Author: Brendan Gerad O’Brien
Genre: Historical Irish Fiction
Ireland 1967. A beautiful summer. A beautiful seaside town. A beautiful American back-packer. The summer of love. Or was it?
When Smiling Man stepped out of the Newsagent’s and saw her passing by he was instantly aroused. She was the kind of woman that haunted his wildest, crudest fantasies. The way she walked, her jeans so tight he could see the ripple of every muscle. The way she held herself, oozing confidence even under the weight of a heavy backpack. Blond hair, toned arms. And alone. Foreign patches on her pockets. Like the other one.
He couldn’t take his eyes off her. There was an overwhelming need to get closer to her, close enough to touch her, smell her hair, breath in the scent of her.
He couldn’t see her eyes but he imagined they were blue. Or green. It didn’t matter.
His brain throbbed with the thought of what he would like to do to her, what he was determined to do to her.
He walked faster. The street was packed. A tourist bus was unloading visitors who wandered all over the pavement. Local people were out in force taking advantage of the longest spell of beautiful sunshine in years. So no one would notice him rushing by and bumping into the beautiful girl.
He’d smother her in apologies, of course. He’d mesmerise her with his amazing smile as he pretended to be concerned that he might have hurt her. That he might have ruined her holiday. He’d comment on her accent. He’d be fascinated that she was backpacking on her own. What a wonderful adventurous spirit she had for one so young, he’d tell her. He’d offer to buy her a coffee, maybe a snack. He’d find out where she was heading for and offer to walk with her to make sure she got there safe. Afterwards he’d offer to show her around this lovely little town. Maybe have a drink or two. No pressure. Just calm assurance.
But as he drew level with her she turned to speak to a young garda officer standing by the kerb. The abruptness of it stopped him in his tracks. And the spell was broken. He felt as if he’d been slapped awake from a trance. His breath caught in his throat. He forced himself to turn around and walk away, and he collided with an elderly tourist in a flat cap. Before the tourist could respond Smiling Man was already rushing down the street mumbling angrily to himself.
For God’s sake, his mind screamed. What are you doing? It was way too soon after that Canadian woman. Hadn’t they agreed to keep their heads down until it faded into the mist of yesterday’s news?
But it wasn’t my fault! How was he expected to control his feelings when she was allowed to go around dressed like that? She was blatantly flaunting herself in front of him. It wasn’t right. She shouldn’t be allowed to go around teasing folk like that. She knew how it drove men to distraction, how it played havoc with their emotions. So she deserved everything she got. Didn’t she?
But isn’t that what girls like her really want? Wasn’t she just asking for it with her come to bed eyes? Fluttering her eyelashes at any man with a pulse and teasing them with her suggestive smile? No, it was not his fault at all.
When he stopped to cross the street he caught sight of himself in a shop window. And what he saw looking back at him was just an ordinary man. There was no hint of the demon that haunted his soul and tormented him with such ugly cravings.
You did this to me, Evi Dekker!
Just saying her name caused goose bumps to invade his whole body.
You possessed me. You drove me to this. Now I see you in every girl with blond hair and a foreign accent. And I’m struggling to suppress the desire to do to them what I had to do to you.
You shouldn’t have hurt me like that, Evi Dekker. You got what you deserved. It was all your own fault.
A car tooted and he jumped back. He needed to get a grip. He needed to be more careful because one day he would lose control and leave himself wide open to arrest.
Still he couldn’t resist one last look at the beautiful girl before he walked across the road to his car. She was so attractive. The image of Evi Dekker. He pulled the car door open and slid in.
‘All right?’ the passenger asked.
He didn’t answer. He just switched on the engine and pulled out into the traffic.
Why is your featured book a must-read?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 January 2019
This was a refreshingly different book set in beautiful Irish surroundings. At odds with the glorious scenery and Irish charm is the brutal acts of brutality carried out on lovely young tourists. Though by the end I'd correctly guessed the identities of the perpetrators, I was still taken by surprise by the ending which I won't disclose. Well worth a read
Enter to win an e-book bundle of all 42 books featured in the Mystery and Suspense Bookish Event:
Runs August 11 – 17, 2020.
Winner will be drawn on August 24, 2020.
I was born in Tralee, Ireland and now live in Newport, South Wales.
As a child I spent my summer holidays in Listowel, Co Kerry where my uncle Moss Scanlon had a Harness Maker’s shop. It was a magnet for all sorts of colourful characters, and it was there that my love of storytelling was kindled by the likes of John B. Keane and Bryan MacMahon, who often wandered in for a chat and bit of jovial banter.
The numerous short stories I’ve written based on those characters have been published in various anthologies and eMags over the years.
I have self-published twenty of them in a collection called Dreamin’ Dreams with Amazon.com.
My first novel, a thriller set in Wales during WW2, is called3
Gallows Field is my second thriller and is also set in WW2, only this time in Ireland.
A Pale Moon Was Rising is a follow up thriller involving Eamon Foley again.
Footsteps is my latest thriller.
Social Media Links:
#Footsteps #BrendanGeradOBrien #historicalmystery #historicalthriller #historicalIrishfiction #thriller #historicalmurdermystery #suspense #mysteryreaders #thrillers #book #books #bookish #bookstoread #giveaway #MysteryandSuspenseFestival #bookfestival #bookishevent