You guys and gals keep asking me when the heck I’ll publish the next Anna Kronberg book. So there! Here’s the beginning of Silent Witnesses, a project supported by the lovely peeps over at my Book Club. If you prefer audiobooks, listen to it here.
Only two people in this world know my name.
I am one.
The other is believed to be dead.
If there is a memory that best describes those balmy weeks of late May and early June, it is that of a small, silent child sitting under a mulberry bush.
Nothing seemed to escape her notice, those sharp grey eyes she inherited from her father. She would watch Zachary’s every move — how his black hands grew paler as a dusting of loamy soil covered his skin, how his sun-bleached shirt darkened along his spine as he plucked and dug and mowed. How his large brown eyes twinkled in the shadow of his straw hat.
Whenever I think back to those days, I see myself standing at the bay window, gazing out into the garden, watching my daughter and her fascination with the world, and wondering what it was that made her so quiet.
She was two and a half years old and had not spoken a word.
It was the time of late spring cleaning. Margery excessively aired out the house, washed the lace curtains, knocked the dust out of mattresses and rugs, and polished tables, cupboards, and floors until our home smelled of beeswax and linseed oil, with a faint bite of turpentine.
Those were our days of peace and quiet, a time that was much too short and far away.
With each day closer to Klara’s third birthday, my fear of Moran grew. The man had hacked off my index finger with sadistic pleasure, shot me in the shoulder and very nearly killed me.
He was a constant itch at the back of my neck. There was not a night I didn’t lie awake going through all the precautions I had taken in the past years. And I always came to the same conclusions: Anna Kronberg had disappeared. Moran would not find us. My daughter and I were safe.
How blind I was.