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Unraveling by Helen Forbes

I am pleased to be included in the blog tour for the novel, Unraveling by Helen Forbes run by Lynsey Adams of Reading Between the Lines. I have not read any work by this author before, so I an excited to share the gripping extract provided by the author.

The Blurb

Incarcerated in the gloom of a Highland asylum,

a young mother finds illicit love. And death.

Kate Sharp’s family is a mystery. Her mother, Ellen, disappeared into the shadows of Craig Dunain psychiatric hospital when Kate was a child. When her grandmother dies, Kate is desperate for answers. What were the circumstances of her mother’s life and death? Who is her father?

Kate’s not the only one trying to uncover the truth. The remains of two bodies with murderous injuries have been found buried in the forest next to the former hospital.

And someone else is searching for answers, and he will stop at nothing to find them.

As the tale of Ellen’s tragic unravelling unfolds, the secrets that led to her death are exposed, along with the shocking truth about Kate’s father.

Unaware of the danger stalking her, Kate continues her search.

Will she find the answers? And can she save her own life?

The Extract


The sway of the noose was mesmerising against the shimmering light that danced between the branches. Tiny bullets of yellow and blue, grey and buff, flitted around the tops of the trees, darting and disappearing, their song too high, too bright. Below, the colours of the forest flowers and ferns taunted him. It was wrong. The day should be grey and bleak, all colour banished.

Heavy footsteps crashed through the forest, as the echoing sound of his name was hurled into the wind. He reached for the noose, and a sudden golden shaft of sunlight illuminated the tree and his last hiding place. He lifted his face to the sun. Through the softness of the shifting leaves, he heard the sigh of another voice. The whispered, half-formed words were compelling. He was making a mistake, it told him. The pain would pass. He just had to breathe into it. Stop resisting. Accept and let go.

But how could it pass? He would carry this ache forever. He’d never close his eyes, but he’d see her body, twisted and broken. Her whispered last words would never leave his head. His guilt would eat away at him, turning him into a pale shadow haunted with regret, mocked by what might have been.

As the crashing and the shouting came closer, the noose in one hand, his other hand steadying himself against the tree trunk, he wavered on the edge of infinity.

And then he made his choice.

The Author

Helen Forbes is an author of Scottish crime fiction. She lives in her home-town of Inverness, in the Scottish Highlands. She has been writing novels and short stories for many years. Much of her writing is set in the Highlands and Islands and Edinburgh, although she has also written and published award-winning short stories set in the Antarctic and Italy.

Helen began by writing contemporary and historical fiction, with no intention of turning to crime. It was a chance remark at a writing group about a short story she'd written that led to her debut police procedural novel, In the Shadow of the Hill, set in Inverness and South Harris, featuring Detective Sergeant Joe Galbraith. Madness Lies is book 2 in the DS Joe Galbraith series, set in Inverness and North Uist.

Helen hopes to start work on book 3 shortly. In the meantime, she has completed a couple of standalone psychological thrillers that she hopes to publish soon.

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