If You Tell Anyone – the second book in the Ellis Jones Mysteries series by Joanne Clancy – was released last week. Here is an excerpt from this psychological thriller.
Victoria Spencer chose a seat in the glass-walled lobby of the hotel, within view of the walkway. She glanced furtively around, relieved that she was the first to arrive. Every time someone approached, she held her breath, knowing that her life was about to change irrevocably.
Jason Ford seemed like the perfect man. It was her first blind date in years. Her best friend, April, had arranged it. She had met him at the London Book Fair, and had been impressed. Apparently, he was intelligent, handsome, funny, and he seemed eager to settle down.
“Do you believe in soulmates?” he had asked April.
“Come on!” Victoria had rolled her eyes when her friend was recounting all the details later. “That was a blatant chat-up line.”
“No, there’s something different about him,” April had insisted. “I told him that I was happily married, and he didn’t make a single flirtatious suggestion after that, not once did he cross the line. I was almost insulted.” She smiled mischievously at her friend.
“I don’t know how he resisted you.”
“There was a dinner in the evening for the literary agents, and I was at the same table as Jason. He was the perfect gentleman. I told him all about you.”
“What did you tell him?” Victoria was full of questions.
“I told him you were a beautiful brunette with the bluest eyes I’d ever seen, and that you are the best person I know.”
“What’s he like?”
“He’s handsome. He has that tall, dark, brooding vibe you like. He asked me if I knew anyone who was interested in a committed relationship.”
“I thought of you, and gave him your phone number.”
Victoria hadn’t heard from Jason for a few weeks, and when he finally called, he couldn’t have been more charming. He invited her for dinner the following Friday.
“How will I recognise you?” Victoria had asked.
“Hmmm…I’m short, with long, dirty blonde hair, and a beer belly.”
“Sounds like a perfect match; I have a few weight issues too.”
“Really?” he’d laughed.
“No, not really. I’m slim, five foot six, with long dark hair.”
“Great. So it won’t be a problem if I approach every attractive brunette in the bar and ask if she’s Victoria.”
Victoria was glad that she had arrived early at the hotel. A few minutes before 8 p.m., a man approached her and made eye contact. She had a bad feeling about him, and prayed that he wasn’t Jason. She glanced away, and much to her relief, the man walked past.
Dead on 8 p.m., a tall, dark-haired man walked in the door. Victoria knew in her heart that he was Jason. He was six feet tall and well built. He was wearing black jeans and a blue shirt open at the collar. His face lit up the moment he saw her.
“Jason?” She got up to greet him.
He leaned close and gave her a soft kiss on the cheek. “Am I late?” he asked, checking his watch.
“No, I’m early,” she smiled up at him.
After a quick drink, they made their way to the restaurant where Jason had reserved a table. In no time at all, they were in the midst of drinks and dinner. Their conversation flowed easily, and he was happy to tell her about himself.
“My work as a literary agent takes me all over the world,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, I love the excitement of discovering the next big author, but lately I’ve been longing to settle down.”
“Where’s home?” Victoria asked.
“I live alone in a converted farmhouse in Kerry. I’d love to have a dog, but I travel too much, and it wouldn’t be fair.”
“I haven’t done much travelling, but I hope to someday,” Victoria said, dreamily.
“Where would you like to go?”
“I’d love to go to Niagara Falls – Ontario side, of course. I’d stay at the Sheraton, and have a room overlooking the falls with floor-to-ceiling windows.”
“Maybe we’ll go there together one day,” he smiled at her.
“So where’s your favourite place?” she asked, feeling a little uncomfortable.
“It has to be Bordeaux in France — the wine capital of the world.”
“There’s nothing better than a good French wine.”
“I have a collection of French wine in my cellar at home. I’m a member of several clubs, and every month they ship me a few specially selected bottles.”
As the evening progressed, and the wine relaxed their inhibitions, their conversation became more intimate. “I’m looking forward to settling down,” Jason said. “With the right person.” The way he looked at her made her feel that she might be that special person.
She told him about her work as an art therapist. He seemed genuinely interested and asked about her clientele, the hours she worked and the techniques she used. “Business is good,” she said. “And my clients are happy.”
As they chatted, Victoria became more impressed. He seemed hardworking, ambitious, and had real potential.
“I’m enjoying this evening,” he said, putting his hand on her back. It was an intimate gesture, but it felt natural. Already, she felt a connection to him.
“When will I see you again?” she asked.
“December is a busy time in the book world, and I have a conference just after Christmas, so it will probably be early January.” That was as specific as he got.
“Will you call me?” she asked as he walked her to a taxi.
They kissed goodbye, and he held the door open as she slipped into the waiting taxi. She didn’t look back, feeling certain that they would see each other again, soon.
Victoria Spencer thinks she has met the perfect man, until she discovers his secret, which forces her to confront a new reality.
Digging deep into his past, she finds the devastating truth of his private world — a world he has tried to keep hidden from her.
Detective George Ellis helps Victoria in her pursuit of justice, but she soon begins to mistrust everyone around her.
She will do anything to protect herself, but what if it’s not enough?
A compelling psychological thriller, about the deadly secrets between two people in love, If You Tell Anyone, is the second book in the highly acclaimed Ellis Jones Mysteries.
Book 3 will be published in September 2014.
About the Author
Joanne Clancy is a writer from County Cork, Ireland. She is an avid reader, a self-confessed Kindle addict, and a tea fiend!
Before embarking on her writing career, Joanne studied physics and mathematics at University College Cork.
Her bestselling crime novels include Traceless (The Ellis Jones Mysteries, Book 1); The Offering; Killer Friends; Killing Time; A Daughter’s Secret; Shattered; Watched; and The Unfaithful Trilogy.
Joanne’s successive contemporary romance novels are Unforgettable Embrace; The Wedding Day; and The Secrets and Lies Trilogy, which was a quarter-finalist at the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards in 2013.
IF YOU TELL ANYONE (The Ellis Jones Mysteries, Book 2) is the latest release by Joanne Clancy. She is currently working on her eighteenth book.
If You Tell Anyone is available on Amazon.