Just because a mystery ends, and the characters learn what really happened, it doesn’t mean everyone lives happily ever after.
Consider Cynthia Archer, from No Time for Goodbye, my 2008 novel.
When Cynthia was fourteen, her family vanished. It took twenty-five years for her to find out the truth.
But closure is a cliché.
When you’ve been through the kind of thing Cynthia has, it changes you. Forever. When you’ve lost one family, you live in fear of losing another. Or, at the very least, of something bad happening to them.
So now, seven years after the events of No Time for Goodbye, Cynthia’s daughter, Grace, is the same age Cynthia was when her father, mother, and brother disappeared. And Grace is a handful. Rebellious, strong-minded, taking risks.
Headed for trouble.
When I made the decision to return to these characters, I wanted to examine the fallout of the traumatic events they’d endured, and not just where Cynthia and Grace are concerned. Terry Archer, the husband and father who led us through No Time for Goodbye, is also struggling with how Cynthia’s past has permanently scarred them all. He sees clearly how Cynthia’s overprotective nature may actually be driving their daughter into danger.
And what a danger it is.
Grace has found herself drawn into the orbit of Vince Fleming, the thug who, seven years ago, actually helped Terry find out what had happened to Cynthia’s family. Vince may have performed one good deed, but he surrounds himself with people who make their living performing very bad ones.
Only Jane, his stepdaughter, seems to be making headway in breaking free of Vince’s criminal underworld, a place where no home is safe.
I couldn’t wait to write about Vince and Jane, relatively minor characters from the first novel many readers said they wanted to know more about. If you’re one of them, I think you’ll enjoy No Safe House.
And even if you’ve not read No Time for Goodbye, you’ll love the ride. As is so often the case, nothing is as it seems.
No Safe House is published by Orion