About the Book
Title: In The Prison of Our Grief
Author: S.E. Amadis
Genre: Action Thriller
A harsh prison in England.
The grisly, tragic murder of three babies.
The murderess is on the loose… And Carrie Anne’s made friends with her. Will she be able to find out the truth in time? Or will she become this sadistic murderess’ next victim?
Once again, Carrie Anne finds herself in the centre of another terrifying ordeal…
In this exciting sequel to Patricia, we follow seventeen-year-old Carrie Anne Houghton and her new comrades-in-arms in a whirling, dizzying, action-packed adventure that spans two continents, from the glitzy high-rises of New York City to the lonely expanses of rural Canada to the glamour and colour of Mediterranean tourist resorts.
Persecution, murder, lies and deceit. Traps, stormy Gothic settings, abandoned mansions and secret passageways. All of this comes to vivid life in the pages of In the Prison of our Grief.
A gripping, fast-paced, action-packed thriller featuring a strong female protagonist and a quirky male counterpart. This book can be read as a standalone.
I could never write about a happy, conventional couple living in a happy, conventional, suburban neighbourhood with two cars and one and a half children, a dog and a pet bird, working at happy, conventional, uneventful jobs.
My heroes and heroines have to walk through fire (or rather, crawl through fire), get strangled, beaten, shot at, drowned, poisoned, get caught in tornados or earthquakes or get attacked by mutant gnats. Or, they have to strangle, beat, shoot, drown and poison other people.
A story with anything less than these dramatic, hair-raising elements was always too boring for me to even consider telling.
I believe in magic. I believe that the world is full of mystery, and that there are more things in heaven and earth than could ever be dreamt of in our conventional, logic-based philosophies.
Outside of that, as a dry, mundane list of facts about me, I’m a single parent from a village near Montreal, Canada, who now enjoys the freaking great good fortune to live happily with my two sons on the almost-tropical south coast of Spain, basking in summer eight months of the year. Typical activities include running a marathon with the kids to school every morning and cooking frequently for an Always Hungry teenaged son with four stomachs.
Author website: www.SEAmadis.com
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I yelped, snatched my arm away from him instinctively. The knife blade drove into the floorboards beside me and my captor burst into crazed laughter.
“You do know how they mutilated my sweet Agate,” he said, and a shudder of sadness trembled through him. “Of course you do. God, I can’t stand to think of these things. I don’t want to remember.”
He glared at me with fiery eyes.
“But for you I will make that sacrifice. For you I will remember. Just so you can pay.”
He passed the flat part of his blade along the wound in my arm, flipping it first on one side, then the other, almost as if he were cleaning it out on my grimy sleeve.
“I always wondered why you chose to cut her arm.” He raised his gaze and stared deep into mine. “And why mutilate her?” He took a deep breath. “If you wanted her dead, why didn’t you just kill her? Deal that final blow in one merciful instant. Why did you torture her? Are you a sadist? Do you get off inflicting pain on babies, for shit’s sake?”
I blinked. I had no idea how to answer him. Deep inside I was longing to defend myself, but horror made me mute.
“I-I didn’t do it,” I whispered in as loud a voice as I could. My throat felt closed off and dry, and it was all I could do to force out even the slightest sound. Tears welled from my eyes, poured out onto my cheeks. “I didn’t do it,” I whispered again. “You’re making a mistake…”
Mr. Walsh froze, his calm gaze resting on me almost as if he were a friend. He glanced down, at the knife in his hand, at my slender wrist pulsating with terror and dread at every heartbeat. Tears streamed freely down my face now. He reached out a finger and caught a tear on the tip of his finger. Studied the droplet as if suddenly filled with compassion.
“Are these… tears of… remorse, because you’re sorry for what you did, Carola?” he hissed. “Or… are you crying because… you’re scared of what I’m going to do to you?” His face twisted up. “Do you think Agatha was scared of you, when you did those… horrors… to her? Do you think she cried, and screamed in vain for someone to come and save her? Do you think she died filled with agony, believing at the very last moment of her life that no one cared about her or loved her enough to come to her rescue?”
He drew the blade against my wound, pressing harder this time. A thin spot of blood welled up, blended with the filth on my sleeve.
“Yes. You couldn’t cut through the bone, because that blunt kitchen knife simply wasn’t up to the task. But you did cut her flesh all the way down to the bone. You tortured her.”
He posed the sharp edge of his knife over the wound in my arm, studied the angle the way a butcher studies his prime cuts.
“And that’s exactly what I’m going to do to you…”
I saw you waltz in there like you owned the world. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw you. Couldn’t for the life of me fathom what the hell would you be doing in a place like this, where people only come to relax and have fun. I thought by now you would’ve graduated to being chief warden of Alcatraz or something.
You came in and bought some frilly tops and mini-skirts. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw your purchases. I couldn’t believe you, of all people, the greatest ice queen and prude the world has known, would ever be caught dead wearing such romantic, light-hearted affairs.
I rang up your purchases, amazed that you didn’t recognize me. After all, for three years you’d led me to workshops and appointments with the institution’s psychologists. You frisked me before accompanying me to the nursery, your hands cold and hard as if you were touching inanimate metal instead of living skin and nerves. You doled out my punishments on an almost daily basis, practically cackled into my face when I got sent to solitary.
You delighted in inventing any excuse to get me into trouble. I’m sure you planted things on me just so I could get called out, get my privileges withdrawn, look bad with the other wardens and psychologists and get assigned the toughest tasks that no one wanted. You invented wrongdoings that I wasn’t guilty of so I couldn’t get to spend as much time with my baby as the other ladies.
That was the one thing I never got enough of.
Time to see my baby. To hold her in my arms and cuddle her close. To feel her heart beating against mine, soft and fluttery like a dream. To hear her cooing. To watch her growing.
To see her grow up strong and brave and beautiful.
That was the one thing you never gave me.
That was what you took from me.
Every day I swore I would make you pay for what you did, Carola Hochmeister.
I lived for the day I would face you and tell you into your face what I planned to do with you. How I planned to skin you alive. How I meant to gouge that knife deep into your flesh, the way you did to my baby. How I meant to tear into you, and mutilate you, and draw out your agony for as long as you could bear.
How I planned to make you cry and scream until your throat became raw.
And how I planned, in the end, to cut that throat of yours. Slowly. Pleasurably. Inch by tiny inch. Just one slit, one inch. Then a pause. Then another inch. Watch your pathetic life bleed out in languid, slow-motion trickles. The same way you watched my baby’s life bleed out.