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Blood Loss

Kerena Swan

This edition produced in Great Britain in 2021

by Hobeck Books Limited, Unit 14, Sugnall Business Centre, Sugnall, Stafford, Staffordshire, ST21 6NF


Copyright © Kerena Swan 2021

This book is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in this novel are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons (living or dead), events or localities is entirely coincidental.

Kerena Swan has asserted her right under the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

All rights reserved. No parts of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the copyright holder.

A CIP catalogue for this book is available from the British Library.

ISBN 978-1-913-793-25-8 (pbk)

ISBN 978-1-913-793-24-1 (ebook)

Cover design by Jayne Mapp Design

Printed and bound in Great Britain

Created with Vellum

Are you a thriller seeker?

Hobeck Books is an independent publisher of crime, thrillers and suspense fiction and we have one aim – to bring you the books you want to read.

For more details about our books, our authors and our plans, plus the chance to download free novellas, sign up for our newsletter at www.hobeck.net.

You can also find us on Twitter @hobeckbooks or on Facebook www.facebook.com/hobeckbooks10.

This novel is dedicated to my Mother-in-Law, Angela Swan, who sadly lost her battle with cancer in November 2020. It all happened so fast and we still can’t believe you’re not with us anymore. As well as being a beloved family member, you supported and believed in me and I will always be grateful to you for your enthusiasm and promotion of my writing.

Nanny Ange, this one’s for you x


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

Chapter 56

Chapter 57

Chapter 58

Chapter 59

Chapter 60

Chapter 61

Chapter 62

Chapter 63

Chapter 64

Chapter 65

Chapter 66

Chapter 67

Chapter 68

Chapter 69

Chapter 70

Chapter 71

Chapter 72

Chapter 73


About the Author

Also by Kerena Swan

Hobeck Books – the home of great stories

Here She Lies

Chapter 1

February | Sarah

Twigs and dry leaves scrape and rattle against the wing mirror as I take the corner as fast as I dare. I don’t remember the roads being this narrow when I drove here a week ago, but back then I was excited and happy. Flight was the last thing on my mind. Now the tall hedgerows closing in on either side of the car are making me claustrophobic and I have to swallow down panic at the thought of meeting a car coming the other way. One of us will have to reverse to a passing bay and the driver will see my number plate. My face. The blood…

Shit! I didn’t pass that croft on the way here. I’d have remembered the stone squirrels adorning the gate posts. I’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere. Another one. These roads all look the same. Trees, grass, hedges and hills. My heart races with panic. Breathe. Breathe.

I turn the car around in the gateway to a field and slowly, frustratingly, make my way back to the crossroads, finally spotting a road sign half-hidden in the hedgerow. I snatch up the map and peer at it again, the paper trembling in my hand, then throw it back onto the passenger seat and turn left. My heart is still racing. Calm down or you’ll go wrong again. I squeeze the steering wheel to stop my hands shaking and lean forward to give myself the clearest view of the road.

Last week I was looking forward to a holiday. Last week I had a future. Tears well and spill over and I brush them roughly away, wincing as my fingertips touch the bruises on my face. Then I grasp the steering wheel once more and check the mirrors for the hundredth time. No one behind me. No flashing blue lights, no cars, not even a motorbike. Thank God.

The adrenaline begins to drain from my system to be replaced by overwhelming weakness. I want to stop the car, lean my head back and shut my eyes but I have to keep going. I have to get away from here before I’m noticed. On impulse I decide I won’t join the motorway at the nearest junction as there might be cameras that will link me to the area. I’ll drive along country roads until I see a sign to the next entrance.

When I eventually reach the motorway I let out a long, slow breath and the tightness in my muscles eases a little as the miles pass. Maybe they won’t find me now. Should I have run though? There’s still time to go to the police. I can tell them it was self-defence – explain that I panicked and ran away. They’d understand… Maybe.

Maybe not.

For a moment I recall the warmth of the blood on my cheek and the expression on his face. A wave of nausea threatens to engulf me so I open the window and let the freezing air gnaw at my skin. I welcome the discomfort. It grounds me in the here and now.

Two hours and a hundred or so miles later I pass a blue sign indicating services ahead and glance down at the petrol gauge. My heart jolts as I see I have just a quarter of a tank left. Possibly not enough to get me home to Manchester. I need to buy petrol soon but I’m wary of going into a service station. They’ll have cameras and the police will be bound to look at services along the motorway routes. I glance up at a row of yellow cameras on

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