Good girls keep quiet. Quiet girls won’t stay silent forever.
When Alex arrives in Provincetown to patch things up with his new wife, he finds an empty wine glass in the sink, her wedding ring on the desk, and a string of questions in her wake. The police believe that Alex’s wife simply left, his marriage crumbling before it truly began. But what Alex finds in their empty cottage points him toward a different reality:
His wife has always carried a secret. And now she’s disappeared.
In his hunt for the truth, Alex comes across Layla, a young woman with information to share, who may hold the key to everything his wife has kept hidden. A girl without a clear recollection of her own past. A strange, quiet girl whose memories may break them all.
To find his wife, Alex must face what Layla has forgotten. And the consequences are anything but quiet.
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About the Book
The Quiet Girl
by S.F. Kosa
August 11, 2020
THE QUIET GIRL
A Standalone Psychological Thriller
© 2020 S.F. Kosa (Sarah Fine)
MONDAY, JULY 27
The batter flowed in undulating ribbons and melted into a smooth, creamy lake. Mina scraped every bit from the bowl before shaking each cake pan to settle the contents. Everything had to be perfect.
When the pans were safely ensconced at 350 degrees, she moved to the next step. Humming a long-ago tune, she poured the premeasured and sifted powdered sugar into the mixing bowl over the softened butter and the extract, just enough to do the trick without overwhelming the flavor.
Baking was chemistry. Baking was precision. Never more than today.
When the frosting was the right consistency, she separated half into three bowls and used the droppers to apply the colors. Blue for innocence. Yellow for youth. Pink for so many things. Love. Warmth.
The effect would be neat. Cheerful. Enough to leaven a sultry summer night, draw the hands to the plate, the fork to the mouth, a smile to the lips.
Once the frosting bags and tips were assembled, she sat on the floor in front of the oven. The cakes had turned golden, but she would wait for the timer. She’d learned to trust herself in most things, but time was an entity she’d never mastered. She was always losing track. She couldn’t keep it still or reliably pin all the bits of her past into proper temporal position. Even now, now of all times, she could feel it turning slippery.
She closed her eyes. Not long now.
The timer went off. She jerked, startled even though she had known it was coming. Wasn’t that always the way of it?
Waiting for the cakes to cool was the hardest part, but she filled the time with cleaning. She was so good at it, good at making things pristine. The dishes. The counters. The floors. Herself. She smiled as she remembered how recently it hadn’t been necessary. Every second of messiness, at once hard-earned and effortless, had been worth fighting for. It had given her hope. But she’d been foolish to think she could escape that easily.
Once the heat had bled from the layers, she placed the first on the plastic base and topped it with a generous layer of icing, to be sandwiched between slabs of cake. Of course, that part had to be pink. A nice effect during the cutting process, like slicing deep enough to reach a vein.
After adding the top layer and completing the crumb coat, she applied the white outer layer. Thick and even like new snow, covering all that lay soft and fragile beneath. Next, the frosting bag and Russian piping tip. It had taken a lot of practice to keep the flowers from looking like spiky piles of chaos, but now she was a pro. Soon, the cake was a garden of delight, a riot of color, a treat for the senses.
She donned dishwashing gloves and washed all the extra frosting down the drain, then cleaned the bags and tips by hand, lots of soap, once, then again. She tucked each piece into her decorating kit and slid it into its slot in the cupboard. Alex complained that she didn’t put things away properly, but he was wrong.
She did when it mattered.
The cake was perfect. She turned it this way and that, making sure it didn’t have a bad side. Just like she’d been taught. Then she trapped it under the floral tin dome and attached the wire handles. Ready for transport.
She poured herself a glass of wine and drank it down. One for the road. It unfurled in her bloodstream, loosening knotted muscles, allowing her to breathe, allowing her to move.
She reached for her keys, then caught a glimpse of her hands. No, this wasn’t right.
He would never understand, but he didn’t need to. Because he would never know.
She made the necessary adjustments and stepped into the bathroom. That face in the mirror. Her face, every feature and flaw. And then she recited the line, the one that resonated even now. Especially now. “I know who you are,” she whispered.
The minutes were slipping away, but she allowed herself to stare until her eyes shone.
Then she blinked.
Time to go.
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of THE QUIET GIRL by S.F. Kosa, we’re giving away a paperback copy of Beneath the Shine by Sarah Fine to three lucky winners!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. Three winners will each receive a paperback copy of Beneath the Shine by Sarah Fine. This giveaway is administered by BookMojo on behalf of S.F. Kosa (Sarah Fine). Giveaway ends 9/30/2020 @ 11:59pm EST. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Sarah Fine
SARAH FINE is the author of several books for teens, including Of Metal and Wishes (McElderry/Simon & Schuster) and its sequel, Of Dreams and Rust, the bestselling Guards of the Shadowlands YA urban fantasy series (Skyscape/Amazon Children’s Publishing), and The Impostor Queen (McElderry, January 2016).
She is also the co-author (with Walter Jury) of two YA sci-fi thrillers published by Putnam/Penguin: Scan and its sequel Burn. Her bestselling adult urban fantasy romance series, Servants of Fate, includes Marked, Claimed, and Fated, and was published by 47North in 2015, and her second adult UF series —Reliquary (and its sequels Splinter and Mosaic) was published 2016. When she’s not writing, she’s psychologizing. Sometimes she does both at the same time. The results are unpredictable.
Sarah Fine writes psychological thrillers under the name S.F. Kosa.