Hazel Smith

Novelist

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A love of words began with my love of books; they don't just limit you to individual words, but combined into stories, they take you on a journey.

THE ORANGE PEELER

THE ORANGE PEELER is my first novel and I'd like to take you on a journey with this psychological thriller set in London in the summer of 2005. It is a set of extraordinary events happening to ordinary people - events that could happen to anyone.

Rachel, under pressure at work, sacrifices a vital project meeting to invite her younger sister Jacqui to London to celebrate her 18th birthday.
The sisters aren't close: a big age gap and living miles apart has meant Rachel has little time for Jacqui and she fumes when her flighty irresponsible sister doesn't show in the morning.
However, as the London 7/7 terror attacks unfold, Rachel has to assume the worst and feels responsible for Jacqui being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Police soon confirm Jacqui wasn't on the train and suggest she's run away.
As Rachel's ordered life unravels, she returns to the family home in Dorset to both lick her wounds and search for her sister.

Another local girl goes missing, the 4th in recent months, and this one bears a striking resemblance to Jacqui. Events take a dark turn when a dead body turns up on the clifftops near West Bay and Rachel's father receives a bizarre invitation in the post. It suggests Jacqui is still alive, but her time is running out.

Can Rachel unlock the clues to the mystery to save her sister...