underfoot, the breeze just cold enough to make us uncomfortable in our black funeral attire.
I did it for you, in honour of the relationship we once had, in honour of whatever love once existed between us. You should know that.
The minister finishes, closing his book and inviting me, along with the others who were closest to you, to be the first to throw dirt on your grave. I am not amongst those who say something about you, not one of those who stand there sobbing dramatically as they choke out their words. We discussed it, the family and I, and I said I couldn’t bear to, that it would be too much, that you already knew what was in my heart so there was no need to speak it out loud. I couldn’t have said what was in my heart, of course. Not in front of these people who still think you are deserving of their sympathy and love. I hope you know, though. Hope you know that I do not regret it.
After the ceremony I stand at the edge of your grave, looking down at the coffin now half covered by ground that will soon swallow you. People come up to me to murmur condolences, to lay a tentative hand on my shoulder, offer what they think are words of comfort as they mistake my stillness for grief. Those closest to me, the family in our inner circle, hover uncertainly for a few minutes more, but when I don’t respond, when I let more tears streak down my face, they pick up on my desire to be alone and give in. They’ll see me at the wake, they say, and leave.
I hold my back stiff until the voices fade into the wind, until all I can hear is the rustle of leaves, the faint chirping of birds, a far-off car horn. Until I know that you and I are alone. Then I smile.
All these years, you thought you’d got away with it, didn’t you? You thought you’d take to your grave your secret. And I suppose you did, in one way.
I’m just glad I was the one to put you there.
Meet the author…
Jessica Eames is a pseudonym for a publishing professional working in the UK industry. She has lived and worked in London for five years. BAD SEED is her debut novel.