Tuesday Thrillers – Ransomed by M.A.Hunter

The Tuesday Thriller this week is Ransomed, the gripping opening case in the new crime thriller series (The Missing Children Case Files), by M.A. Hunter.

BLURB:

Some secrets are too big to bury…

Investigative journalist Emma Hunter never thought she’d be a bestselling author. Especially not for a blistering exposé of the brutal horrors committed at an orphanage.

Some secrets breed in the dark…

All she wants is to return home to the anchoring salt air and solitude of Weymouth where questions still fester unanswered and a twenty-year-old secret binds her to the beach.

And some of them always escape…

But then she finds herself sucked into the chaos of another cold case and soon realises the search for the missing girl will not only unearth the rot ravaging the safety of children across the south of England, but could even solve the mystery that has tortured her since she was seven years old…

Ransomed marks the beginning of a nerve-shredding new crime series of feral reckonings and found family in the face of harrowing inhumanity, perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Ann Cleeves, and J M Dalgliesh.

PRAISE FOR RANSOMED:

‘Mind-blowingly addictive!’ – Samantha Lee Howe, USA Today-bestselling author of The Stranger in Our Bed

‘Wow! What an incredible start to this series. Kept me guessing throughout and I raced to the end – and what an ending! Can’t wait for the next instalment!’ Caz Finlay, bestselling author of the Bad Blood series

‘Hunter serves up an auspicious and gripping start to a darkly thrilling new series and I can’t wait to get hold of the next one!’ R. J. Parker, bestselling author of The Dinner Party

‘A captivating book that kept me riveted and left me immediately wanting to read the next in the series’ Ella Allbright, author of The Last Charm

EXTRACT:

‘She’s not in the house,’ Penny said nervously, as she joined him in the tall grass.

Gerry paused momentarily, out of breath, a fresh sheen clinging to his cheeks. ‘I’ve checked the fence and there are no holes she could have squeezed through to get out, and it’s too high for a six-year-old to scale. I’ve been calling her name, but there’s no response. Most of the ground here is uneven, and there are so many branches that it’s impossible to see whether she might have fallen and bashed her head.’

Penny hadn’t even considered that Cassie could be lying hurt somewhere. ‘I think we need to get all the children together and ask them whether they know where she went.’

Gerry surveyed the rest of the wilderness, and slowly nodded. ‘I’ll keep checking out here just in case. It’s not like anyone has come in and snatched her from under our noses!’

Penny reached for her husband’s hand and squeezed tightly; he reflecting her concern with an assured nod. ‘She’ll turn up. She has to.’

Returning to the castle, Penny hollered at the group of children and told them it was time to eat. One by one, they stopped rushing about, slowly disembarked and began the hunt for their shoes. After nineteen pairs had been located and pulled on, the panting group remained on the mat waiting for their next instruction.

‘Cassie’s wearing her shoes,’ Penny whispered to Gerry as he joined her, pointing down at the mat. ‘Whenever she left the castle, she put on her shoes.’

‘Can anyone tell me where Cassie Hilliard is?’ Gerry said, staring at each of the faces, looking for any sign of recognition. ‘We can’t go in for food until we’ve got everyone together. Has anyone seen Cassie?’

The faces remained blank, with the odd shrug of shoulders.

‘Everyone just wait here a minute,’ Penny said, putting on a brave face, before leading Gerry away from the group. ‘What are we going to do? Should we phone the police?’

‘It’s a bit premature for that,’ he replied. ‘She must be here somewhere; if not in the garden then in the house—’

‘I checked the house, Gerry,’ Penny interrupted with a low growl. ‘She is not in the house, and she is not in the garden. What if…’ But she couldn’t bring herself to finish the sentence.

‘What if what?’ Gerry began, before connecting the dots. ‘You think someone’s come in and taken her? Don’t be ridiculous! We’ve both been here all day, and there hasn’t been a spot of trouble. Besides, we would have seen someone.’

Penny eventually let out a frustrated sigh, knowing Gerry was trying to remain pragmatic. ‘Well, if she is here, where the hell is she hiding?’

Wrapping a large arm around her shoulders, he pulled her closer to him, and kissed the top of her head. ‘I don’t know, but someone must. Get the other children inside and I’ll check the security camera footage for the last hour and see if it caught her.’ He paused. ‘We’ll find her. We have to find her. There’s more than just her future at stake here.’

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon – https://amzn.to/2WOhX91

iBooks – https://books.apple.com/gb/book/ransomed/id1510915235

MEET M.A. HUNTER:

M.A. Hunter has been a huge fan of crime fiction since a young age, and always fancied the idea of trying to write some. That dream became a reality when One More Chapter signed The Missing Children Case Files series.

Born in Darlington in the north-east of England, M.A. grew up in West London, and moved to Southampton to study law at university. It’s here M.A. fell in love and has been married for fifteen years. They are now raising their two children, on the border of The New Forest where the family enjoys going for walks amongst the wildlife. They regularly holiday across England, but have a particular affinity for the south coast, which formed the setting for the series, spanning from Devon to Brighton, and with a particular focus on Weymouth, one of their favourite towns.

When not writing, M.A. regularly binge-watches the latest shows from streaming services, or can be found with head buried in the latest stories from Angela Marsons, Simon Kernick, or Ann Cleeves.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMAHunter

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Writer_MAHunter

Instagram – https://instagram.com/steph.edger

Website – https://www.stephenedger.com/m-a-hunter

Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your book, M.A.


Published by Bookouture on 23rd November. Now on preorder: Amazon: https://geni.us/B08GKRRPWHCover

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