Blog Tour: Extract from The Little Christmas Village by Sue Moorcroft

Posted October 24, 2017 by Charlotte in Blog Tour / 0 Comments

Extract from The Little Christmas Village by Sue Moorcroft

So it is getting to that time of year when Christmas is all around. Today I have a little Extract from The Little Christmas Village by the the brilliant Sue Moorcroft.

 

The Extract:

‘What are we going to do? How can it have happened?’ Jodie wailed.

Alexia felt hot tears ooze from her own eyes. Whether they were for Jodie, Gabe or herself, she couldn’t have said. But, used to Jodie’s emotional reactions, Alexia patted her back while Gabe made hot drinks and fetched tissues. There was nothing to do when Jodie was locked in grief but to allow her to cry it out.

Eventually, when the storm had lessened, Gabe accessed the recent bank account transactions to show them that the money had disappeared in a series of withdrawals – cheques on Friday, when they’d all been preoccupied with preparing for the wrecking party, and the rest via Internet banking either side of midnight Saturday/Sunday.

‘You can see the name of the payees!’ crowed Jodie, hope dawning on her red and blotchy face. ‘Look, this one’s a company called Oatwood 2k Ltd. And this one’s —’

But Gabe was already shaking his head. ‘Don’t get your hopes up. Whoever did this is clever. They’ll have hidden their tracks. It will lead to a dead end.’

‘But how can it?’ Jodie demanded, expression bewil­dered. ‘It’s there, the name of the company—’

Gabe’s lips thinned. ‘If my experience is anything to go by the money will have been transferred out already and will have disappeared into a network of companies and individuals. The addresses of some will be rental proper­ties and the current tenants will never have heard of Oatwood 2k or any of the others. Some will be legitimate entities, often blissfully unaware that their identities have been stolen and used to open bank accounts. Somewhere along the line the money will be drawn out in cash.’ Jumping up, he started to pace around the room. ‘There’s a very practised hand on the tiller during this voyage of deception, let me tell you. They knew precisely which gambles were worth taking. I, for one, was kept very busy on Friday and Saturday and had no reason to check the accounts.’

‘Same,’ said Alexia, picturing Shane ‘marshalling the troops’ as he called it while they’d all helped to get ready for the wrecking party. She curled up on the sofa as Jodie tried over and again to ring Shane. Alexia might not have Gabe’s banking experience but she was shrewd enough to know that whoever took the money must have had an in. ‘Jodie,’ she began gently. ‘Do you have an address for Shane?’

Knuckles whitening around her phone, Jodie began to bluster, brown eyes furious. ‘Honestly, Alexia, I can’t imagine why you’d bring up such a random question now, when we’ve got this to worry about. He lives in Manor Road in Bettsbrough, but I’ve only been a couple of times and I didn’t exactly note down the door number.’

Alexia glanced at Gabe. He gazed gravely back, compas­sion in the depths of his eyes. She tried again. ‘The police want to know. Someone has taken this money. Shane isn’t answering his phone so they need to find him—’

What?’ Jodie physically jumped away from Alexia. ‘Are you accusing my boyfriend? The bank accounts have been hacked. Obviously! It happens all the time. It’s random! Don’t you dare—!’

Gabe interrupted, voice soft. ‘But slates and doors, fire­places and tiles . . . how could a hacker remove those?’

Jodie stared at him dumbly, horror written on her face.

Alexia swallowed painfully. ‘Has Shane had access to your Internet banking app, Jodes?’

With a wail, Jodie leapt up and fled from the room.

Alexia covered her eyes. Could this day get any worse?

What do you think of this Extract from The Little Christmas Village? Will you be picking this up?

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