Alter Ego by K.A. Masson
About Alter Ego:
Alex Kendrew is juggling single parenthood, work and dating; with a wild, impetuous streak that’s hard to keep in check, she struggles to find a balance and feels perpetually guilty for the choices she makes.
In K.A. Masson’s domestic noir thriller, Alex begins a passionate affair when an old flame gets in touch. But one morning, the police arrest her for his attempted murder. Someone is framing her; can she prove her innocence as the evidence mounts against her?
Buy Alter Ego today and start reading this fascinating portrayal of a woman caught between her desires and responsibilities.
‘Mum, wake up. Mum, there’s someone at the door.’
I was dreaming, surely. My son had finally passed the age where he woke up at five every single morning. Still, the arrival of parenthood brought with it an end to uninterrupted nights and, for me anyway, the ability to sleep through anything.
Except for on this occasion. It wasn’t a dream. Ned was shaking my shoulder, with all the strength his whippet-thin, seven-year-old frame would allow.
‘What is it, darling?’ I asked, not quite managing to open my eyes.
‘There’s someone at the door... can’t you hear?’
I hadn’t, but my fuggy head was a reminder that I’d taken a couple of sleeping pills at two in the morning. Banging, then the metallic clatter of the doorbell for six or seven seconds, more banging. I leapt out of bed and grabbed my dressing gown. ‘Stay there, I’ll just be a minute.’
As I darted down the stairs, I could see blue lights flashing through the first-floor window.
Another round of pounding, accompanied by a low bellow through the letterbox. ‘Police, open up.’
As I ran down the last flight of stairs, two thoughts formulated in my head. One: something similar to what had happened one night a few months ago. A man, trying to escape from a criminal gang, I found out later, had got cornered in our back garden. He’d pleaded with me to let him in through the patio doors. Yes, he did have the fear of God
in his eyes. But he must have been nuts to think I was going to invite him in. Instead I’d picked up the phone and called 999. He spat on the glass, told me I was a ‘fucking bitch’, and shinned over the fence into our neighbour’s garden.
Two: Sean, Ned’s dad, my ex, had killed himself. Or attempted to. It wouldn’t have been the first time. Or the second. For the last few years, I’d kind of expected it to happen at some point, a knock at the door from the police, just like this.
As I reached the bottom of the stairs, the internal debate I was having over which scenario was more likely was brought to an abrupt halt by more hammering. I tried to turn the Chubb key in the bottom lock, my hands shaking uncontrollably.
‘What’s going on? You’re going to break the door down.’ I finally managed to open it, forgetting the chain was still on.
The chain stopped the door opening by more than a few inches. All I could see was the upper body of a man, taller than me, around thirty, unshaven, wearing a short-sleeved white shirt underneath a tight, thick bodywarmer.
I answered through the small gap. ‘Yes, that’s me, what’s going on?’
Without warning the hallway erupted with the shrill screech of the burglar alarm. I ran to turn it off.
‘Take the chain off immediately or we’ll force entry,’ he barked.
I could just hear Ned’s voice above the noise. ‘Who is it? Why are they shouting?’ I turned round for a moment and saw that he’d appeared at the bottom of the stairs, hands covering his ears, his blue furry penguin held tightly by one foot. As I undid the chain, I turned to him again. ‘Don’t worry, it’s nothing. Go back upstairs.’