The Prisoner by B A Paris is published by Hodder & Stoughton on 3 December 2022.
Today I have an extract to share with you.
I sense the shift of air beneath my nose a millisecond before something – thick, sticky tape – is clamped over my mouth, silencing the scream that would have ripped from me. My eyes snap open. A dark silhouette is bending over my bed.
Adrenaline surges. Move! Grab the knife! I twist my arm towards my pillow, but a hand slams onto my wrist, holding it still. Pulled from the bed, I kick out. But my feet flail uselessly, find only air. I try to focus but my mind is spinning. Why did I fall asleep? I should have been expecting this.
My arms are pulled behind my back, my wrists bound together. I try to twist away but something is pulled over my head, material, rough and tight, a hood of some kind. Panic spreads through me like wildfire. Don’t. Keep calm, Amelie. You know what this is.
He pushes me from the room, my feet tangle, I stumble, he jerks me upright. Under the hood, my head is filled with the frantic pulse of my heartbeat. I fight back the fear. I can outwit him; Ive done it before.
The soft carpet beneath my feet gives way to the cold polished floor of the landing. My toes bump the edge of the carpeted runner, in my mind I see its intricate green and red pattern of leaves and animals. I inhale the chemical smell of glue from the tape and a mix of a cough and a choke burns my throat. I draw a breath, and the material from the hood sucks into my nostrils. Where is he taking me?
The grip on my shoulders tightens a little, there’s a slight pulling back. Instinct tells me we are at the top of the stairs and I hesitate, afraid to fall. Pushed forwards, I find the first step, then move down wards until the soles of my feet touch the cold checkered tiles of the hall. We move down the hallway to the left, my ragged breathing amplified in the eerie silence. I know where we’re going. He’s taking me to the basement, where the garage is.
I turn, wrenching my body away from him, and for a precious moment, his grasp on me weakens. But it’s not enough; I’m hauled back into place, and pain flashes up my arms. Angled to the right, more steps down, the space narrows, the air shifts, becomes cooler.
And then, an influx of sounds, stifled by the hood but recognisable still – scuffling feet, a muffled whine, a sense of others there waiting. I push back, then stop. The scuffling, the whine – they didn’t come from me. My mind reels. It can’t be, it’s not possible.
But I know the voice behind the smothered protests
This is not what I thought it was.
About the Book
Amelie has always been a survivor, from losing her parents as a child in Paris to making it on her own in London. As she builds a career for herself in the magazine industry, she meets, and agrees to marry, Ned Hawthorne.
Amelie wakes up in a pitch-black room, not knowing where she is. Why has she been taken? Who are her mysterious captors? And why does she soon feel safer here, imprisoned, than she had begun to feel with her husband Ned?
Hodder & Stoughton have kindly donated two copies of The Prisoner to give away. To be in with a chance to win, simply leave a comment. You can also enter over on Twitter for another chance.
*UK only. No cash alternative. Neither myself or Hodder & Stoughton take responsibility for lost books. Closes 11.59pm 20 November 2022.*