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Annie J Ryan

Silent Waters (EBOOK)

Silent Waters (EBOOK)

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Ricky thinks her life is close to perfect.

Ricky Woods traded covert security operations for the quiet life of a private investigator in the heart of Whitesand Bay. But when Gemma Brompton vanishes, Ricky’s sudden plunge into a web of secrets and lies makes her question everything she thought she knew about her hometown.

On Gemma’s trail overseas, Ricky reels under fresh revelations concerning her own family’s hidden past. Peeling back the layers of her life leads to unexpected ventures with people she never even knew existed.

Amidst the chaos of the complex investigation and with her personal and romantic life in turmoil, Ricky has to confront the shadows that linger in the quiet corners of Whitesand Bay.

When Gemma’s friend materialises and exposes the depth of the deception surrounding Gemma’s decisions, Ricky turns to a very special secret ops friend to help her out.

With her heart on the line, Ricky has more than one major decision to make, but who does she believe?

If you love engaging contemporary women’s fiction with romantic suspense and action thrown in, you’re going to want to dive into the waters around Whitesand Bay with Ricky. Put this one on your beach read list.
Perfect for fans of Milly Johnson, Kristin Hannah, Liane Moriarty, Elin Hildebrand, and Jojo Moyes.


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Whitesand Bay, Australia, 2019, Wednesday
Ricky Woods ached to go home and put the day behind her, but her present investigation into the sudden departure of Gemma, a married woman in her early fifties, intruded into her thoughts. Gemma was the same age Ricky’s mother had been when she passed away. She gazed at the thin strip of star-studded sky squeezed between the silos and wondered where Gemma was.
Meanwhile, the tenant meeting she was currently suffering through was tedious. She’d leave if she weren’t their landlord. A sudden quiet meant someone had thrown her a question.
‘Right, double-glazing on the downstairs lawyers’ rooms. Got it.’ She tapped on her computer to make a note. They’d move to the cheaper units behind the railway if she didn’t agree to at least one thing on their list, and her mortgage payment on the converted warehouse was eye-watering.
At last back at home, she was greeted by warm air from the dying fire as she hung up her coat. She slipped into her bedroom and glanced at the sprawling figure of Luke under the quilt in her bed, pausing briefly to admire the strap of muscles across his exposed shoulder.
‘Hi,’ he said, his voice deep and warm.
‘Hey,’ she answered, ‘be with you in a minute.’
He smiled. He went to bed early if he had a gym session before work.
She sat down, leaned back in the chair, and flipped over a note in her hand. It was from Gemma. ‘Why do you think my client’s wife left?’
The slats below the mattress creaked and a wave of Luke’s cologne washed through the air. He turned to face her. ‘I don’t know. Why do most women leave?’ She’d already given him the skinny on Gemma, only the facts that anyone would know. ‘Sick of her life, bored with the unfulfilled promise of marriage, weary of raising kids, looking for excitement. Maybe she’s discovering her own sexuality? Take a pick. Aren’t you the investigator?’
‘I covered all that.’ She frowned and tapped her lip with a finger. ‘Anyway.’ She spun around on her chair and threw her arms out. ‘Done with the painful quarterly meeting.’
‘How’d it go?’ He placed his arms on top of the sheets.
‘The usual complaints. But I’m so grateful they’re accountants and lawyers because they’re earning a lot right now with the push to buy local, invest local.’
He nodded.
She threw Gemma’s note onto the small table in her bedroom, a tiny frown still notched between her eyebrows. First one then another rocket-red boot clattered onto the wooden floor before she slipped off her pants, ripped off her shirt, and leapt into bed. With her arms wrapped around Luke’s warm, freshly showered and delicious body, she pressed herself against his side and gripped his legs with her own. She kissed his chest.
‘Someone’s excited,’ he said.
She kissed the nape of his neck and shoulders.
‘You know,’ he said, ‘I think you’ll find most people are predictable. You’ll find her. Though when I say most, I don’t mean me.’
‘Tell me, exactly how are you so unpredictable?’ She pulled him close and shivered in the cool air, grateful that he’d warmed so much of the bed.
‘Football. Let’s begin there.’
‘Right. You know there are more ways to look at life than through the lens of football?’ she said, her words muffled as she planted another kiss at the nape of his neck.
‘You still explain things through the lens of the army.’ He turned onto his back and pulled her arm around him.
‘Because I’m illustrating what I mean, I need to draw on your stomach. Lie flat.’
She mocked a snore.
‘This is not going to be boring,’ he said with his hand resting on her middle.
Ricky tried to stifle bubbles of laughter but a loud explosion burst out when he trailed his fingers to draw an imaginary football field and positions.
‘It’s ticklish.’
‘Okay, listen up.’ He paused to let her recover. ‘When the opposition are headed for the ball and it looks like I don’t have a chance, I race straight for the following lead, even if Will’s there. And on my way, I’ll do something the guy’s not expecting.’
‘Like get the ball?’ Her voice bubbled with a giggle she couldn’t stifle.
He blew raspberries on her stomach and they had to wait till she subsided again.
‘No. I’ll make a face, or race at him full tilt, and then I stand really close to him. He’s confused enough for a split second to allow one of us to get the ball. It always works.’
‘This is what makes you unpredictable?’ She grinned.
‘Not only that.’ He arched his eyebrows.
‘There’s more?’ she said. Her arms lost traction around his waist as he leaned over his side of the bed to scrabble on the floor with his hands.