Closer Than You Think by Darren O’Sullivan
About The Book
He’s watching. She’s waiting.
The unmissable new thriller from Darren O’Sullivan, author of Our Little Secret and Close Your Eyes.
Having barely escaped the clutches of a serial killer, Claire Moore has struggled to rebuild her life. After her terrifying encounter with the man the media dubbed The Black-Out Killer, she became an overnight celebrity: a symbol of hope and survival in the face of pure evil. And then the killings stopped.
Now ten years have passed, and Claire remains traumatised by her brush with death. Though she has a loving and supportive family around her, what happened that night continues to haunt her still.
Just when things are starting to improve, there is a power cut; a house fire; another victim found killed in the same way as before.
The Black-Out Killer is back. And he’s coming for Claire…
I still haven’t had the chance to read this book, but as soon as I’ll finish it I’ll share my thoughts with you! 😉
Want to take a deepest look to this story, here is a little excerpt to make you want to read it right now!
Bethesda, North Wales.
29 th August 2018
He once read somewhere that people become who they are, based on their environment and experiences. Their childhood memories, friends and profound moments, good and bad, create the building blocks of their existence, and once those blocks are set, they are solid, like a castle wall. Some are kind, some passionate, some victors, some victims. Some are violent. He knew that more than most. And although people couldn’t change, he knew, from personal experience, they could evolve. Transform. A switch could be thrown, showing a different way to be, without really being any different at all. It happened in nature: the caterpillar doesn’t change its DNA when it becomes a butterfly, but unlocks a part of itself that has lain dormant, patiently waiting for the right moment to cocoon. He had experienced several evolutions which had altered the direction of his thoughts and actions. But this didn’t change who he was. He would always be someone who killed.
And it wouldn’t be long before he would kill again. A matter of an hour or so. He wanted to fulfil his purpose now, but knew he had to wait, be patient, and watch. Standing in the shadow of a wide tree, he looked into the eighth’s bedroom window, waiting to see her enter, and he thought about when he would be in that room with her just before he
ended her life. He knew she would panic and cry and scream before he sedated and killed her, because they always did. He had planned to be outside her house after dark. But, with it being such a long time since he had done the one thing that made him feel alive, the thing that made him feel like he was flying, he arrived early and took time to enjoy that forgotten feeling of anticipation. This also gave him a moment to reflect on the last person who he failed to kill in this manner. A woman named Claire Moore. She played on his mind more than she should. The one that got away, so to speak. Before coming to Bethesda, he felt compelled to write a letter to Claire. He wanted to explain the reasons for his absence from the world. He revealed to her that after their eventful night a decade before, he needed to re-group, re-evaluate. After her, he never intended to kill in the same manner as he would tonight. But then he discovered she was moving on, leaving that night, their night, in the May of 2008 behind. He wrote that he had learnt she was becoming the same person he felt the need to visit before. Which told him she was forgetting him, and he didn’t want his last survivor to forget him, because if she did, everyone else would.
He knew, one day, she would read his letter. Perhaps, before then, he would write more. If so, he would let her read them all, right before he ended her life. He could have killed Claire Moore several times in the past few months but decided not to. He wanted to wait, savour the moment. He wanted her to know him as well as he knew her, and to
understand his reasons why.
He wanted to be able to taste the connection they once shared on the tip of his tongue, as the light in her eyes faded. Claire Moore would die, as she nearly did by his hand all those years ago, but not yet, not until he was in buried in the centre of her soul once more. He wanted every voice to sound like his, every shadow to be one cast by his frame blocking the light. It was the reason he was in Bethesda, and why the woman whose window he looked into would die.
The knowledge of what would happen within the next hour, and what would follow over the coming weeks – the speculation, the fear – coursed through his veins so hard his skin itched. He knew he needed to focus, to contain his excitement, until night staked its claim over the day. He centred on his breathing, regulated his heart rate. He pushed thoughts of what he would do to the woman in the house opposite him out of his head. Then she, the eighth, walked into her bedroom. He watched her step out of her work clothes, her light skirt falling effortlessly around her ankles. He enjoyed the sight of her slim frame in just her underwear, and the tingle that carried from behind his eyes to his crotch. It was a feeling he hadn’t felt in a very long time. There had been plenty of kills since 2008, but not one re-ignited the fire he remembered from a decade before. For the past ten years, when the itch had been unbearable, he had scratched it discreetly, and taken those no-one cared for. The old and alone, the homeless, the migrant. But this one was to be a spectacle, like in those wonderful days in Ireland, putting him back where he belonged, in people’s minds, in Claire’s mind, a destructive force touching everyone like cancer.
