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Authors: Rebecca Muddiman

Gone

BOOK: Gone
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Rebecca Muddiman

 

Rebecca Muddiman is from Redcar and has lived there all her life except for time working in Holland, where she lived on a canal boat, and in London, where she lived six feet away from Brixton Prison. She has a very boring day job, a degree in Film and Media and an MA in Creative Writing. She won a Northern Writers’ Time to Write Award in 2010 and the Northern Crime Competition in 2012. Her first novel,
Stolen
, was published in 2013. She lives with her boyfriend, Stephen, and dog, Cotton, in a semi-detached house which they have christened ‘Murder Cottage’.

Gone

 

 

Rebecca Muddiman

 

 

 

www.mulhollandbooks.co.uk

First published in Great Britain in 2015 by Mulholland Books

An imprint of Hodder & Stoughton

An Hachette UK company

 

1

 

Copyright © Rebecca Muddiman 2015

 

The right of Rebecca Muddiman to be identified as the Author of

the Work has been asserted by her in accordance with the

Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,

stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any

means without the prior written permission of the publisher, nor be

otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that

in which it is published and without a similar condition being

imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

 

All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance

to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.

 

A CIP catalogue record for this title is available from the British Library

 

Trade Paperback ISBN 978 1 444 79159 4

eBook ISBN 978 1 444 79160 0

 

Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

338 Euston Road

London NW1 3BH

 

www.hodder.co.uk

To Mam and Dad

Contents

 

 

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

Chapter 56

Chapter 57

Chapter 58

Chapter 59

Chapter 60

Chapter 61

Chapter 62

Chapter 63

Chapter 64

Chapter 65

Chapter 66

Chapter 67

Chapter 68

Chapter 69

Chapter 70

Chapter 71

Chapter 72

Chapter 73

Chapter 74

Chapter 75

Chapter 76

Chapter 77

Chapter 78

Chapter 79

Chapter 80

Chapter 81

Chapter 82

Chapter 83

Chapter 84

Chapter 85

Chapter 86

Chapter 87

Chapter 88

Chapter 89

Chapter 90

Chapter 91

Chapter 92

Chapter 93

Chapter 94

Chapter 95

Chapter 96

Chapter 97

Chapter 98

Chapter 99

Chapter 100

Epilogue

 

Acknowledgments

Prologue

 

11 December 2010

 

Middlesbrough

 

“The body was found in woods near Blyth earlier today . . .”

DI Michael Gardner watched the images of the place he’d once known so well with a sinking feeling. It shouldn’t have made any difference. It wasn’t his problem. Not any more.


Though police say it’s too early to confirm the identity of the woman, it’s believed that identification found with the remains was that of Emma Thorley, who has been missing for eleven years. A police search was conducted for Miss Thorley, who was sixteen when her father reported her missing in July 1999.”

He turned the TV off as the news segued into the weather. He didn’t need to be told what the weather was like – he knew it was bloody freezing. Gardner sat back, watching the snow slide off his shoes and drip onto the carpet. He remembered Emma Thorley well. Not the girl herself – he’d never met her – but the case. He remembered her dad and the photos of his little girl he’d shoved into Gardner’s hands. All the photos in the world wouldn’t bring her home.

But maybe if things had been different he would’ve looked harder, dug deeper, and then . . . Would they still have found a body today?

 

Louise’s hand gripped the remote, her thumb hovering over the power button. The news caught her off guard. Even though Emma Thorley had been gone eleven years, it felt so sudden, hearing it like that. The smile on her face as she’d found the perfect gift for Adam dissolved when she’d heard it. Replaced instead with the dread filling her from her gut – ice and fire at the same time.

She needed to do something. Needed to move. But she was frozen. Staring at the images of the place she used to call home.

The sound of the front door snapped her back to the present. She turned the TV off as Adam appeared in the doorway and she somehow managed to find a smile. As Louise watched him walk away, into the kitchen, she knew that it was over.

Sooner or later they’d find out what she’d done.

 

 

Blyth

 

Lucas Yates lit a cigarette and felt his heart race. Emma Thorley. He hadn’t heard that name in years – at least not from anyone else. Heard it plenty in his head. He dreamed of her; even now, after all this time.

He thought about the days they’d spent together when she should’ve been in school. A good girl going off the rails. There was something different about her. Different to all the other little slags who came knocking at his door, wanting something from him. The blonde tart off the news had said there was something on the body, something that made them think it was Emma. Weren’t saying what, though. They were keeping that to themselves.

He’d been lying there all morning thinking about the last time he’d seen her. Thought about the anger that’d coursed through him. He’d been looking for her for weeks. And when he’d finally found her he could barely control himself. It was more than anger. It was fury. Hate. It stayed inside him, bubbling up.

She was in his head again. Lucas punched the wall and the knobhead in the room next to his banged back.

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