Published by Avon
Available in ebook and paperback (4 April 2019)
About the Book
1943: The world is at war, and the villagers of Tyneham are being asked to make one more sacrifice: to give their homes over to the British army. But on the eve of their departure, a terrible act will cause three of them to disappear forever.
2018: Melissa had hoped a break on the coast of Dorset would rekindle her stagnant relationship, but despite the idyllic scenery, it’s pushing her and Liam to the brink. When Melissa discovers a strange photograph of a woman who once lived in the forgotten local village of Tyneham, she becomes determined to find out more about her story. But Tyneham hides a terrible secret, and Melissa’s search for the truth will change her life in ways she never imagined possible.
When she’d asked this morning if they should do something together, something touristy, he’d simply said ‘maybe another day’. Alone and bored and on the umpteenth walk around the chocolate-box village of Kimmeridge, she’d popped into the newsagent, hoping to pick up a couple of glossy magazines to read while Liam was out. The woman behind the counter had been reading the story on the front page of the local paper.
‘Not before time,’ she’d said as Melissa approached the counter. ‘Utter disgrace, keeping it out of bounds this long. They’re still not allowed back there to live.’
‘Who aren’t?’ Melissa had enquired, simply out of politeness.
‘The residents of Tyneham, of course. Ex-residents, I should say.’ The woman tapped the front cover. ‘The village is reopening today.’ She shook her head. ‘After all this time. That’ll be a sight to be seen.’
The bell above the door had sounded as another customer entered and queued politely behind Melissa. And so, without really thinking, Melissa reached over to the newspaper rack and took a copy out for herself, glancing quickly at the headline: Forgotten Village Returned. She paid for her magazines and the paper and stepped out into the sunshine to read the lead story. She was no longer interested in the celebrity gossip and overpriced fashion; instead it was the potted history of a long-abandoned village that kept Melissa’s eyes on the page. Perhaps it wasn’t her usual kind of holiday activity, but it was something to do.
Armed with the paper and the crumpled map she kept in the glove compartment, Melissa had ventured into the countryside expecting a quiet day wandering around the so-called forgotten village, perhaps with a handful of pensioners doing the same. But by the time she finally parked, guided into a makeshift parking bay, Melissa fancied she might have made a mistake coming to Tyneham. If the hundreds of cars were anything to go by, it was going to be busy.
The launch day was evidently a big deal to the local area. She wondered if anyone here had been among the people who, the paper had reported, had felt robbed every single day since the winter of 1943 when the army had requisitioned the entire village, every single home and all the surrounding farmland.
Melissa fell in to step with the other tourists along the gravel path and down to a small stage, where she was handed a leaflet and welcomed warmly by a kindly elderly man wearing his luminous yellow jacket with an air of pride. She returned his smile as she took the leaflet and he moved on to the myriad people behind her to offer the same.
My thanks to Sabah of Avon for the invitation to take part and for providing the extract.
If you’ve been tempted by this extract, The Forgotten Village can currently be downloaded from Amazon UK for 99p
About the Author
Lorna Cook lives in coastal South East England with her husband, daughters and a Staffy named Socks. A former journalist and publicist, she owns more cookery books than one woman should, but barely get time to cook. The Forgotten Village is her first novel.