The Girl You Lost: A gripping psychological thriller

The Girl You Lost: A gripping psychological thriller by Kathryn Croft Read Free Book Online

Book: The Girl You Lost: A gripping psychological thriller by Kathryn Croft Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kathryn Croft
    I debate whether or not to answer her questions, but decide it can’t do any harm. ‘Neither of us have siblings. My parents both live in Florida now so I don’t get to see them much, and Matt only has his mum left alive. But we visit her whenever we can.’
    Grace’s eyes widen. ‘Is she the grandparent who was looking after me when—’
    ‘Yes. Her name’s Miriam.’
    ‘Don’t you … blame her for what happened?’
    I know it surprised Matt that after my initial shock, I fully supported Miriam. Of course there were times when I wanted to shout at her, shake her or something, but what would I gain from pointing fingers? It wouldn’t bring our daughter back to us. And we could both see how it destroyed her. Even to this day, she is a different person, as if the life has been sucked from her body.
    I shake my head. ‘It wasn’t her fault. And she’s suffered enough already, just knowing she was the one looking after Helena at the time.’
    There is silence for a while, both of us lost in our thoughts.
    ‘Please will you help me?’ Grace asks eventually.
    As I’ve been doing since she first declared she is my daughter, I study her face before I answer. Her huge imploring eyes. Her smooth fresh skin. Is this Helena? My Helena? Why don’t I know? Shouldn’t a mother automatically recognise her own child? But the last time I saw her she was six months old and could look like anyone now. Even though the rational part of my mind urges me to let this go, I decide I will help Grace. Perhaps it is my grief for Helena that drives my decision, but whatever the case, I am caught up in this now. And whoever that man in the flat was, he must have seen my face. But still I am unsettled.
    ‘Let’s just take it one step at a time,’ I tell her. ‘We’ll do a DNA test then decide what to do.’
    Grace’s shoulders drop. ‘Thanks, Simone. I know how this all must sound. So thank you for helping me. The first thing I need to do is find out what happened to Lucas.’ She picks up another sandwich and keeps it in her hand. ‘I’ve been thinking about it and there are two explanations: either I killed him and somebody moved the body, or he didn’t die after I … hit him. Which means he’s out there somewhere. With my phone.’
    Neither of these options is good news. If she has been telling the truth and he is alive then what will he do to her now? And if he is dead, then someone knows she is responsible. Either way, this girl is in trouble.
    ‘Let me just think about all this, okay? Why don’t you finish your lunch and then watch some TV or something while I finish off some work stuff? By that time Matt will be home. Nothing’s going to happen in the next couple of hours so let’s try not to worry too much.’
    Grace seems appeased by this and helps herself to another sandwich.
    When she’s finished, I take her to the living room and she settles on the sofa, taking off her trainers so she can tuck her legs beneath her. I can’t help but marvel at the strangeness of this situation.
    Back in the kitchen, I boot up my laptop and email Abbot, apologising once again for not being at work this afternoon. His reply is immediate: a message telling me it’s no problem and that we should meet for breakfast tomorrow so he can fill me in on what I’ve missed. We often do this as a way of catching our breath before the maelstrom of our working day begins, but I can’t remember the last time we were able to make it happen. I reply that this is a good idea and tell him I’ll text him the details later.
    For the next few hours I focus on work, trying to forget that Grace is in my living room, comfortably watching TV on the sofa as if she has always been part of our family. I check on her a few times, and the kitchen door is open so from my chair I will see if she leaves the room for any reason.
    I am so engrossed in my research that I don’t realise it’s nearly eight p.m. when I hear Matt’s key in the

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