Today’s feature is one of my new books: The Patient, by Jane Shemilt.
(Prologue – June 2017)
The footsteps were buried inside other sounds to start with: rain pattering on leaves, branches sighing in the wind, a truck in the distance on the Blandford road. I thought I was hearing things again, things that Nathan had told me weren’t really there.
“I heard footsteps, then I saw someone, or the shadow of someone.” My words sounded mad even to myself, but he nodded seriously, he didn’t think I was imagining anything. (p. 64).
What price would you pay for falling in love?
Rachel is a respected doctor who lives in a picturesque and affluent English village where her husband Nathan teaches at an elite private school. Competent, unflappable, and nearing 50, Rachel has everything in her life firmly in her control, even if some of its early luster has worn off. But one day a new patient arrives at her practice for emergency treatment. Luc is a French painter married to a wealthy American woman who’s just bought and restored a historic home on the edge of Rachel’s posh neighborhood. The couple has only recently arrived, but Luc is struggling with a mental disorder, and so he goes to the nearest clinic…to Rachel.
Their attraction is instant, and as Rachel’s sense of ethics wars with newly awakened passion, the affair blinds her to everything else happening around her. A longtime patient appears to be following her every movement, turning up unexpectedly wherever she goes. Her somewhat estranged adult daughter Lizzie is hiding a secret—or at least, hiding it from Rachel. Nathan has grown sour and cold as well—or is that merely Rachel’s guilty conscience weighing on her? But when one of her colleagues winds up murdered and Luc is arrested for the crime, everything Rachel didn’t know about her life explodes into the open—along with her affair with her patient—a disgrace and scandal that will have consequences no one could have predicted.
Would you keep reading?