Office jobs can be stressful. Aoife’s may be lethal.
Aoife’s life is finally on track. She’s happily married, pregnant with her first child and has the world’s best mother-in-law. But when Aoife accepts a job as an office temp, her entire life begins to unravel.
Is one of Aoife’s colleagues a murderer? Is Aoife the next target? Why is her husband unconcerned?
Three Days Later
‘‘Morning,’ Aoife shouted over the noise of the hoover. ‘Josie, isn’t it?’
Josie switched off the hoover and put both hands on her hips. ‘You’re the new one, right? Did you take my key?’
‘The key to the HR office. That Delia one says the office has to be locked every night, so Laura gave me a key. I keep it in the cupboard with the J-cloths and the dishwasher tablets. It’s never gone missing before.’
‘I’m sorry, I don’t know anything about it, but I can let you in now.’
‘Are you having me on? Do you know what time it is? I already wasted half the morning looking for the blooming key. I have grandkids to get to school. You think I’m going to start cleaning the office at this hour? It’s not my fault someone nicked the key.’
‘No, of course not. I’ll explain to Laura why you couldn’t clean the office, and I’m sure she’ll get you a new key. Is there anything else I can do to help?’
Josie smiled. ‘Sorry, love, it’s not your fault. It’s just that snooty cow gets up my nose. You know she wrote me a note once? Two inches high each letter was. Does she think I can’t read? “THERE IS DUST ON MY TABLE. DO NOT LET ME SEE DUST HERE AGAIN.” I’m telling you, it’s a good thing I’ve never run into her. I’d give her a piece of my mind, you can be sure of that.’ She unplugged the hoover. ‘What are you doing here at this hour, anyway? You should be taking it easy in your condition.’
‘You sound like my husband. He won’t let me take the train “in my condition”, so we have to be in Dublin before rush hour. Why he thinks that’s better for me than an extra hour in bed, I’ve no idea.’
‘You’re lucky to have him. My young one’s fella took off the minute he heard she was pregnant. Never saw him again, any of us.’ She picked up the hoover. ‘I’m off. You take care of yourself now, love.’
Aoife made herself a cup of tea, read her newspaper and phoned Jason. She had been hired to do a compliance check on the HR files, but, as she didn’t have keys to the filing cabinet, she couldn’t start work until Laura arrived. She finished her tea and headed for the office.
The interconnecting door to Delia’s office was slightly ajar. As Aoife removed her coat, several loose coins fell out and rolled around the room. Holding on to the desk for balance, Aoife got down on her knees and shuffled around, collecting them. The last one had rolled into Delia’s office. Aoife shoved open the door and picked it up. She was manoeuvring herself into a standing position when she noticed the shoe. Black suede with a gold buckle and a six-inch heel. It was lying on its side in the middle of the floor. As she straightened up, Aoife saw two stockinged feet dangling in the air. She let her eyes travel up to the woman’s knees, then, covering her mouth with both hands, she clamped her eyes shut and backed out of the room.’
Psychological thrillers depend on perfect pacing and carefully built suspense to work, and this novel has both. The ordinary setting makes the story believable, and lots of suspicious characters could be behind the incidents that make Aoife fear for her life.
Her home life is not idyllic, but is her husband just disinterested, or is there something more going on? Working as a temp in an office doesn’t usually involve danger, but after her dreadful, first-day discovery, Aoife knows this is no ordinary office.
If you enjoy working out whodunnit and can keep track of numerous false leads, you will enjoy this well-written thriller, which not only leads our heroine into danger but also questions her decisions and morals.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.