The Ninth Victim – Excerpt 18

Once they were alone in the house, she went in to full charm offensive. Valjean had to admit that the photographs that he had seem of her did not do her justice. She was a very attractive woman, the type that in different circumstances he might have been attracted too.

Her hair was blond, in a modern casual style, her eyes were blue, her lips a little sensual, she was slim but curvaceous where it counted. Only one thing was bothering Valjean, he had the distinct feeling that he had seen her before, it bothered him, but he dismissed it maybe he was confusing her with someone else?

Once the apologies and introductions were over, she sat beside him on the settee in what Valjean considered was an intimate manner, but maybe she behaved this way with all men, after all some women do.

‘Now that we are familiar with each other, where would you like to begin?’ she said and smiled, making it seem almost like an invitation.

‘I think obviously with your forthcoming book, why has it taken you so long, it seems a long time since your last book, have you suffered from writer’s block?’

‘No, not at all, you as a journalist will I am sure appreciate that the most important part of a story is the research that goes into it. this particular story has been very time consuming in regards to the research. Although my writing is historical fiction, the facts and the timeline must be faultless.’

‘Do you think that taking so long between books will have lost you some of your readers, after all their are new books and authors being published all the time?’ queried Valjean, hoping to provoke some kind of reaction.

‘I have a very faithful following of readers, many of whom I am in contact with through social media, so I would say a definite no, but I could be proved wrong?’

‘If I may pry, what is the subject of your new book?’ asked Valjean.

‘It is about the Huguenots, that is why so much research was necessary.’

‘And do you think it will be a best-seller, like your previous books?’

‘I sincerely hope so, I have put several years of my life into this story?’

‘There is a rumour circulating in literary circles that suggests that the reason that you have taken so long is the time that you have spent taking Marcel de Peysac under your wing and helping him to become a successful writer. In fact, your own career has declined as his has risen. Do you consider this the truth?’ Valjean thought this might provoke a reaction.

(C) Damian Grange 2021

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