I’ll Keep You Safe by Peter May
** AUTHOR OF CAST IRON, COFFIN ROAD AND THE BLACKHOUSE **
** OVER 4 MILLION COPIES SOLD **
** AN EXPLOSIVE NEW THRILLER SET IN THE OUTER HEBRIDES **
Niamh and Ruairidh Macfarlane co-own the Hebridean company Ranish Tweed. On a business trip to Paris to promote their luxury brand, Niamh learns of Ruairidh’s affair, and then looks on as he and his lover are killed by a car bomb. She returns home to Lewis, bereft.
I’LL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR YOU
Niamh begins to look back on her life with Ruairidh, desperate to identify anyone who may have held a grudge against him. The French police, meanwhile, have ruled out terrorism, and ruled in murder – and sent Detective Sylvie Braque to shadow their prime suspect: Niamh.
I’LL KEEP YOU SAFE, NO MATTER WHAT
As one woman works back through her memories, and the other moves forward with her investigation, the two draw ever closer to a deadly enemy with their own, murderous, designs.
Niamh stole a glance at her man, but he was somewhere else. Somewhere, it seemed, that she was no longer welcome. He appeared older, suddenly, than his forty-two years. Short dark curls greying around the temples, shadows beneath blue eyes that had spent much of their time avoiding hers these last weeks. And she ached with a sense of loss. What had happened to them? A lifetime of love, ten years of marriage, evaporating before her eyes like rain on hot tarmac. It didn’t seem possible. Any of it. And it made her all the more determined to guard the secret she had been keeping from him. As he held the door of their club room open for her she saw the slim package in its brown paper wrapping lying on the dressing table where she had left it. She hurried across the room and slipped it into her bag before he could see it and ask what it was. ‘I’m going to take a shower,’ he said, and he threw his jacket on the bed and went straight into the bathroom. She heard the water running, and it only emphasized the silence in the room and her sense of loneliness. So she turned on the TV, just to create the illusion of life. Of normality. And walked to the window to gaze down into the courtyard below. Guests sat around tables beneath large, square parasols, eating and drinking, their chatter animated, laughter reaching her on the gentle night air, as if in rebuke for her unhappiness. She didn’t turn when Ruairidh came out, wrapped in a towelling robe, and she heard him rummaging in his case for a clean top and underwear. Then he was in the bathroom again, and she heard the spray of his deodorant and the slap of palms on cheeks applying aftershave. This time, when he emerged, she smelled him. When finally she turned, he was pulling on a black polo shirt and running his fingers back through still damp hair. ‘Making yourself beautiful for your girlfriend?’ She couldn’t help herself. He stopped, with his hands still raised. The frown again. ‘What are you talking about?’
‘What?’ His incredulity was almost convincing.
‘Oh, come on, Ruairidh. Irina Vetrov. You’ve been having an affair with her ever since you came to Paris last spring to seal that deal to provide Ranish for her next collection.’
He almost laughed. But there was something not wholly convincing about it. ‘Irina Vetrov? You think I’m having an affair with her?’
Niamh knew that people often repeated an accusation to play for time, to compose a response. But she didn’t want to hear it. Instead, she walked briskly across the room to the wardrobe, throwing open the door and crouching to unlock the safe. She really hadn’t meant to confront him, but somehow there was no avoiding it any longer. She took out her iPad and flicked open the cover. A four-digit code brought up the welcome screen, and a couple of swipes opened her mailer. She stabbed a finger at the screen and held it out towards him. He took a step towards her, consternation now in his eyes, and took the iPad, glancing down at the screen. She knew what he was reading. Words engraved in her memory. Read, and reread, and read again. Your husband is having an affair with Irina Vetrov. Ask him about it. She watched closely for his reaction. He looked up. His frown had become a scowl.
‘Jesus Christ, what the hell’s this?’
‘Self-explanatory, I think.’ Her certainty already wavering. He lowered his eyes to the screen again, and read, ‘firstname.lastname@example.org?’ Then raised them to meet hers.
‘Who the fuck is that?’
‘You tell me.’ Which immediately struck her as a stupid thing to say, since he clearly didn’t know. He threw her iPad dismissively on to the bed.
‘It’s crap, Niamh. Just not true. I can’t believe you think it is.’
‘Well, what am I supposed to think? You’ve been so secretive recently. Meetings and rendezvous without me. The little wife left to keep shop.’
‘Oh, for God’s sake!’
‘Do you deny it?’ She could hear herself getting shrill.
‘That I’m having an affair with Irina?’
‘I think I just did.’
‘So why would someone write and tell me you were?’
‘I think you’d have to ask them that, but I haven’t got the first idea.’
He seemed genuinely hurt. A glance at his watch and he said, ‘I have to go.’
‘Where?’ She turned, catching his arm as he walked past her. He pulled it free.
‘I told you.’
‘I don’t believe you.’
He stared at her long and hard. ‘They say that when trust is gone, love is dead. Don’t wait up.’
He slammed the door behind him and she stood, a cauldron of mixed emotions bubbling inside her. Now she felt guilty. As if it were her fault. As if the lack of trust she had just so clearly demonstrated was without cause. But it was justified, wasn’t it? The way things had changed between them recently. His strange, guilty behaviour.
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