I Thought I Knew You by Penny Hancock

I Thought I Knew You by Penny Hancock

Author:Penny Hancock
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Pan Macmillan UK



Bumping into Holly on the country road left Jules feeling desolate. Holly hadn’t been at all supportive. On the contrary, she had refused to show any sympathy. Jules understood Holly’s anguish at not knowing where Saul was. But Holly had made no attempt to understand her distress at discovering Saul had left Saffie pregnant. It was as if they were two different women to the ones who were best friends until a few days ago. Jules needed Holly to take back what she’d said about Saffie. She’d hoped she might even agree to share the emotional burden of putting her through a termination. But to do that, Holly had to first stop denying that Saul must be responsible, which she point-blank refused to do.

Jules hadn’t meant, ever, to tell Holly those things about Archie. She had always thought it better that Holly cherish her memories of him as the perfect husband and father she believed him to be. But Holly had driven her to it, with her insistence that if Archie were alive, he would somehow prove Saul’s innocence. It was ridiculous of Holly to continue to see Archie through rose-coloured spectacles. (Jules didn’t admit to herself, not yet, that her response might also have been to do with Holly’s calling Rowan a brute.) And so Jules had cracked, and told Holly the one thing she had sworn she’d keep from her. That Archie wasn’t such a golden boy after all. It was time she faced up to reality: her men were no more perfect than Rowan was.

A lot less perfect, in fact.

As she walked home, the only human figure on the wet arable landscape that rolled away to the horizon, she realized that without Holly to share what she was going through, she felt lonelier than she ever had in her life.


Later that afternoon, Jules found Rowan slumped in front of the TV. The police and a posse of local volunteers were combing the Fens, dragging the river. Looking for Saul. Familiar faces blown up so large on their home cinema screen they might have been here in the sitting room rather than out there beyond the picture windows, crawling through the wet mud of the Fens. The good, neighbourly people of the village. People Rowan and Jules knew. People they had competed with at the pub quiz, or chatted to in the playground when Saffie was still at primary school.

‘We’re here to help the lad,’ Tina from the village shop said into the camera. ‘We’re here to help find him.’

‘All lines of enquiry are open,’ Detective Inspector Venesuela, in charge of the investigation, said. He faced the camera. He was youngish, and looked as if he was enjoying his fifteen minutes of fame. He spoke in a self-important tone, puffing out his chest. ‘We are in the process of questioning witnesses. There is some evidence the sixteen-year-old may have intended to harm himself, but this is not conclusive.’

Jules knew very well what the detective meant by ‘harm himself’ and she objected to this ludicrous euphemism.


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