The Duplicate by Helen Fitzgerald – excerpt

the duplicate helen fitzgeraldSnubnose Press is our ebook imprint. Here is a brief excerpt from one of our releases The Duplicate by Helen Fitzgerald.

There were thirty keys on the bunch and it was the twenty third that opened Aunty Joan’s room. I unlocked the door, still a little worried that she may be inside sleeping, and that I would give her a terrible fright.

She wasn’t in her room. I shut the door behind me and turned the light on. There was a double bed, a bin filled with fish and chip wrappings, Irn Bru cans and bits or ripped paper. A fifty inch plasma screen television was bolted to the wall opposite the bed, and a fully stocked mini bar took up the entire left hand corner of the room. I almost walked straight out again, desperate to get away from the stench of fried food and cigarettes, but then I noticed that Aunty Joan had already packed her suitcases, and that there were several documents resting beside them.

I looked at the passport. It was newly issued. Her surname was Miller. Her birthday was in January. She was born in Glasgow.

The British Airways ticket – to Canada – was for Saturday, as she’d said.

Underneath the ticket was an unopened envelope. Inside were ten one hundred pound traveller’s cheques. Replacing the traveller’s cheques, I noticed another piece of paper. When I took it out of the envelope, I realised it was a cheque, made out to Joan Miller… for £500,000. It was signed Barbara Hopwood and was post dated till Saturday.

Half a million pounds. Five hundred thousand pounds… I said it out loud a couple of times to get my head around it. I even counted the noughts, to make sure there really were five of them. Where the hell would my mother, a freelance researcher who purported to have no savings, get half a million pounds from? And if she did have money, why would she give it to Aunty Joan?

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Brian Lindenmuth

Brian is the non-fiction editor of Spinetingler magazine and one of the fiction editors of Snubnose Press. In addition to Spinetingler his work has appeared in Crimespree magazine and at BSC Review, Galleycat and the Mulholland Books website. He also heads the Spinetingler Award committee.

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About Brian Lindenmuth

Brian is the non-fiction editor of Spinetingler magazine and one of the fiction editors of Snubnose Press. In addition to Spinetingler his work has appeared in Crimespree magazine and at BSC Review, Galleycat and the Mulholland Books website. He also heads the Spinetingler Award committee.

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