Friday, 19 January 2018


Today is my turn on the What She Left blog tour and I'm thrilled to be bringing you an extract of this exciting novel

Genre:  Commercial Literary Fiction
Publication Date:  17 August 2017
Standalone Novel

Helen Cooper has a charmed life. She's beautiful, accomplished, organised - the star parent at the school. Until she disappears.
But Helen wasn't abducted or murdered. She's chosen to walk away, abandoning her family, husband Sam, and her home.
Where has Helen gone, and why? What has driven her from her seemingly perfect life? What is she looking for? Sam is tormented by these questions, and gradually begins to lose his grip on work and his family life.
He sees Helen everywhere in the faces of strangers. He's losing control.

But then one day, it really is Helen's face he sees...


Sam Cooper’s wife, Helen, has gone missing. He calls the police, and they ask him to check Helen’s personal effects. For the first time, Sam realises he might be a suspect in Helen’s disappearance.

I went to search through Helen’s desk in the conservatory. The filing drawers containing all our bills, correspondence and important documents were locked, but I had a key. I opened the top drawer and went carefully through each section. There were the girls’ birth certificates, our driver’s licences, our marriage certificate, and our four passports, rubber-banded together. Helen bought matching leather passport holders in different colours to make it quick and easy to identify whose are whose when we travel. Mine’s cobalt blue, hers is green, and the girls’ are pink and purple. Everything was where I expected it to be.
The male PC came looking for me, and I showed him what I’d found. He nodded. ‘Clever idea with the passport holders, that. My wife spends ages sorting through them for the kids every time we travel.’
He didn’t look old enough for a wife and kids, but it wasn’t the time for small talk.
‘So nothing appears to be missing?’
‘Not as far as I can tell,’ I said, and I opened the lower drawer. Here Helen had all our bills and correspondence neatly filed, each section labelled – bank, insurance, mortgage, utilities.
‘Very organized, your wife,’ he said.
‘She certainly doesn’t look like the kind of person who’d just go walkabout, does she?’ he said conversationally. There was an awkward moment of silence.
I looked over his shoulder into the kitchen and suddenly remembered my manners. ‘Can I offer you a cup of tea? Coffee? Some water, maybe?’
‘I’m fine, thanks,’ he said. ‘Now tell me, Mr Cooper, where were you today? Out of town, I think you said?’
‘Manchester, for a meeting. As soon as I arrived there, I got the call from the school to say Helen hadn’t turned up, so I got straight on a train to come back.’
‘Were you travelling alone? With a colleague?’
‘Did you talk to anybody? Anyone who could confirm that they saw you in Manchester at that time?’
It took me a moment to work out what he was asking. He wanted to know if I had an alibi.
‘I bought a ticket from the ticket office. You can talk to the woman who works there. She might remember me because she sold me a first-class ticket for a train that was just leaving. And I’m sure I’m all over CCTV.’
‘What time did you leave for Manchester?’
‘Around twelve. I was at my office in Soho before that.’
‘Can we check that with your colleagues?’
‘Of course.’ I kept my voice calm, but I thought back through the day, hoping that someone in the office would remember seeing me and saying goodbye to me and could attach times to their recollections. I couldn’t believe I was having this conversation. That morning I had kissed my wife goodbye. Now I was trying to find ways to prove I hadn’t murdered her. Wait, had I kissed her goodbye? I’d left in a rush. Had she been in the shower? Had I just yelled goodbye as I rushed out of the door? It was entirely possible. If that was the case, had I missed my last chance to kiss her, hold her?
I shook my head. She was missing, that was all. There was no proof something bad had happened to her. I had read somewhere that 90 per cent of missing people returned home within twenty-four hours. I had to believe she was coming back.


Rosie Fiore was born and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. She studied drama at the University of the Witwatersrand and has worked as a writer for theatre, television, magazines, advertising, comedy and the corporate market. 

Her first two novels, This Year's Black and Lame Angel were published by Struik in South Africa. This Year's Black was longlisted for the South African Sunday Times Literary Award and has subsequently been re-released as an e-book. Babies in Waiting, Wonder Women and Holly at Christmas were published by Quercus. She is the author of After Isabella, also published by Allen & Unwin.
Rosie’s next book, The After Wife (written as Cass Hunter), will be published by Trapeze in 2018, and in translation is seven countries around the world.

Rosie lives in London with her husband and two sons.

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