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THE DS ALBIE EDWARDS SERIES 

SEVERED LIFELINE.jpg

Severed Lifeline

Book three

When loyalty goes beyond the bounds of duty…

DS Edwards is pushed to his limits when he is torn between finding a missing teenage girl and the near fatal attack on a member of his family.

Morgan Edwards travelled to London to help the daughter of a murder victim. On his first day in town, he is attacked near a park and taken to hospital where he laid unconscious.

Georgia Rolan is a fifteen-year-old school girl is reported missing by her parents. Albie and his team are tasked with investigating her disappearance.

As DS Edwards attempts to appease his family, and battles with his own feelings of guilt, the trail left by Georgia Rolan is increasing in complexity and chances of finding her alive improbable.

Will DS Edwards forsake the life of a young girl and his career for the sake of his mentor and father figure?


 

Chapter 1

 

Mia smiled at the ease with which her old door key had slipped into the lock. It was still hard to believe that she had a home of her own. Death had stalked her from a tender age, but this was the first time she had seen any benefits from the loss of life.   

After a whispered thank you to whichever entity was listening, she inched forward into the darkness. The place was in complete darkness, so Mia flailed her hand, blindly, across the wall to her right until she hit the light switch. A tut left her lips when the darkness remained. 

The power was off and she had to pull on her memory of the layout of the house as she edged forward towards the kitchen.

A noise from upstairs, like an object being kicked across a floor, stilled Mia. After a slight hesitation, she tiptoed towards the staircase and placed her foot on the first step. With her full weight on the step, she used the bannister to haul her onto the next step. She had kept to the right of the tread to miss a remembered squeak of the floorboards. “Hello.” The tentative whisper left her lips. Mia listened, but could only hear the rapid thud of her heart.

She took another step, then cleared her throat. “Is there anybody there?” She gripped the bannister and stared into the darkness at the top of the stairs. She exhaled a breath she was unaware she had held and took the next two steps with a confident stride.

She jerked backwards and flung a hand over her mouth as a clatter encroached on the silence of the first floor and a bright light shone against the opposite wall.

“Leg it, you idiot.” The guttural voice of a thirty-a-day smoker echoed around the empty rooms upstairs. 

Palpitations tightened Mia’s chest and she felt the blood rush from her face. She sunk to her knees, unable to catch her breath. Her vision blurred as a hunched figure swept up the torch in his hands and the light sweated across the wall.  

The first man stumbled downstairs, his body barely kept up with his feet, his hands flew out in anticipation to steady his descent.

“Start the car and wait for me at the end of the road.” His partner shouted as the figure disappeared out of the open front door.

Hands grabbed Mia from behind, fingers dug into her shirt and pinched her skin. Instantly, she clutched his hands with her own as he yanked her to her feet and held her against the wall.

“Well, little girl, you’re not so little now, are you?” His husky laugh rang in her ears as he pinioned her to the wall with his knee. Mia attempted to hide her distaste at his closeness and held back a gagging reaction at the smell of stale beer that had lingered on his breath.

Heavy footsteps caught them both by surprise, and her attacker smothered her mouth with his gloved hand. He sliced a finger across her throat before slamming his body even closer. “Shh.”

“Hello, is everything all right? Anybody there?” 

Mia tensed as she watched the door. She willed the person to either walk through the door or be on their way. The man with deep brown eyes and a scarred eyelid was violent and whoever was out there faced injury if they entered. Determined that neither of them would be a plaything for the burglar, Mia remembered something her uncle always said: What type of person are you going to be, Mia? The one who’s always stamped on or the one who does the stamping?

Wool fibres irritated Mia’s tongue as she edged her mouth open enough to trap the side of her attacker’s finger between her teeth. Once she’d positioned her mouth over the tip of his digit finger, she counted to three and snapped her teeth together like a lion ripping flesh from a gazelle.

“Arr, what the—”

“Help me.” Mia screamed as an elderly man with a walking stick threw the front door open.

An expanse of weight lifted from her body, but a punch to the stomach bent Mia over.

“You’d better keep looking over your shoulder, little girl. I’ll be back for you. You owe Freddie.”

The neighbour put all of his strength into a backhanded whack with his stick that caught her attacker on his head as he rushed from the house.

“Are you hurt, my dear?”

Mia hissed through gritted teeth, clutched her stomach and slid to the floor.

When she didn’t answer, the neighbour filled the silence. “Silly question, I know.”

He bent forward and patted her shoulder. “Why don’t I go next door and put the kettle on? Nothing beats a cuppa in a time of crisis. Tell you what? You pop along in a minute when you’ve caught your breath.”

Mia watched her saviour disappear through the doorway and attempted to straighten. With a wince, a grimace and the help of the wall, she straightened slowly, but each step she took was painful. Nevertheless, she retraced the steps of her neighbour while contemplating why she was not worthy of a hero like Chris Hemsworth.

 

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