- Author: PATRICIA MACDONALD
Book online «I SEE YOU an unputdownable psychological thriller with a breathtaking twist PATRICIA MACDONALD (read 50 shades of grey txt) 📖». Author PATRICIA MACDONALD
An unputdownable psychological thriller with a breathtaking twist
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Revised edition 2021
Joffe Books, London
First world edition published
in Great Britain and in the USA in 2014
by Severn House Publishers Ltd
© Patricia Bourgeau 2014, 2021
Except where actual historical events and characters are being
described for the storyline of this novel, all situations in this
publication are fictitious and any resemblance to living persons
is purely coincidental.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organisations, places and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental. The spelling used is British English except where fidelity to the author’s rendering of accent or dialect supersedes this. The right of Patricia Bourgeau to be identified as author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Cover design by Nick Castle
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To Lorene Cary, with love and thanks for all those soul-expanding walks.
Long may we ramble together!
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Restoration House, West Philadelphia
The pale gray twilight filtered through the grimy windows of Restoration House and formed watery patterns on the worn linoleum. A group of grim-faced men sat in a circle of folding chairs and listened intently as a burly black man named Titus described his descent into suicidal depression. ‘The doctor at the VA said I had PTSD. All I know is I didn’t want to live.’ He squeezed his hands together into one large fist while tears ran down the creases of his face.
Hannah Wickes watched from her seat at the outer edge as the group leader stared gravely at the bent head and tattooed neck of the suffering ex-serviceman.
‘Still not sure,’ he said, heaving a sigh.
‘But you’re still here. Talking to us.’
The vet nodded and met his gaze.
The group leader smiled. His face, pock-marked and scarred from burns, still managed to look gentle. ‘We have to keep talking. We all have to keep talking. And we’ll meet again next week. I want to see you here, Titus.’
‘I’ll be here,’ said Titus.
‘Good,’ said the leader. ‘Meanwhile, Anna here has some information for all of you that she’s put together.’ He nodded at Hannah.
Hannah took a deep breath. She found herself shaken by the depth of the vet’s emotion. She understood his pain all too well. She pulled herself together and tried to speak in an official tone. ‘A lot of our servicemen and women here at Restoration House have complained about the difficulty of getting the benefits they are entitled to. This Saturday morning at ten, we are having a workshop. Bring your paperwork. There will be people here to try and help untangle some of these problems. We’ve got some volunteers from the university whose computer skills are dazzling. They can help with those government websites. You should all be receiving the benefits that have been promised to you by your government.’
The men in the group murmured agreement.
‘OK, listen up,’ said the group leader, whose name was Frank Petrusa. ‘If you’re interested in this workshop, there’s more information in this pile on the desk. We meet next time on Wednesday, ’cause I have to be at a meeting in Washington on Friday.’
Amid high-fives and exhortations to have a good week, the group broke up and the men filed out of the room, a few of them stopping to pick up the printed material which Hannah had made available.
Frank spoke quietly to Titus, his prosthetic hand resting gently on the ex-serviceman’s shoulder. Watching them, Hannah felt, as she often did, that it was good for her to be working here. It kept her problems in perspective. In the course of the last year, it had sometimes been difficult not to sink into despair. She had applied for work at Restoration House, a non-profit in West Philadelphia, which focused on veterans and their families. She was interviewed by Father Luke, a veteran and defrocked priest, who still used his honorific. When Father Luke asked for her references she asked if she could speak in confidence. Father Luke assured her that she could. Then she told him that her very existence here in West Philadelphia was off the grid. He had asked few questions and hired her anyway, and Hannah had become a part of the compassionate family at Restoration House.
‘Hey, Anna, wait up,’ said a gruff voice.
Hannah turned in the doorway and saw Frank heading toward her. He was dressed in a sweatshirt, fatigue pants and combat boots and was itching his left wrist with the fingers of