This extract has definitely got me desperate to read the book as I'm sure it will you too! Thanks to Tracy Buchanan for this extract...
‘My mum’s been travelling aroundthe islands over Christmas,’ I say to thewoman now. ‘She’s not tried to call anyone to let us know she’s okay. We’rereally worried.’
‘Oh, poor luv. You’ve come out hereall alone?’
‘Yes. I’m all my mum has. We’re veryclose.’ I don’t know why I lie.
‘That’s lovely. You’re very good tocome out here for her.’ Or stupid. That’swhat Will had called me when I’d woken him in the early hours to tell him Iwanted to fly out here
to find Mum.
Maybe he was right. Maybe I ambloody stupid to leave the girls withtheir dad and come alone to a countrymore alien than I’ve ever known. I cansmell the foreignness in the scorchedspicy air drifting in through thewindows; see it in the wires that hangprecariously from the pylons; hear it inthe strange urgent accents of the Thaipeople outside.
I feel my chest start to fill withapprehension but quickly swallow itaway.
‘Have you been putting photos ofyour mum up on the notice boards?’the woman asks.
I nod. ‘Yes.’
‘Strange, isn’t it? All those smilingfaces?’
She doesn’t say why. I know whatshe means though. Strange to thinkhalf of them might be dead now,bloated corpses laid out in a templelike the very one we’re heading to now.
What if Mum’s one of thosecorpses? Oh God.
‘Did you check the patient list at thehospital?’ the woman asks.
I clear my throat, trying not toshow the fear building inside. ‘Yes, Idid.’ I’d gone into the hospital too,waving my mum’s photo in the facesof harassed-looking staff whose accents made my head buzz withconfusion, the phrase book I’d boughtin a hurry at the airport useless.
‘You never know, someone mightcall,’ the woman says, looking down ather mobile clutched in her plumphand. ‘The embassy photocopied thepicture we brought of our son. So niceof them. I’m sure it’ll all be fine.’ Herhand flut- ters to the small cross aroundher neck. ‘I’m sure we’ll . . .’