Chapter 37

The Hangman’s Daughter Chapter 38




She was rooted to the spot.


Isabella stood on the other side of the river.

Marie closed her eyes and tried to lift her foot off the path and onto the bridge.

It was like putting your hand on a tree and expecting it to follow the commands of your brain like a limb. The leg was connected to her body, but she couldn’t make it move.

“Marie, what’s wrong?” Isabella asked.

They had been on their way to the wood that nestled into the scrubland just outside Saint Anne, a cool shady playground filled with rabbits and blackberries and shiny red ladybirds and the cawing of crows. Standing here, rooted to spot, with the sun baking her scalp through her red hair, Marie very much wanted to be there. But she had been caught unawares.

That tiny, nagging little sensation that had stuck in her brain like a thorn, that feeling that something wasn’t right, had suddenly grown and overtaken her brain like black brambles.


The Hangman’s Daughter Chapter 37



As a single body, they dropped to their knees and buried their faces in the floor. Thomas did as well, except he was doing it as camouflage, not compliance. Leonard was hiding behind the bar, bathing in his own sweat. The Red Scorpions prowled menacingly through the prostrate figures. Apart from the colour their armour was identical to Cole’s, right down to the embossed scorpion emblem on the chest.. One of them came to the body of the dead Viking. He kicked it idly.

“Here’s the stiff, boss.”

“What’s it look like?”

“Looks like a dead Viking.”

“My God, you’re an idiot. Why is he dead?”

“I dunno, I think he was shot.”

“You think he was shot?”

“Well he’s got a bullet hole in his forehead.”