Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Barbara Taylor Sissel's Evidence of Life. I am pleased to be sharing an excerpt from the novel.
“Dad says it’s not going to rain, that the weatherman doesn't know his—“
“Lindsey,” Abby warned.
“I wasn't going to say ass, Mom. I was going to say bum or buttocks, or what about seater rumpus?”
Abby rolled her eyes.
“He doesn't know his seater rumpus from a hole in the ground,” Lindsey finished. She stowed her purse and ipod in the front seat. “Mom?”
“I wish you were going.”
“You do? How come?”
“Because that delicious French toast you made for us? It’s the last good meal I’ll eat til we get home.”
“Very funny.” Nick hefted his briefcase and laptop into the back of Abby’s Jeep Cherokee, shifting it to fit, muttering what sounded to Abby like, “Who needs this?” Or “why am I doing this?”
She said, “Why don’t you leave that stuff here? You don’t have to work every weekend.”
“I gave you the keys to the BMW didn't I?” he asked if he hadn't heard her, and maybe he hadn't or didn't want to.
“Oh my gosh!” Lindsey’s eyes were round in mock amazement. “Dad’s letting you drive his precious BMW?”
“I know,” Abby said. “I’m astonished, too.”
He straightened. “Hey, funny girl, maybe I’ll let you drive Mom’s Jeep.”
“For real?” She only had her learner’s permit, wouldn't turn 16 until August.”
On the last ordinary day of her life, Abby Bennett feels like the luckiest woman alive. But everyone knows that luck doesn't last forever…
As her husband, Nick, and daughter, Lindsey, embark on a weekend camping trip to the Texas Hill Country, Abby looks forward to having some quiet time to herself. She braids Lindsey's hair, reminds Nick to drive safely and kisses them both goodbye. For a brief moment, Abby thinks she has it all—a perfect marriage, a perfect life—until a devastating storm rips through the region, and her family vanishes without a trace.
When Nick and Lindsey are presumed dead, lost in the raging waters, Abby refuses to give up hope. Consumed by grief and clinging to her belief that her family is still alive, she sets out to find them. But as disturbing clues begin to surface, Abby realizes that the truth may be far more sinister than she imagined. Soon she finds herself caught in a current of lies that threaten to unhinge her and challenge everything she once believed about her marriage and family.
With a voice that resonates with stunning clarity, Barbara Taylor Sissel delivers a taut and chilling mystery about a mother's love, a wife's obsession and the invisible fractures that can shatter a family.
EVIDENCE OF LIFE
Barbara Taylor Sissel
Harlequin MIRA, April 2013
320 pages; $14.95 U.S./$17.95 CAN.