BLOG TOUR: “Bad Seed” by Jessica Eames (Excerpt)

Today I’m happy to be hosting the blog tour for “Bad Seed” by Jessica Eames. Many thanks to Compulsive Readers for the opportunity. I had hoped to review this one, but having started a new job recently I’ve been way behind on my reading. It’s still on my TBR!

Kindle Edition, 304 pages

Published Oct. 31, 2019, by Trapeze

Synopsis

A tragic death. A dark family secret. A past you can’t escape. How well do you really know those closest to you?

Sarah’s world has descended into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to find out the truth of what happened and make sure the guilty are brought to justice. She is haunted by her dad’s death, consumed by her grief and the memories of a cruel day that changed her life forever… she doesn’t even know who she is anymore. But the future holds some hope for Sarah, as she tries to move forward.

Nicola’s future is not looking so hopeful. Since her husband died, the secret she’s been keeping from her family – especially her daughter, Sarah – is eating away at her. The past is catching up with her, and the consequences will be devastating.

A story about family, and of obsession, revenge, and identity.

-Goodreads

Excerpt

Prologue

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.

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