Earlier this year, I was fortunate to be one of the blogs featuring on the tour for P R Back’s previous book, The Family, a twisty, disturbing read that kept me gripped until the very end. It is my pleasure to, now, be able to share with you an extract from his latest novel, The Beach House, the story of a dream holiday that goes drastically wrong.
This vacation is about to turn deadly…
Cora’s on the island vacation of her dreams: a private beach in paradise, a romantic proposal, and an eight-figure cheque following the sale of her new fiancé’s business.
When their island turns out to be not so private after all, Cora tries to make the best of a bad situation by inviting their strangely friendly neighbours to celebrate with them.
But it doesn’t take long for her once-in-a-lifetime holiday to take a very sinister turn…
Cora got to her feet, hastily brushing the fine grains off her legs.
‘I’m so sorry,’ the man said, raising a hand. ‘I didn’t mean to startle you.’
By shading her eyes from the sun, she could make out the fine details. He was about as tall as Jonathan, equally rangy but perhaps a little broader at the shoulders. He was more heavily built, with thick wrist muscles squeezing out of the rolled-up sleeves of a particularly offensive Hawaiian shirt. He wore shades and a sun hat, tilted at an angle. A wispy rusted-blond beard clung to a longish chin, and his shades had surely been stolen from his girlfriend, or even his mother-in-law.
‘That’s OK, I guess,’ Cora said, still a little flustered. She fought an urge to fold her arms across her chest. ‘Something we can do for you?’
‘I just want to introduce myself – I’m Dylan. We’re just on the other side of the bay, in the other house. Me and Hazel.’
Jonathan joined them. ‘Pleased to meet you. I’m Jonathan, and this is Cora.’
‘Hey,’ Dylan said, as they shook hands. ‘I like your style, man.’
Jonathan stared down at himself; he was clad only in a pair of khaki shorts, which hung precariously off his bony hips.
‘The beard,’ Dylan said, pointing to his own chin. ‘Strong look, man.’
‘Oh. Got you. Yeah, it’s the perfect disguise, I reckon.’
Cora shook hands, slightly repelled by the other man’s clammy palms. But she remembered her manners. ‘Nice to meet you. British, yes?’
‘By way of Los Angeles, but yeah. Born and brought up in Bermondsey, believe it or not.’ He allowed some south London to creep into his voice – a little exaggerated, perhaps.
‘Small world!’ Jonathan said. ‘It’s funny, I was sure they said the other house was empty when they brought us over on the boat.’
‘Hey, us too! Hazel was just saying that. The guy on the boat told us the same thing – that we had the island to ourselves. We figured they must have hired out your house last-minute. Hazel sent me over to say hello – nice to be nice, hey? Seeing as we’re technically neighbours.’
Dylan jabbed a thumb over towards the furthest point, where a rocky outcrop marked the outermost curve of the bay. Beyond this was the second house – but closer than this, almost blotted out of any discernible shape by the heat haze, another silhouette paddled in the water. As she drew closer, Cora could see it was a woman. She was absurdly startled to note the woman was topless. Yep, she thought. I’m British, all right. She smiled at Dylan. ‘The more, the merrier.’
‘Absolutely! Hey, I’ll let you get on with your morning; sorry to disturb you. I see you started early.’ He nodded towards the champagne bottle, embedded head first into the damp sand.
‘It’s a celebration,’ Cora said, a little too quickly.
The newcomer grinned. ‘Ah it’s all good – we’re about to do the same! Hey, maybe catch you both on Big Island later? Perhaps we can turn it into party town.’
‘That’d be nice,’ Jonathan said. ‘We’re heading over later, in fact. Maybe see you there?’
With thanks to Aria Fiction and to Vicky Joss for organising the blog tour.
You can purchase The Beach House here:
Google Play: https://bit.ly/360Psa9