Blog Tour Extract: Kill me twice by @annasmithauthor @QuercusBooks


A beautiful model's death uncovers an ugly conspiracy stretching all the way to Westminster in Rosie Gilmour's darkest case to date.

When rags-to-riches Scots supermodel Bella Mason plunges to her death from the roof of a glitzy Madrid hotel, everyone assumes it was suicide. Except that one person saw exactly what happened to Bella that night, and she definitely didn't jump. But Millie Chambers has no one she can tell - alcoholic, depressed herself and now sectioned by her bullying politician husband, who would believe her? And that's not all Millie knows. Being close to the heart of Westminster power can lead to discovering some awful secrets...

Back in Glasgow, Rosie's research into Bella's life leads to her brother, separated from her in care years before. Dan is now a homeless heroin addict and rent boy, but what he reveals about Bella's early life is electrifying: organised sexual abuse in care homes across Glasgow. Bella had tracked him down so that they could tell the world their story. And now she's dead.

As Rosie's drive to expose the truth leads her closer to Millie and the shameful secrets she has kept for so many years, it becomes clear that what she's about to discover could prove fatal: a web of sexual abuse linking powerful figures across the nation, and the rot at the very heart of the British Establishment..


Madrid, March 2000Millie raised her glass in the direction of the barman, sig-nalling for the same again. As she knocked back the dregs of her gin and tonic, she caught a whiff of her breath, a little stale still from last night’s booze as well as having nothing to eat. She’d forced down half a croissant at break-fast in the hotel dining room, conscious of guests eyeing her with a cross between mild disgust and pity as her hands trembled when she lifted her coffee cup to her lips. She’d encountered those furtive glances before when she’d travelled alone. People would view the middle-aged woman she had become and think she must have been a striking beauty in her day, but was now ravaged by time and, probably, drink.

To hell with them, she thought. Who were they to judge? What did they know of her life? The barman put her glass on the solid mahogany bar and slid a dish of mixed nuts across, making eye contact as though he were trying to tell her to eat something, that it was only four in the afternoon and she was on her third gin. She looked away from him, picking up her packet of Marlboro Lights and flipping it open. Three left. That should be enough.

She pushed away the nuts without looking at him, and put a cigarette between her pale pink lips. She flicked the lighter and inhaled deeply, stifling the urge to cough when the smoke hit the back of her throat and burned all the way to her lungs. She cursed the racking cough she’d woken up with for the last four days. Too much smoking and drinking, combined with walking around late at night in the chill of a Madrid evening. She’d stumbled from bar to bar, lost and hopelessly adrift. She’d always felt dwarfed by the magnificence of the buildings and architecture of the city, which held so many special memories for her, but now they seemed to underline the sheer emptiness of her life. Not for long, though. Not long now.

In the heavy silence of the gloomily lit hotel cocktail bar, she hadn’t noticed that anyone else was there. It was only when she heard the sniffing that she looked across the room and saw a blonde girl, sitting in an alcove. She was crying into a tissue, dabbing her eyes. The barman shot Millie a glance and disappeared into the back room, leaving them alone among the plush burgundy-velvet easy chairs and shiny mahogany tables. She peered across at the blonde girl as she pushed back her hair a little, and the striking high cheekbones caught her eye. She watched as the girl seemed to compose herself and light up a cigarette. Millie took a long look at this beautiful waif-like figure, her blonde hair cascading onto her shoulders, the sharp features and hollow cheeks. There was something familiar about her, but she couldn’t work out why.

The girl glanced up at her, then away, picking up her drink and downing it in one. She was crying again, sob-bing now. Millie shifted on the bar stool, resisting the urge to go over and comfort her – a mother’s instinct. It had always been there, but the child part was too painful. Don’t go there, Millie told herself. There was no point now and, really, she should be past caring. But as she watched the girl sob uncontrollably, Millie got off the stool and stood, unsteadily, at the bar. She was about to move towards her when the doors opened and a horde of people bustled in.

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