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The Loyal Friend by A.A Chaudhuri excerpt

The Blurb

She has your back.

And may stab you in it.

Wealthy, pampered Susan is living the perfect life in leafy Kingston. She’ll never let anyone see the darkness she’s concealing behind the diamonds and rosé.

Grace is new to the group, seemingly the perfect wife and mum. Yet no one knows the truth of what’s happening behind closed doors.

Loner Natalie hides the pain of her childhood behind a carefully ordered life. But how long can the past stay hidden?

Three unlikely friends, brought together for a weekly class run by beautiful, friendly, instructor, Jade.

But when Jade goes missing in mysterious circumstances, the group starts to unravel. And as their darkest secrets come to light, it seems that no one can be trusted. Even their closest friends…

The Author

A. A. Chaudhuri is a former City lawyer. After gaining a degree in History at University College London, she later trained as a solicitor and worked for several major London law firms before leaving law to pursue her passion for writing. She is the author of The Scribe and The Abduction, books 1 and 2 of her Kramer & Carver legal thriller series featuring the feisty Maddy Kramer, also published in audio. Her first psychological thriller with Hera Books, She’s Mine, was published on kindle, paperback and audio in August 2021, her second due to be published in June 2022. Represented by Annette Crossland of A for Authors Literary Agency, she lives in Surrey with her family, and loves films, all things Italian and a good margarita!



Prologue and Chapter 1 for Blog Tour



There’s a violence about the weather tonight, a kind of insanity that seems to accord with her own state of mind. The rain is brutal, lashing down with such ferocity even turning up her wipers at full throttle had felt almost pointless. She’s amazed to have made it back to her flat unscathed. 

She opens the door and steps into the pitch-black darkness, fumbling for the switch on the wall to the right, sighing with relief when the light comes on. She heads straight for the bathroom, ignoring her growling belly as she does so, taking her mobile phone with her, laying it on the bathroom stand.

She turns on the shower and strips off her clothes, taking a second to admire her naked body in the mirror as it starts to steam up before untying her long blonde tresses and stepping inside the cubicle. 

She closes her eyes and tilts her head up to the ceiling, enjoying the sensation of the water running over her, trying to blank out the last few days. The feeling that she is being hunted. 

She hears nothing but the sound of the powerful jets rebounding off the cubicle’s tiled floor. 

Not the bathroom door opening. Nor the footsteps approaching. Nor a voice saying filthy bitch under its breath.

But she does hear the cubicle door crashing open.

Her attacker repeating the same vile words.

And with that, her fear is so great she cannot find her voice to try and save herself. 

No one will hear her. 

And very soon, she hears nothing at all.

Chapter One

The present

Tuesday, 31 July 2018


The woman pulls back the thick powder-blue curtain a fraction and peers out of her bedroom window, sees the familiar black Vauxhall Astra pull up and come to a standstill. She waits with bated breath. No sign of its passengers just yet, causing her tension to rise, her mind to wonder what they might be talking about, why they are here.

What they might have discovered since she last spoke to them only three days ago. 

Finally, the driver and passenger doors open, and she sees the detectives exit the car, serious expressions etched across their faces, not unusual in their line of work, but there’s something about their demeanour that worries her; a kind of singularly determined look that tells her they mean business, that they’ve made some kind of breakthrough.

She watches them cross the road, eyes darting left and right as they do so, then approach the front door. Watches the more senior officer raise his right hand and press the bell. 

It’s so quiet in her bedroom, the sound seems to reverberate around her in one thunderous echo. It’s grey outside today, chilly too; more like mid-autumn than late summer – she’s even had to turn on the central heating. But it’s the sound of her bell being pressed by her visitors that sends a shiver up her spine, rather than the cool temperature. 

She cannot dither a moment longer. Even though the last thing she wants is to go downstairs and open the door to her visitors. She leaves the bedroom, being sure to close the door behind her, then slowly makes her way down to the hallway, the sound of her breathing and the natural creaks of the building all that can be heard. Then she inhales deeply before opening the door to her callers.

They’re standing there with grave expressions, and when she asks them what’s happened, how she can be of assistance, they say there’s been a development in the case and enquire if they might come inside.

She cannot refuse them. She must stay calm, act surprised, exude an air of innocence. Be the best actress she possibly can. It shouldn’t be hard; she’s been doing that for so long now it’s become second nature, donning another face for the world. Hiding the truth, her past. The things she has done and kept secret from others. In any case, she’s not the only guilty one here. Far from it.

She latches onto that thought, flashes her most congenial smile, says, ‘Yes, of course, officers, anything to help,’ then leads them inside and says a silent prayer that her secret is still safe.


Published by Books’n’banter

Hi and welcome to my new blog. I’m reading and reviewing the books I read, after a long break I realised just how much I missed reviewing. I’ve been a voracious reader since childhood and I don’t imagine that changing. 
If you would like me to read and review a book you’re bringing out, please feel free to contact me. If it’s not my type of book I won’t waste your time by agreeing. I don’t promise 5 star reviews, and I know authors do appreciate feedback , but I can only promise an honest review. 
 Genres I love include crime, thriller, tartan noir is a stand out favourite. I do also enjoy horror, and other fiction/non fiction as they take my fancy. 
Please feel free to tell me if you have any recommendations for books to read whether they are already out or just about to. Reviews will be published on Twitter and Goodreads. Contact me here on the blog or email me at 
Many thanks 
for visiting! Angi 

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