He missed being someone who was feared. In the days when a simple power outage caused widespread terror, he would often kill the electricity to a street, just to watch people panic, thinking they would be next. He especially enjoyed one occasion, three months after that night with Claire Moore, when a storm swept off the Atlantic and cut the power in Shannon. It caused the whole town to descend into terror, thinking he had visited. Police took to the streets, people locked their doors. News helicopters circled, expecting to see a house fire in the aftermath – his other calling-card. But there was no fire, no death as he was in Greece on that day, on the island of Rhodes, enjoying the sunshine without a care in the world. He intended that trip to be one in which he learnt to be the man he had become, the man he had evolved into. But, seeing the news, the terror coming out of Ireland drove the desire to kill once more. It was there, on the sun-bleached Aegean coast, his metamorphosis began, as he felt a more primal calling. He needed to kill, not because it was his purpose, but for the thrill of it. After a brief search he found his victim, an unaccompanied male who had survived the Mediterranean Sea to start a new life in Europe, and he ended his life, luxuriating in the power he felt while doing so.
But the power didn’t last long, because no one cared about this man’s death. And upon return home to Ireland he could sense he was being forgotten. Over time, only the areas he had visited remembered the horror of those months between April 2006 and May 2008. To try and cling on to his power, he would still toy with their memories, killing the electricity from time to time, just to see the panic unfold. He would walk through the town and watch as whole families squashed together in one candle-lit room. But time heals all wounds, and their outright terror diminished to a quiet readiness. Eventually, a power cut became just an annoyance once more.
The eighth hadn’t closed her bathroom door and he could see as she unclipped her bra and dropped it on the floor. He glimpsed her breast, and the tingle intensified. But he didn’t want to fuck her, the very idea was repugnant to him. His pleasure came from somewhere else.
He visualised his approach as he waited for the sun to set. Once darkness held, he would go to the single distribution substation. It was less than two hundred metres away, and he knew it supplied the power to her house, along with a few hundred others. The five metre square wall containing the substation was built in the 1990s, along with the houses it supplied, and was secured with a padlock on its front gates. The bolt cutters that sat heavy
in his rucksack would make light work of that. Then it was a case of isolating the switch gear and using a re-wired portable generator that would intentionally overheat and blow. This simple and well-practised task would black out the entire street and beyond.
He visualised the walk from the substation to her back door, and then breaking in.
He knew he would find her stumbling around upstairs with her phone as a torch. He suspected she would be in her nightwear. He thought about what he would do to her. The fun he would have. The joy he would feel feeding off her fear. Then, once satisfied, he would place her body in the bathtub, douse her with petrol and ignite her. He would leave before the heat cracked the windows and smoke billowed into the sky. He would go home and cook himself a meal, a pasta dish to replenish the burnt carbohydrates from his evening’s work, as he knew from experience work drove his appetite. Then, full and content, he would watch the news, waiting to see what he did featured on it, and the assumptions they would make. And he knew he would get away with it, because he’d got away with it before. His kills in Ireland landed in the lap of a brute of a man named Tommy Kay. Kay was a drug dealer with a reputation for being heavy-handed if a favour or loan hadn’t been repaid. He was sent to prison for running down a man in his Range Rover, nearly killing him over a hundred-pound debt. Kay’s arrest and that night with Claire Moore were a few months apart, and although Kay was never charged with the murders in Ireland, he was widely believed to be the serial killer that haunted the country, never saying otherwise.
Perhaps he enjoyed the notoriety it gave him?
But Kay’s motivations for tacitly claiming his kills wasn’t his concern, because one day they would know how wrong they had been. Until then, he would play on what the media would no doubt suggest: because Kay was now dead, tonight was a copycat.
After ten minutes the eighth came out of her bathroom, a towel around her body, another wrapped up in her hair. She turned on her TV, then stepped towards the window, her arm outstretched to close her bedroom curtains. She couldn’t see him. He knew it. The fading sun directly behind him was low. The trees tall. She wouldn’t be able to see anything beyond the dusty orange skyline. But still he pressed himself further into the tree’s shadow.
She paused before drawing the curtains. Her eyes looking out above his head. The last line of sun painted colours in the evening sky. A perfect disguise for him. Hide the ugly thing that he had become in something equally beautiful.
It was almost time. Another thirty minutes and it would be dark enough to work. He smiled, knowing what tomorrow’s newspapers would read.
About The Author
Darren O’Sullivan is the author of #1 bestsellers, OUR LITTLE SECRET and CLOSE YOUR EYES. Darren has had his books translated for the Polish Market and has enjoyed bestseller status in America, Canada and Australia with both titles. His third psychological Thriller, CLOSER THAN YOU THINK, is scheduled for publication in March 2019.
When Darren isn’t writing, he is doing one of two things. He is either in a theatre, where he directs and produces small scale theatre tours for young performers to hone their craft. Or he is rolling around on the floor, pretending to be a dinosaur with his 3 year old.