Thrown together by fate.
Entwined by lies.
An unidentified young woman dies falling from a bridge onto Janice Thomason’s car. The police rule it as misadventure; not an act of suicide or murder, just an accident. But who was this woman? And what was she doing on the bridge with a bunch of helium balloons before she fell?
Janice feels that fate has thrown them together. And when the police mistakenly return the woman’s charm bracelet to Janice, she embarks on a quest to find out more about this stranger’s life.
As a genealogist, Janice is used to tracking down clues – is even a little obsessive, one might say… But when Janice lies about her own identity in the pursuit of information, she becomes entangled in the lives of the woman’s family and friends and is soon in too deep to back track. What will she discover about the dead girl’s story? And will Janice be uncovered as a fraud?
‘It’s a brilliantly-written display of the inner workings of a well-intentioned but self-deluding mind.’ 5 star review.
The background to THE ACCIDENT
Back in 2018 I frequently drove to Southend to visit my great aunt. One day on the return trip, I saw a couple kissing on the pedestrian bridge that spanned the A-road. It struck me as an odd place to stop for a kiss – engulfed by the fumes and deafened by the noise from the traffic it was hardly romantic. Why were they meeting there?
That started the chain of thought which ultimately led to the novel,
What is the story about?
The story starts when an unidentified woman falls to her death from a bridge, landing on Janice’s car. With no evidence to the contrary, the police rule it as misadventure, just a random accident. But Janice believes it was fate. She imagines a connection to the dead woman and sees it as her role to find out more about her. She wants to identify her and bring her back to her family.
But Janice has a history of getting overly involved. And when she pretends to be the dead girl’s relative even she realises she may have gone a step too far. But as she supports the grieving father and boyfriend she starts to believe this is where she belongs – this is the loving family she’s been seeking all her life. However, all is not as it seems…
Who is the lead character?
I love my lead character, Janice. I imagine that she looks like the actress Joanna Scanlon: a woman who day-to-day may look a little tired, maybe even dowdy, but she’s a bit of a chameleon. When she’s in the right frame of mind with the right people, she comes to life with her wit and ready smile.
Janice is a middle-aged woman who lives a quiet, single life, keeping herself busy with her genealogy work. In truth she’s still pining for her first lost love, and while she waits for somewhere to pour out all that love she nurtures wild animals. She’s generous and kind-hearted, but while she tries to see the best in others she has her own set of values and makes wry observations about the world around her when things don’t live up to her expectations. And when the dead girl’s family fail her, the bitterness comes to the fore…