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Something was draped across Dad’s outstretched arms.
A deer? A fawn that was injured? It was sprawled and long-legged, something that had been caught in a poacher’s trap maybe. A mistake. So this is where Dad had been all this time, in the woods and cutting this creature free. I breathed out slowly, squinted at the mist that hovered around Dad like a ghost. I took my hand from my bedroom window, leaving the memory of my skin on the glass. Then I raced down the stairs, through the hall and into the kitchen out back. Throwing open the door to the garden, I waited for him there.
It was ages since Dad had brought back something injured, and he’d never brought back a deer, though I could remember helping him free a roe deer from a snare in the woods once. Back then his hands had moved quickly and gently, darting from the wire on the doe’s leg and then to her neck for a pulse, stroking her constantly.

About the book

Emily’s dad is accused of murdering a teenage girl. Emily is sure he is innocent, but what happened that night in the woods behind their house where she used to play as a child?

Determined to find out, she seeks out Damon Hillary, the enigmatic boyfriend of the murdered girl. He also knows these woods.

Maybe they could help each other. But he’s got secrets of his own about games that are played in the dark.

A new psychological thriller from the award-winning and bestselling author of Stolen and Flyaway.

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Press reviews

“... a gripping thriller about the search for truth in the darkest places.”


“'This taut, psychologically realistic murder mystery knits trauma, danger, tragedy and hope into one cohesive tale ... A gripping, heartbreaking, emotionally substantial look at war wounds and the allure of danger.”


“'... exciting, very fast-paced and incredibly unpredictable, which has you wrapped around its little finger.”


Author notes

‘I thought I knew my writing process: I find a setting I want to explore and from there come the characters, theme and ending. The Killing Woods was different. Much like the activity of walking through dark, unfamiliar woodland, this book has been “felt out” as I went along. All I knew at the beginning was that I wanted to write about a wood, and I wanted the story to be dark – the rest has been tentatively discovered, by torchlight, often hiding behind my hands and crawling forward on my knees. It’s a story about making the darkness visible – those dark places inside of us and out in the world too.’


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