A debut thriller which reads like Blood Orange meets Sharp Objects, following criminal barrister Justine Stone who must return to the home she hasn’t visited in twelve years when her childhood sweetheart is accused of murder.
by Sarah Hornsley
Hodder, TBD 2025
(via Mushens Entertainment)
When criminal barrister, Justine Stone, is handed the lead on her first murder case, she could never have imagined she’d find Jake Reynolds staring back at her. Jake Reynolds – the boyfriend who disappeared from her life twelve years ago and the same man now facing a double homicide charge. Since Jake left without a trace, Justine hasn’t returned to the rural Essex town, Maldon, where they grew up together. But, if she’s going to send Jake to prison for murder, this time she needs to know the truth – not just the story she’ll spin the jury.
Once she arrives there, memories start to surface – of the idyllic love she shared with Jake, and her doubts that such a good man could really have done such a terrible thing. Back in her childhood home darker recollections are harder to avoid. The death of her beloved father in a car crash, and the weight of the small town’s expectations on her shoulders. And when her elder brother Max goes missing, she starts to suspect that everything is connected. Because it turns out that you can never truly bury the past: no matter how much you might want to.
Sarah Hornsley works as a literary agent at PFD. After graduating from Durham University with a First Class Honours in History, Sarah worked at a publishing house followed by a short stint in script development before becoming a Literary Agent in 2015. She was named a Rising Star in The Bookseller in 2019. She lives in Essex with her husband and daughter.