A long kept state secret is at risk of being discovered. False identities reveal their true colours as the hunt turns to Evergreen Copse.
As the deaths increase it becomes clear that no one is safe. But from whom are they all running?
Intriguing, eh? Sadly, I just couldn’t shoehorn this one into my reading list. But delighted to share an extract to see if it appeals to you, and to offer the chance to win a £5 Amazon gift card. Evergreen Copse by Katie Nimmo was published in May 2015, and is available from Amazon in the UK and US in paperback and for kindle.
Robin and Co. Business Associates sat on the second out of four floors in a fire station turned office building in the town of Baxden. Consisting of just three rooms the ‘Robin’ floor was small, but adequate for its needs.
A moderate sized reception room welcomed all visitors with a pine desk sat facing the main door. Including a potted plant on the right hand side to lighten up the so called dreary environment. A coffee machine was also attached to the wall next to four rather tired looking chairs, a little like a doctor’s waiting room.
At the rear of the reception two separate doors led off to two small offices, each identical in size right down to the radiator being in exactly the same place. Mr Harold Robin, chair of the company, inhabited the office on the left and his associate, Mr Percy Brumpton, the one on the right. A system devised purely out of the fact that Brumpton was Robin’s right hand man, so naturally he had the office on Robin’s right hand side.
To look outside the office windows didn’t hold any amusement. Staring out at a brick arch which marked the entrance to the courtyard in front of the building, and nothing else. Appearance clearly not taken into consideration during its construction, the area within the arch was a very sordid place to come to.
Through that brick arch a tall, gangly looking man tiptoed through the courtyard blowing his nose into his handkerchief as he went. Bernard felt that the January weather had been very unkind to him so far that year. He couldn’t cope with the cold and detested having a wet handkerchief in his pocket all day. Bernard’s short brown hair did nothing to keep his head warm so his grey and blue bobble hat did that for him, though it really didn’t match his shirt and tie.
Since climbing out of his old car he knew straight away he should have bought a new coat. Muttering to himself such things as the icy wind bit in to his thin and inadequate office clothing. Quickening his pigeon like pace he padded over to the office building, shivering as he went, thinking dreamily of the inviting coffee machine that was near his desk upstairs.
Removing his batch of keys from his pocket he fumbled for the correct one to open the outer door, his hands being numb making it difficult to get the key in the lock. A grunt of satisfaction announced the key was in the lock and the white plastic door was opened.
Springing through the door Bernard closed the door a little more forcefully than needed to make sure the cold stayed where it was. Outside. He could already imagine the smell of the hot coffee that awaited him upstairs. Crossing the lobby he untangled another key to open up the post box sat adjacent to the stairs.
“Bill, bill, bill and…” He paused as he ripped open the fourth envelope with his finger. “Junk mail.” With a sigh he reclosed the post box and started up the four sets of stairs.
Reaching the Robin floor Bernard was slightly out of breath. Three years gone and he still wasn’t used to all these stairs, he thought to himself. On arrival at the office door Bernard clumsily dropped his keys and his tie fell to the floor as he bent to pick them up. It wasn’t the first time he had forgotten to do up his tie and it probably wasn’t the last.
The door swung open with a nasty squeak and the smell of papers and coffee hit Bernard’s nose. Smiling to himself he headed straight to the coffee machine and asked it to make him a white coffee. Dropping the boring post onto the desk Bernard started to reattach his tie around his neck.
“Good morning Bernard.” A voice came with the familiar squeak of the front door. He knew that voice anywhere, at least he should after three years.
“Good morning to you Mr Robin.” He replied with a little nod of his head, a half nod as his hands worked around his tie.
“I really think you should find somewhere else to hide that key.” Mr Robin laughed, noting a small key on the reverse of Bernard’s tie. Removing his coat Bernard promptly took it and hung it on the coat stand in the corner of the room.
“Safest place is where I hide it, sir. An intruder would have to strangle me with my own tie before I let them take it. Can I make you a coffee sir?” Picking up his own coffee he placed it on the reception desk out of sight from any would be visitors.
“Sounds like a very good idea to me, the usual please.” Mr Robin departed into his office and dropped his newspaper in front of him. Feeling a chill he glanced over at his window, single glazing never kept the room very warm. He contemplated putting his coat back on.
“Your coffee, sir.” Bernard entered with a cup that was steaming.
“Thank you Bernard, just what I need. That chill has really picked up this morning. Which reminds me, I didn’t see your coat on the stand? Don’t tell me you came in like that.” Robin looked enquiringly at Bernard, already knowing the answer before he spoke.
“Yes, sir. You see, sir.” Bernard stammered, trying to think of a reason instead of giving the real reason he didn’t have his coat.
“She locked you out didn’t she?” Robin asked with an arched eyebrow.
“Yes, sir.” Bernard replied facing the floor. “Didn’t pay my rent in time, sir. I didn’t have the money for my rent so,” he paused. “She took my coat, sir.”
Robin erupted into laughter, the look on Bernard’s face making him worse. “Oh Bernard, that’s the best thing I’ve heard in quite a while. Your landlady is certainly a piece of work isn’t she?” Chuckling to himself he reached into his top drawer. “Now, I look after you Bernard. Like you do for me, so I’ll tell you what I’ll do.” He looked up at Bernard, he was wearing a very confused face.
“I want you to take this cheque and get yourself a new coat when you go to pay the bills this morning. Take some extra time, not too long mind, but get yourself a coat on me.”
“Thank you, sir. That’s very kind.” Half smiling Bernard stamped his feet together with a full nod and left the room. Mr Robin smiled after Bernard as picked up his steaming coffee to warm up his hands. Taking a sip of his drink he heard voices out in the reception area, he gathered Percy had arrived.
With thanks to the author and tour organiser Brook Cottage Books, here’s the rafflecopter for the chance to win a £5 (or equivalent) Amazon gift card:
About Katie Nimmo
Katie A Nimmo was born in England, September 1986. Born and bred in the Surrey countryside, Katie had a quiet upbringing around the virtues of family and working hard to make dreams become reality. These ethics have led to many of her aspirations coming true. Previous to her writing career Katie performed on the stage for several years contrary to the popular belief of her shyness among those in her school hood years. Katie’s newfound confidence to defeat the odds led her to pursue her dream of writing which has led to many adventures both on and off the page.
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