You guys and gals keep asking me when the heck I’ll publish the next Kronberg book. So there! Here’s the beginning (totally un-edited and crappy) of Anna Kronberg book 5.
I’m still mulling this over (a lot), how best to plot, whom to involve (Garret? Holmes and Holmes or just Holmes or no Holmes?) and how many people to kill. But I’ll definitely develop this together with my Patreon patrons. So if you want me to write this thing, please consider lending me a hand over at Patreon.
All the silent witnesses … the place, the body, the prints … can speak if one knows how to properly interrogate them.
If there was one memory that best described these balmy weeks of late May and early June, it was that of a small and silent girl sitting under a mulberry bush.
Nothing seemed to escape her notice, her quick, sharp grey eyes she had inherited from her father. She watched Zachary’s every move, how his black hands grew paler with the dusting of loamy soil covering them, how his sun-bleached shirt darkened along his spine as he plucked and dug and mowed, and how his large brown eyes twinkled underneath the broad straw hat.
Whenever I thought back to these days, I saw myself standing at the bay window, gazing out onto the large garden, watching my daughter and her fascination with the world, wondering what made her so quiet. She was two and a half years old and had not spoken a single word yet.
It was the time of late spring cleaning, when Margery would excessively air out the house, wash the lace curtains, knock the dust out of the mattresses and rugs, and polish tables, cupboards, and floors until our home smelled of beeswax and linseed oil with a faint but sharp whiff of turpentine.
These were the treasured days of peace and quiet, a stretch of time which now appeared much too short and far away. Klara and I had four months left until she would turn three. For weeks now, I was planning our move in secrecy while the gentle tapping of danger at the back of my neck grew stronger with each breath I drew.
Moran — the man who very nearly killed me — was still at large. I hated this man as ferociously as I could possibly hate. Whenever I think back to the sadistic pleasure he took when he hacked off my index finger, I felt an urge to kill him, preferably with a blunt weapon. I’ve never expected such emotions, never spent much thought on maternal instincts that now became the most empowering and frightening part of me. With each day closer to Klara’s birthday, my focus on Moran grew — where his first strike might be coming from and how to keep my daughter out of his reach.
And so I was entirely blind when danger came from an unsuspected direction. When from one moment to the next, peace abandoned our home as Zachary stumbled into the parlour calling for help and for Jesus Christ because his wife was found dead in a puddle of blood that wasn’t hers.