Published by Zaffre
ebook (22 February 2018) | Paperback : (3 May 2018)
Villa of Secrets is the second novel by Patricia Wilson (the first being Island of Secrets) and I’m delighted to be able to share an extract for the blog tour.
| About the Book |
Rebecca Neumanner’s marriage is on the brink of collapse, as her desire to be a mother becomes an obsession. Then she receives news from her estranged family in Rhodes.
Called back to the beautiful Greek island of her birth, she realises how little she knows of the grandmother she has eluded for over a decade. Bubba has never spoken of the Nazi occupation during her youth, but there have always been whispers. What desperate measures did she take that terrible day in 1944 when her family was ripped apart? Can the rumour she had blood on her own hands really be true? But Bubba intends to take her secrets to the grave.
However, as Rebecca arrives on Rhodes, bringing the promise of new life, this broken family must come together. The time has come to tell the truth about the darkest of days . . .
The weapon lay disassembled and inert on the time-worn kitchen table.
What was her grandmother doing with an old gun? Where had it come from? What awful deeds were attached to its past? Naomi knew the Jews of Rhodes had a disturbing history. As a child, she’d visited the museum at the Kahal Shalom Synagogue in Rhodes Old Town with her sister and grandmother. But young Naomi was more interested in the prospect of an ice cream in the square. Impatiently, she had watched Bubba scrutinise faded photographs of skinny men in baggy suits. The old lady often nodded and muttered, sometimes dabbing her eyes or shaking her head.
Naomi took a calming breath. The tension of the evening made her body clammy, like waking from a nightmare. Her white tank top and khaki shorts hung damp and heavy against her skin. She needed a cool bath, perhaps a fresh bar of her latest Palma violet soap, or her homemade honeysuckle shower foam. Lately, the only place she could relax or work on her business plan was in the tub.
She stared at the five pieces of gunmetal that made up the pistol. Despite the weapon being dismantled, her heart continued to thud. Reluctant to touch it, she covered the parts with a tray cloth. The contrast of a cold metal killing machine and the embroidered pink flowers seemed ludicrous.
Guns N’ Roses, she thought playfully, recalling her youth. Half-forgotten nights with Costa came rushing back. Loud pop songs blaring from an evil cassette player notorious for chewing their favourite music tapes. They were sitting on a blanket on the roof in the light of a full moon when Costa asked her to marry him. They toasted each other and their future with cheap beer and sang their anthem, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, until Bubba banged her broom handle on the ceiling under their feet, telling them to turn it down.
At times, their passion for each other would become so intense they wanted to get under that old blanket, but they had feared the priest could see them from his darkened window.
Naomi started up to her bedroom, the stone steps cool underfoot. Shortly after, wearing nothing but the scent of honeysuckle and a bath-robe with Costa Cruises embroidered over her heart, she returned downstairs and rummaged in the kitchen drawer.
Where was the wretched door key?
She glanced around the small room that was desperate for a lick of paint, unable to remember ever locking the cottage, but a gun in her home changed everything. Although the pistol was disassembled, she recalled a film where Al Pacino snapped his weapon together in seconds, and he was blind!
There was a sense of urgency in the night, and she had no chance of sleeping until the house was secure.
| Author Bio |
After running her own business for twenty years, Patricia took early retirement and moved to the Greek island of Crete.
When she dug up a rusted machine gun in her garden, and the inhabitants of her remote mountain village came with local stories of tragedy and triumph, she knew she had to tell their account of what really happened in September 1943, which became ISLAND OF SECRETS.
Patricia now lives on the island of Rhodes where she is researching and writing her second novel.