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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Books


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Author: Jason Arnopp
Publisher: Orbit, 2019

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Book Type: Novel
Genre: Horror
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Kate Collins has been ghosted.

She was supposed to be moving in with her new boyfriend Scott, but all she finds after relocating to Brighton is an empty flat. Scott has vanished. His possessions have all disappeared.

Except for his mobile phone.

Kate knows she shouldn't hack into Scott's phone. She shouldn't look at his Tinder, his calls, his social media. But she can't quite help herself.

That's when the trouble starts. Strange, whispering phone calls from numbers she doesn't recognise. Scratch marks on the walls that she can't explain. And the growing feeling that she's being watched.

Kate refuses to leave the flat - she's not going anywhere until she's discovered what happened to Scott. But the deeper she dives into Scott's digital history the more Kate realises just how little she really knows about the man she loves.



27 August

Thirty-five days before he disappears off the face of the Earth, Scott Palmer stops licking his ice cream cone and lays that look on me.

That hungry wolf look. The one that leaves me way too keen to be devoured.

The glass sheet of the sea reflects a high mid-afternoon sun as Scott says, "Well, why don't you live here, then? I'm serious, baby. Why don't you move down here and live with me?"

He broaches this idea so casually that it feels neither huge nor stupid, despite being both of these things.

My brain pulsates and pops.

The stones of Brighton's beach shift beneath me. The air around us, so thick with salt and sun cream, carries an exotic shimmer. The West Pier wobbles.

The next time I even think about my own ice cream, it's because the thing's melted all over my hand, then down my wrist.

If I were the kind of person who believes in bad omens, I might notice how this cream is chilling the blood in my veins.

I might notice how the skeletal West Pier resembles a burnt-out carcass.

I might even notice how the growing wind has prompted a lifeguard to stride over and plant a huge red flag in a nearby patch of stones.

Not being that kind of person, I notice these things only subliminally, while transfixed by the kaleidoscopic beauty of Scott's eyes.

Hello. My name's Kate Collins and I'm balls-deep in love with a walking question mark whose smartphone will one day show me all of his deepest, darkest secrets.

My grin covers my entire face as I tell Scott, "You know what? I reckon I could just about do that, you lucky fucker."

All I can think about is how I will never, ever, feel alone again.

Copyright © 2019 by Jason Arnopp



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