Cracked by Louise McCreesh – extract and giveaway

Cracked is the debut novel by Louise McCreesh and is published by Hodder and Stoughton on 20 August 2020.

Today I have an extract from the book.


They load the body bag into the ambulance waiting outside. It doesn’t look like a body; it’s hard to believe there’s a formerly living, breathing person inside that rough navy canvas, but I know there is. I saw it get zipped into the bag myself and am now watching the paramedics struggle under the weight as they throw it carelessly into the back, not giving any thought to the condition of the person inside. I guess that makes sense. The person inside is no longer alive. No more harm can come to them.

It feels like too much to handle. A lot of things do and I often find that gets me into trouble, although this is the most trouble it’s got me in yet. Fragile, people call me, when I know deep down that isn’t the case and I’m nowhere near as delicate as they’d like to imagine.

The truth – all of it – paints me differently. Really, I am the breaker of fragile things. Things that slip through my fingers and smash on the ground at my feet, quite simply because I can’t keep them in my grip and have a tendency to destruct if not myself then something. Take the person in the body bag. The person no longer living. The person only dead because I broke them, and no one thought I could.

Hodder and Stoughton are also offering one copy of the book to one lucky reader. To be in with a chance to win a copy, please comment below or retweet my giveaway tweet over on Twitter. Good luck.

About the Book

Seven patients. One dark secret.


Jenny Nilson hasn’t seen her former psychiatrist Phillip since she left the Hillside Psychiatric Unit eight years ago. She wanted to forget everything about her time there, so she kept her secrets buried deep. Especially from her new husband.

But now the police are knocking at her door with evidence of her involvement in Phillip’s death. It seems as though everything she’s kept hidden is about to spill out.

Jenny desperately needs to speak to old friends, and old enemies, from those dark years. Because they are the only ones who know what really happened at Hillside, and about the dark secret that Phillip kept for them all – that this is not the first death.


About the Author

Louise McCreesh is a freelance journalist working in London. She is an alumnus of the Curtis Brown Creative Writing Course, where she was offered a scholarship to continue work on this novel. Cracked is her debut novel.

*Giveaway is open to UK residents only. The book will be sent directly from the publisher and neither myself or the publisher take any responsibility for the book being lost in transit. No cash prize alternative. Entries must be received by midnight on 18 August 2020. Winners will be notified via a comment on this site or DM on Twitter*

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