Title: The Truth
Author: Naomi Joy
Pub. Date: September 5, 2019
Publisher: Aria Fiction
Hosted: Head of Zeus Books
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Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2lQdO4E
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2Mdblxi
Google Play: https://bit.ly/2KwoYWq
Perfect wife. Perfect life. Perfect crime.
Anthony is not the man everyone believes him to be. And Emelia is not the woman he wants her to be.
Theirs was a whirlwind romance, Anthony was the doting boyfriend, the charismatic and successful career man who swept her off her feet. But now Emelia is trapped in a marriage of dark secrets and obsession. She is no more than something Anthony wants to 'fix', one of his pet projects.
Emelia has no escape from the life that Anthony insists on controlling, so she shares her story through the only means she can – her blog. Yet Anthony can never find out. Forced to hide behind a false name, Emelia knows the only way that Anthony will allow her to leave him, is death.
Trapped with a man she knows is trying to kill her, Emelia is determined that someone will hear her story and Anthony will meet his ends. That everyone will discover the truth.
‘Emelia? Are you up?’
My ears prick, and I tune into the crescendo of footsteps, the turn of a lock, the twist of a doorknob. I push my laptop under the bed, determined to keep my blog a secret. It’s not that I don’t trust him, I just… It thuds as it hits the damask rug beneath and I recoil my arm quickly, pulling the covers back over my body and up round my neck to make it look as though I’ve been sleeping rather than typing, but this sudden movement throws fistfuls of confetti-dust into the splinters of light in the room and I worry he’ll suspect that I’ve been up to something.
‘Come in,’ I reply.
My dressing gown fans as the door opens, the gust catching the silk sleeve and part of the body, transforming it, for a second, from inanimate object to ghostly spectre.
‘Morning, darling. How are you feeling?’
He peers at me through full-moon black-rimmed spectacles, the paper thin skin beneath his eyes tinged purple – not enough sleep – his long fingers curled round the door handle. His carefully groomed moustache quivers above his top lip, flicked up at the ends. He’s excited about something.
‘Any better?’ he asks.
‘No,’ I croak from my resting place. ‘I still feel like death.’
He walks towards me, eyebrows crooked, wedding ring flashing as he passes through the bursts of sunlight. He dabs the sweat slathering my brow and folds back the duvet gently, eager to help, but the movement releases the smell of my own stench into the otherwise beautiful room. His lips pucker in response. He tries not to gag.
‘I want to take you somewhere today,’ he says, bitter coffee on his breath.
I turn my head fully towards him and we lock eyes.
‘Where?’ I ask too quickly, too eagerly, droplets pooling anew in the curve of my lower back.
‘The excavation. I thought it might make you feel better.’
I smile, elated for a moment, then look away, my eyes on the opposite wall. There are a couple of problems with this suggestion. The first: he’s promised this before. I must not get my hopes up. The second: I am sick, deathly unwell, and, though I have the will to leave, I’m not sure there’s any possible way that I can. My stomach twists and jealousy rumbles in its pit. He is well. He can go wherever he likes. He can work and, better still, he loves his job. Anthony’s a famous archaeologist and, although that might sound oxymoronic, to those in the industry he’s a rock star. Literally.
‘I’d love to,’ I answer.
Despite my reservations, I am hopeful that I will go outside today. In fact, it is imperative that I do; Anthony is nothing but kind and patient with me and yet my brain is turning me against him, doubting his intentions. If I could just find the strength to ignore the searing pain in my abdomen, the tightness in my chest, the raging sweats, the all-consuming itch of my skin, the fire beneath, things would start to improve, we’d get back to who we were before. I know we would. My heart thumps, already exhausted, as I heave my reluctant body up to a seated position and swing my feet to the floor. I balance on the edge of the mattress, letting the black spots from my headrush pass, and, just as I’m about to stand, my toes hit the edge of my laptop hidden beneath the bed, making me jump. I glance behind me, hoping he won’t have noticed.
‘Now then,’ he says softly, taking my hand. ‘Time for your medicine.’
Two pills land in my palm – Antriptophene – and for once I stutter at what he’s given me: I don’t recognise this brand and I’m immediately suspicious of it. I look at the long drink of lukewarm water left on the bedside table overnight, coated now with a thin film of dust. Something doesn’t feel right.
‘What are these?’
‘Your doctor’s recommended them, they’re supposed to be excellent.’
I look at the pills again, at the blocky red writing atop bright orange casing and make a decision.
‘I’m not taking these.’
Anthony’s face breaks with lines, lips curling at my refusal, shocked that I would even question what he’s giving me. Taken aback, he stalls, then relents, folding them into his hand and leaving the room without another word, his tall frame pausing momentarily in the light of the doorway.
Author Bio ↓
Naomi Joy is a pen name of a young PR professional who was formerly an account director at a prestigious PR firm in London. Writing from experience, she draws the reader in to the darker side of the uptown and glamorous, presenting realism that is life or death, unreliable and thrilling to page-turn.
Author Links ↓
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