Title: The Visitor
Author: Terry Tyler
Genre: Post Apocalyptic Murder Mystery
In 2024, a mystery virus ravages the entire world. 'Bat Fever' is highly contagious and one hundred percent lethal. A cottage tucked away in an isolated Norfolk village seems like the ideal place to sit out a catastrophic pandemic, but some residents of Hincham resent the arrival of Jack, Sarah and their friends, while others want to know too much about them. What the villagers don't know is that beneath Sarah's cottage is a fully-stocked, luxury survival bunker. A post-apocalyptic 'des res'. Hincham isolates itself from the rest of the country, but the deaths continue―and not from the virus. There's a killer on the loose, but is it a member of the much-depleted community, or somebody from outside? Paranoia is rife, as friend suspects friend, and everybody suspects the newcomers. Most terrifying of all is that nobody knows who's next on the list... The Visitor is Terry Tyler's twenty-second Amazon publication, and is set in the same world as her Project Renova series, while being a completely separate, stand-alone novel.
Saturday, September 28th: Around Midnight
Widower Jason Lineham is snug in his cellar.
The autumn day had been chilly, with a grey sky, the sort that beckons November from its foggy lair. Leaves scuttled up pavement and road, and most of Hincham's residents remained in their homes. Others, who live alone, sought company by the fireplaces of neighbours. They talked about the world before July the 26th, and their hopes for the spring, by which time the government will surely appear to reinstate law, order and Tesco Online.
Identical conversations took place in the homes of survivors up and down the country, and probably all over the world.
Now it is night time, dark and silent, and the smell of winter is on the wind. Widower Jason Lineham ponders, for a moment, what the other villagers do inside their houses. Must be bored witless, with no electricity or TV. Jason, however, does just fine. He has a generator, but that's his business, and his secret. It's a posh one, installed by his uncle six months back, so he could still play video games in the event of a power cut.
Jason lights candles in his cottage and cooks food on a camping stove, same as the rest of them, but at night he goes down to his cellar and has himself a time. He watches the films he kept hidden from Laura, and plays his games. Daren't put his headphones on in case someone knocks at the door, so he keeps the sound down low. Can't risk anyone hearing it.
Jason doesn't mind this end of world malarkey; it has released him from the marriage he never wanted. He and Laura had been going out since they were fourteen, and she pushed for an engagement ring from the age of sixteen onwards. Both their families egged her on, and he couldn't see a way out.
He doesn't miss Laura, or his stupid job in a building society. Hated having to waste eight hours of every day just to pay the rent on this cottage. Now he can live here forever, if he wants, for nothing.
What he does miss is going up the city, to his clubs that Laura didn't know about. He pulled the wool over her eyes for two whole years; she thought he was going on the piss with his mates. Told him not to chat up any girls. Ha! She didn't have a clue.
He liked her well enough. Just didn't want to be married to her.
Out of his and Laura's families, he's the only one left. He's sad about his parents and brother, but he feels a sense of freedom. No one to get on his case, ever again.
Jason is watching one of his porn sites when he hears a knock at the door. The back door, which means whoever it is has nipped over the back wall. It's dark; they must be anxious not to be seen, for whatever reason.
He stands at the bottom of the cellar steps, hesitating. What if it's a crazy? What if the murderer wasn't Holly Goodwin after all? But if it wasn't, why would the killer target him? He keeps himself to himself. Doesn't piss anyone off. Doesn't threaten people with rifles or spread evil gossip.
Or what if it's someone from his old life, his secret life? Someone still alive, looking him up? But he never gave out his address or real name. Couldn't risk it, not when Laura was around, with both their parents down the road, in Melton Fields.
What the hell.
He picks up one of Laura's precious candlesticks―she was so proud of them, a wedding present. She'd be wholly annoyed if she could see the mess of solidified wax that covers them now.
When he opens the back door, he's surprised. In a good way.
He'd had hopes, once or twice, but nothing happened, so he thought he must have imagined it.
The visitor has brought vodka and a bottle of lemonade; after a couple, Jason throws caution to the wind. What the hell; it'll be good to have someone to play Rocket League with.
"If I show you what I've got downstairs, will you promise not to tell a soul?"
The visitor grins, and winks. "That sounds like an offer I can't refuse!"
And that, Jason thinks, sounds promising. Or is it just the drink? He won't make the first move. It's one thing being brave in public, with secret looks and flirtatious hints, but down here, when what he wants actually might take place, he feels oddly nervous.
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
It's for others to say if the book is a must-read, not me, but it's received many very positive reviews from book bloggers and the reading public alike, so if either the post-apocalyptic genre or murder mysteries are your 'thing', it seems to be a good choice!
I am passionately interested in how people react in a time of catastrophe – how previously hidden aspects of their personalities come to the fore. If this is one of your interests, too, this book is definitely for you! *smiles*
Enter to win a $66 Amazon (US) gift card:
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Runs August 10 – August 17, 2021.
Winner will be drawn on August 23, 2021.
Terry Tyler is the author of twenty-two books available from Amazon, the latest being 'Megacity', the final book in the dystopian Operation Galton trilogy. Also published recently is 'The Visitor', a post-apocalyptic murder mystery set in the same world as her popular Project Renova series. She is currently at work on a psychological thriller that centres round an internet dating con, but has not yet finished with devastated societies, catastrophe and destruction, generally. Proud to be independently published, Terry is an avid reader and book reviewer, and a member of Rosie Amber's Book Review Team.
Terry is a Walking Dead addict, and has a great interest in history (particularly 12th-17th century), along with books and documentaries on sociological/cultural/anthropological subject matter. She loves South Park, the sea, and going for long walks in quiet places where there are lots of trees. She lives in the north east of England with her husband.
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