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Read an extract of The Perfect Family

August 21, 2019

I am so pleased to share with you an exclusive extract from The Perfect Family.

 

The Perfect Family is a domestic thriller set in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Australia, and questions if murder is ever justified.

 

Available in both paperback and e-book from Amazon stores worldwide from 30 August 2019. You can pre-order your copy now.

 

Strap yourself in--this book isn't for the fainthearted.

 

 

 

THE PERFECT FAMILY

 

Three everyday couples, from one ordinary family ... and an astonishing murder plot.

Outwardly, The Radcliffes are a typical suburban family. But anyone close enough to them will know that it’s all for show.


Matt and Nikki’s life is perfect. They’re happily married, work great jobs, and are raising two loveable teenage sons.


Anthony and Belinda have it all—the looks, the big house by the water, and a successful business.
 

Vaughn and Paige couldn’t be more in love, and they can’t wait to start a family of their own.

But underneath, each couple is in crisis and there is one cause. Out of options and their backs against the wall, they discover that murder isn’t a tool reserved only for criminals.

 

 

THE PERFECT FAMILY

Excerpt

 

Prologue

 

I usually hated death. But there was something different about this death. As I watched the lacquered timber coffin lower deep into the grave, instead of stifling sobs or my heart sitting like a lump of smouldering coal in my chest, I was comforted.

 

That weight I had worn across my shoulders was gone and my muscles were left limber and buoyant. The blue sky suspended above this small assemblage of mourners was expansive, the sun warm. I ached to turn my face to the balmy glow and smile.

 

Emerald leaves hanging from overarching tree branches waved and rustled in the breeze. A breeze that didn’t carry the scent of death but life, new beginnings and moving forward with freedom.

 

Sniffles and tears sounded beside me and snapped me from my contemplation. I had to remember where I was. A funeral. Funerals were sad. Death was bad.

 

Murder was abhorrent.

 

Maybe. I didn’t know for certain anymore. I saw murder differently now. Too many grey areas. Too many details and factors and consequences.

 

I know you are wondering how I could possibly feel this way about something so despicable, but please, give me a moment to explain.

 

If a snarling wolf, fangs bared, backed a flock of bleating, stumbling sheep to the edge of a sheer cliff, and there was no one to usher the sheep back to safety because the wolf expertly concealed its maliciousness from others, then didn’t it make sense, if you had the opportunity, to eliminate the wolf and save the sheep?

 

Or did you, day after day, allow the wolf to brutalise the sheep until, with a nudge of its snout, it tossed them, one by one, over the edge to plummet and splatter on the rocks hundreds of metres below?

 

Survival of the fittest. The wolf was stronger, right? That’s what we’re conditioned to believe. But we can all agree that today’s survival of the fittest is distorted by laws and regulations and affords all the power to the wolf while the sheep are censored, shackled or sent to gaol if they dare fight back.

 

Well, I fought back. And I don’t feel guilty. The wolf had to die. I won’t apologise. I won’t, because I had no other choice. None I could live with.

 

I’m only sad that death didn’t come sooner because the damage caused wouldn’t have been so extensive. But that was my error of judgement, you see, because this wolf wore sheep’s clothing, and it took me too long to see what was lurking underneath.

I hope you enjoyed this exclusive extract of The Perfect Family. If you would like to secure your copy now and have it download onto your Amazon reading device on 30 August 2019, you can do that here.

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Jacquie Underdown 2018