There Is No Going Home – Book 7 – A stand-alone sequel to The 9:45 To Bletchley https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1073705897/
London, 1958, Ena recognises a woman who she exposed as a spy in WW2. Ena’s husband, Henry, an agent with MI5, argues that it cannot be the woman because they went to her funeral twelve years before.
Ena, now head of the Home Office cold case department, starts an investigation. There are no files. It is as if the woman never existed. Suddenly colleagues who are helping Ena with the case mysteriously die… and Ena herself is almost killed in a hit-and-run.
The case breaks when Ena finds important documents from 1936 Berlin that prove not only did the spy exist, but someone above suspicion who worked with her then, still works with her now.
Fearing for her life, there is only one person Ena can trust… or can she?
An excerpt from There Is No Going Home. Opening lines of Chapter One.
Ena dived to the floor, pulled off an earring and threw it behind the jewellery counter.
‘May I help you, madam?’
From being on all fours, Ena rocked back on her heels. She poked her head above the glass display cabinet and scanned the room. The woman she had successfully avoided was striding across the ground floor of Selfridges department store towards the door leading to Oxford Street.
‘I dropped my earring,’ Ena said, looking up at the sharp features of the middle-aged shop assistant standing over her.
‘Is this it?’ The woman bent down and picked up a white plastic earring between her forefinger and thumb. Holding it at arm’s-length, as if she feared she would catch something from it, she dropped the bauble into the palm of Ena’s outstretched hand.
‘Thank you.’ Getting to her feet Ena glanced over the assistant’s right shoulder to where seconds before she had seen the woman. She had gone.
‘Customers are not allowed on this side of the counter,’ the assistant said, her lips a thin red line, her eyes emotionless. ‘If you don’t mind…’ Like a policeman directing traffic, the snooty shop assistant waved Ena to the front of the counter.
‘Sorry.’ Ena sidestepped the woman and headed briskly for the exit.
She emerged out of the cool store into the warm still air of late summer, put her hands up to shade her eyes from the bright sunshine and froze. She spun round and pretended to give the window display serious attention. The woman she had avoided in the store was standing a few feet away from her talking to a middle-aged man. Ena strained to see what the man looked like in the reflection of the shop window. Taller than the woman by several inches, he wore a lightweight suit in a brown herringbone weave. An attaché case hung from his right hand and a camel-coloured overcoat was draped over his arm. He had not bought his clothes off the peg at Burtons, Ena thought. His suit and coat were bespoke. They had been tailored for him in Savile Row, she would put money on it.
Trying to get a look at the man’s face beneath his brown trilby, Ena edged along the window to where a display of ladies’ swimsuits and two-piece bathing costumes were being replaced by autumn jackets and raincoats. As she moved, the man moved. He leaned forward until his face was almost touching the woman’s face and said something that made her laugh. She pointed to Selfridges’ door, then she kissed her fingers and transferred the kiss to his lips. The man smiled, shrugged, and looked north in the direction of Oxford Circus. Ena could see even less of him now. The woman’s reflection wasn’t as clear from this angle either. Not that it needed to be. Her posture, the way she walked, laughed, and the forthright way in which she had spoken to the man, were all too familiar. She looked different. But then she was fourteen years older, as was Ena, there was no mystery there. That the woman was standing behind her was the mystery. Feigning interest in the curling battlements of a cardboard sandcastle as it was being dismantled, Ena was able to observe the woman more closely.
Elegant in a powder blue costume, the skirt hugging her slender figure came to just below her knees. The short box jacket was the height of fashion. The collar and cuffs were piped with navy blue silk and to complete the ensemble the woman carried a navy-blue handbag, wore matching high heeled court shoes, and sported a white wide-brimmed hat on perfectly coiffed blonde hair. ‘Bleached,’ Ena said, under her breath. She had been a brunette when Ena knew her. She smiled. Brown hair or blonde, Ena would know her anywhere.
Keeping an eye on the couple, Ena sauntered past a display of dresses and coats to the corner of the building. Within reach of the side entrance, she turned and quickly slipped through the door. Unseen she walked to the front of the shop and stood behind two young female window-dressers dismembering mannequins. The interior of the shop was as dark as the outside was light. Ena could see the couple clearly without them seeing her.
There was no doubt about it. The woman Ena was told had taken her own life in the winter of 1946 was alive and standing yards away from her, separated only by a glass window.