A teenage girl is abducted, raped and murdered in a secluded farmhouse, her naked body dumped on a lonely roadside. The only neighbour, near to the scene of the murder is Lillian Davis, a beautiful woman who has recently lost her husband in tragic circumstances, the third such loss in her family. Lillian’s reminiscing, part of the grief process, brings into sharp focus the memories of the experiences of a life lived to the full, the joy of an enduring love affair, great friends and treasured moments.
A number of unrelated coincidences occur which start to prompt subconscious memories and Lillian finds herself in the middle of a nightmare that becomes a life and death struggle.

Human sexuality and all of its pleasurable expression when it is shared is what sets us above the animal kingdom but when it is contaminated with violence, and used to abuse the most vulnerable for self gratification, it becomes an act that even animals would not commit.

In Store Price: $AU27.95 
Online Price:   $AU22.95

ISBN: 978-1-921574-79-5
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 284
Genre: Fiction

Cover Photography: Kellie Crosier

Author: Martin Cusworth
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2010
Language: English



Martin Cusworth started his working life as a copy boy and later proof-reader with The West Australian newspaper. His intention was to become a journalist in the days when it wasn’t necessary to go to university, provided you could get a cadetship with a newspaper. Family circumstances prevented this from happening.  

After years working in the building and building supplies industries he moved to the marketing and retail sector. Martin has run his own company for over twenty years. Now financial independence has allowed him to return to his first love as a writer. 

He lives in Perth with his wife, Leanne, and has two daughters and three grandchildren. He and Leanne travel extensively.

Chapter 1 



avid Casey was forty-two years old, overweight, balding, dressed in cheap, uncoordinated and untidy clothes and in general a most unremarkable person but for one fact…he was about to become a killer. He was a sales representative for the Denco Door Company travelling from Seymour, north along the Hume Highway towards the town of Benalla. David’s job was to sell doors and ancillary building products to builders throughout the state of Victoria.  

It was just before three o’clock on a warm Friday afternoon in late November about twelve kilometres from the outskirts of Benalla when David noticed a person ahead on the road hitchhiking; a very uncommon thing to see nowadays especially this far from town. As he drew closer he saw it was a young woman with black shoulder-length hair. She was dressed in a white, short-sleeved top and blue jeans. Slung over her shoulder was a bulky, brown leather bag and she was wearing stylish sunglasses.

He slowed down and pulled to the side of the road about twenty metres past where the girl stood with one arm outstretched. As the car stopped she walked briskly to the passenger window which he opened by leaning across the passenger seat at full stretch. He was not a tall man.

“Hi.” He smiled a lopsided smile

The girl smiled, she was very pretty, with perfect white teeth and sparkling eyes.

“I’m heading to Wangaratta, any chance of a lift?”

“Sure, I’m heading there myself,” he lied, “hop in.”

As she settled into the passenger seat and clicked her seat belt he asked, “What’s your name?”

“Sue Anne,” she said smiling, “what’s yours?”

“Bob,” he lied again.

David’s mind clicked into over-drive as he realised he had committed himself to a course of action that soon he would not be able to opt out of. He felt the adrenalin pump into his veins and his blood pressure moved up enough to cause a slight dizziness. His mouth was suddenly dry and he instinctively licked his lips. He mentally prepared his story as he slowed at the reduce-speed sign at the start of the Benalla off-ramp.

“Bear with me; I just have a five-minute detour here. I have to drop off a parcel to my uncle who lives just a couple of kilometres the other side of town. It won’t take long I promise.”

Sue Anne looked a little nervous.

“You are going straight to Wangaratta?”

“Absolutely,” he said with that lopsided smile again, “just as soon as I drop off this parcel.”

Sue Anne bit pensively at her bottom lip but made no further comment for a minute or two. Then she said, “What do you do?”

“You mean for a living?” he smiled easily. “I’m a farmer up Myrtleford way.”

She nodded.

“And you?” he asked.

“I’m doing teaching at uni.”

David drove at the specified town speed limit through the main street and then turned right and headed for the east side of town. The houses started to thin out. He drove on for about five minutes then turned left. After another few minutes the road was bounded by empty paddocks on both sides.

“Not long now,” David smiled reassuringly, “my uncle lives a bit out of the way.”

Sue Anne didn’t comment but shifted uncomfortably in her seat.

“Oh damn,” David spoke with annoyance, “I think I’ve left the parcel at home.”

He slowed to a stop. “I’ll just check the boot.”

Before she could speak, he was out of his door with keys in hand. He walked to the rear of the car.

Sue Anne peered over her right shoulder as the boot popped open. She waited for it to close. It didn’t.

The next few seconds ticked slowly and she watched the driver’s side of the car. The click of the passenger door behind her caused her to turn toward the sound. A closed fist flashed in the corner of her left eye.

The fist crashed with force into the left side of her face, her sunglasses spun away towards the floor and she slumped forward. She was stunned for no more than a few seconds but in that time David had reached over her slumped body and unclipped the seat belt. He dragged her from the car and pushed her, face down onto the gravel road verge. With a knee in the middle of her back he pulled her arms behind her. There was a ripping sound as a roll of black, cloth-reinforced adhesive tape was used to wrap her wrists tightly together. With her wrists secured, he grabbed a handful of her hair and roughly pulled her head towards him.

Sue Anne was moaning as she began to recover from the blow but it was stifled as he wrapped the black tape around her head three times, covering her mouth and the lower half of each ear. Satisfied that he had gagged her sufficiently, David pulled the dazed girl to her feet. She staggered as he half pushed, half carried, her to the back of the car. As he pushed her roughly into the open boot her head struck the top edge and her left thigh crashed into the bottom edge. Even through the gag, her pain was obvious. The tape was used now to circle her ankles three or four times and he pushed behind her knees with a clenched fist to bend her legs into the boot. The boot was slammed shut.

The entire attack from blow-to-the-head to closed-boot took less than three minutes. David leaned with his back against the boot and as he caught his breath he scanned the road in both directions. It was deserted. Likewise the paddocks on both sides of the road were empty and silent. As if on cue Sue Anne kicked her bound feet against the closed boot lid with a muffled thump. David smiled a crooked smile and wiped his sweating brow with his open hand.

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