5 Mar 2019


Book Extract / After the Eclipse by Fran Dorricott

A stunning psychological thriller about loss, sisterhood, and the evil that men do, for readers of Ruth Ware and S.K. Tremeyne

Two solar eclipses. Two missing girls.

Sixteen years ago a little girl was abducted during the darkness of a solar eclipse while her older sister Cassie was supposed to be watching her. She was never seen again. When a local girl goes missing just before the next big eclipse, Cassie - who has returned to her home town to care for her ailing grandmother - suspects the disappearance is connected to her sister: that whoever took Olive is still out there. But she needs to find a way to prove it, and time is running out.


3. - Olive (547) p.61-63

Olive’s brain was hopping and jumping about all over the place, but at least she’d managed to stop crying. She sat on the floor for a while longer, noticing that there was a carpet. It was grey and thin, its cheap speckled appearance illuminated by the weak evening sunlight coming through the window. The floor underneath the carpet was hard and bumpy in places. There was a lamp on the floor by the bed, plugged in like when they’d moved house and got some stuff from the moving van before the big furniture. They had put the lamps on the floor in the new house too, but this didn’t feel exactly like that. The light fitting hanging from a wire over her head didn’t even have a bulb in it. 

The whole room felt like somebody’s garage. Like the time she’d gone to Angela’s house after school in year three. Her dad had a garage with loads of games in it, and a little kitchen. Angela had called it his “den”. But he also had a pool table and a TV and there was nothing like that in here. 

Olive climbed to her feet. Already her bum hurt from sitting, and she wandered back over to the bed. She took the shoes off, setting them carefully on the floor. Maybe whoever owned them would come back for them. She wanted to take the dress off too but she knew she would be cold without it. Then she sat down on the lumpy bed. 

She thought about the man and the van. She felt an oily sickness in her stomach and wondered if she’d passed out. Maybe she’d got heatstroke like Cassie had last summer. It had been warm enough, and she hadn’t been wearing a hat... Maybe the man had brought her here to wait for Gran.
Olive pushed back the other thoughts. The ones about another reality. One where she wasn’t going home. One where she should have jumped out of the van. One where she hadn’t been tricked by the sandman in disguise, where she hadn’t been put to sleep by strange-tasting water. She pushed those thoughts so deep that her head hurt and she wanted to close her eyes. 

Instead she sat on the bed and watched as the light faded from yellow to grey to nothing much at all. The eclipse she had been waiting for was long gone. Olive knew from practising that she was good at waiting. Like the time Mum had promised they could have a dog for Christmas if they stopped asking. Olive had buttoned her lips right away, counting down the days in her head so that Mum didn’t get annoyed. So they could have their puppy. In the end Cassie had ruined it by asking again. Like she always did. 

A little sob bubbled up inside her. Cassie would know what to do. But she didn’t want to cry again, so Olive bit her lip and turned her eyes back to the window. To the sky or the tarmac, or whatever it was. And as the shadows grew and grew inside the room, and eventually it got too dark to see, Olive decided she would wait. Maybe if she was good she could go home before morning.