Getting Away with Murder

Claire is happily married to the charismatic Max Maric and living the dream in a luxury house in the prestigious Sandbanks area of Poole Harbour. She loves her husband and their precious son, Freddy. Her life is perfect. Or so she thinks.

Annabelle is Max Maric’s lover. She’s a wealthy widow and is all set to marry him, just as soon as he’s divorced. Her life will then be perfect. Or so she thinks.

One man, two women, but they can’t both have him.
And he doesn’t get to choose – the schizophrenic decides, with a sophisticated plan to eradicate her nemesis in the most heinous of ways.

The intended victim needs a friend. Fortunately, she has a new one she’s become close to.
But nobody told her that false friends are worse than open enemies.

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Claire out with her husband for dinner

She took a deep breath in and sat back as the waiter arrived with the main courses. She wanted to mention the anxiety she was experiencing and tell him about the Nissan car that she suspected was following her.

          “It’s nice to be out together,” she smiled, “it seems ages since we’ve done anything like this.”

“It is, but it’s been a busy time lately.”

“I know. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about, well that and me really.”

He had the grace to pause from his food, “Are you alright, what’s the matter?”

“Nothing serious,” she reassured, concerned it hadn’t come out quite how she’d intended, “I’ve just been feeling down a bit lately and worrying all the time. It’s hard to explain,” she struggled as she didn’t want to sound totally stupid, “it’s as if something awful is going to happen.”

He scowled, “Like what?”

“I don’t know,” she hesitated, trying to find the right words, “it’s like a sick feeling, as if I’m going to get some bad news.”

He resumed eating, “It’s not all this worrying about me and the hours I’m working is it? Because if it is, you need to stop it. I promise you it will come to an end in a couple of months and we’ll be back to normal.”

          “You keep saying that, but that’s not helping right now particularly as I’m feeling a bit wobbly. Freddy and I are on our own and just lately, it’s really making sort of, I don’t know . . . questioning why we are putting ourselves through all of this.”

          “Look, I know it’s hard right now, that’s why I suggested a holiday, a sort of light at the end of the tunnel to look forward to when all this extra workload’s over. And don’t forget I’ve got your party planned, so I am trying to do the best I can for you.”

          “I know you are, it’s just that I miss you. I miss us. It’s a really difficult time for me right now what with Dad, the house move, then Mum and all this extra work you’re doing.”

          “Yeah,” he took a mouthful of wine, “well that might get even more difficult after your birthday.”

          “Why’s that?”

          “You know I told you about expanding the business?”

“Yes. It sounded like you had to cross the T’s and dot the I’s.”

“Yep, it was. But it’s a bit more than that now. I’m actually working on a merger with another established company, which may require me spending more time in London.”

          “Tell me you’re joking,” she said in a warning tone.

          “No, I’m not. It’s real. I’m hoping to merge with another leisure company.”

          “Whatever for? Surely you have enough on with ours. Why do you need to even expand anyway?”

          “I’ve told you,” a hint of irritability was evident in his voice, “you have to in business, you can’t stand still.”

          “I can’t believe I’m even hearing this, Max. You promised me that doing all the house up was so you could be at home more and work from here. What’s the point of it all if you’re now saying you’re going to be in London? We might as well up sticks and go back there to live.”

          “Don’t be so dramatic,” he snapped, “we’ve made our forever home here; it’s just going to be another couple of years before I can do what I originally planned. They’ll fly by.”

          She put her knife and fork down with force. Her appetite had completely disappeared. She couldn’t eat another bite.

          “Look, I know you’re upset,” he said, “but it’ll work out, you’ll see. Just give me a few months until I’ve signed on the dotted line, and then we’re sorted.”

Her hopes for sorting things out were in tatters. As always he bulldozed himself along, knocking anyone down that got in his way. Even her protests counted for nothing. He always did exactly as he wanted. Did he even care about her anxiety?

Max took a sip of his wine, “Anyway, going back to our holiday,” he looked mighty pleased with himself, “I’ve booked it, we fly on the 19th December.”

          “You’ve booked it? Did you speak to Mum?”

          “No. But you said you wanted her to come so I’ve included her.”

          “Even though she hasn’t confirmed she can come?” She glared at him, “You should have checked with her.”

          “Christ, Claire, I’m sure she’s not going to turn down a free all expenses paid holiday on the strength it might clash with her bridge league.”

          “Do you know, you can be horrible at times? It’s a courtesy thing. You bulldoze along expecting everyone to do exactly what you want. You never stop and consider other people’s feelings.”

          He sighed, “I do, and that’s why I’ve booked the holiday. You keep saying we never have any time together, well we will by having a holiday, all of us. I don’t know what you’re moaning about actually, you should be pleased.”

          “That’s half the trouble, you have no idea. It’s not about holidays. It’s about you being here, not only for your son, but for me as well.”

          The whole evening had been pointless. She hoped he’d reassure her that he’d cut down on his hours, not tell her he was going to be doing more. She’d wanted assurance, but he’d only added to her feeling of doom. And she’d not even got round to mentioning the Nissan car.

          “Do you want dessert?” he asked in an overly bright voice as if it was a normal evening and he’d not dropped the bombshell into their conversation.  

She looked down at her plate of half eaten food, “No. You have one if you want.”

          He glanced at the bottle of wine. “I might just have some cheese and biscuits to go with the wine that’s left.”

          Typical. Her insides were in turmoil and he was thinking of his belly. He had no idea of the angst he’d caused by saying he was going to be working more.

Or did he?

          Maybe he wasn’t that bothered?

          She gulped down the last of her wine and placed the empty glass on the table. She stared at the crystal glass, coated with the remnants of red wine. It reminded her of blood.

The dark foreboding feeling reared its ugly head again.

Something dreadful was about to happen – she was sure of it.

She had to get away. “Excuse me while I use the ladies’.”



Author Bio

Joy Wood has worked as a nurse most of her adult life and turned to writing six years ago to ‘see if she could.’ Her earlier work was adult romance and intrigue, but more recently she has switched genres to romance with a crime element. Joy lives in the small but charming seaside town of Cleethorpes in North East Lincolnshire and her writing ideas come from watching the tide turn daily, of course with the obligatory ice-cream – someone has to support the local economy!




Twitter @joywoodauthor