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Regent by Amanda Shepherd
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Genre/Category: Crime, Thriller, Mystery
Usage: Standard Copyright
Ebook Format: PDF
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Regent by Amanda Shepherd
Synopsis

Tegan journeys on a search for her missing son and husband. What she encounters is beyond words. Where are all the young people and families? Why has this town the appearance of a 1960's tourist brochure and where is her son? As Tegan deicides to stay the night in Regency hotel, she finds it impossible to leave. Follow Tegan on her thrilling and suspense filled entrapment in REGENT.


Excerpt:

The Arrival

Tegan looked at her watch. In a couple of hours, it would be nightfall. She had been driving since dawn and had only stopped for a break a couple of times.

An open road map lay on the passenger seat beside her. She pulled her 4WD over to the side of the road and looked at the little photo frame that swung side to side from the mirror.

A happy five-year-old boy beamed back at her. “Mummy will find you baby”. Tegan’s stomached churned, as she remembered the last time that she had held her little boy. She had kissed his little forehead and lovingly ran her fingers through his ruffled dark hair. “Now you be good for Daddy and Nanny. I will see you in a few days”. James had given her a huge grin and had replied, “ I love you mummy”. Tegan couldn’t have guessed that this would be the last time she would ever see James and her husband Drew, walk hand in hand through the front door of their house.

That was six months ago. They had never made it to Drew’s mothers house and their car was found abandoned in bushland, near where Tegan was now parked.

Tegan looked out the window. It was the middle of summer. Inside her 4WD, it was cool, but outside the heat radiated from the dirt road.

She switched off the ignition, turning off the air conditioner. Opening the door, her boot hit the dirt. Dust covered her shoes as she got out of the car and stood beside it, taking in the scenery and everything around her.

Swooping her long dark hair, up into a ponytail, she wiped the perspiration from the back of her neck.

Searing heat hit her hard, as she could feel the late afternoon sun bearing down upon her already tanned skin.

She adjusted her black Singlet and straightened out her khaki shorts. It was good to get out and to stretch the legs, even if the heat was over whelming.

For a moment, she just stood in one spot, scanning the surrounding bushland. Six months before now, there had been a full-scale search. There were no clues. The car had a flat tyre and the car wouldn’t start at all. All of James and Drew’s belongings were still in the car. Except for Drew’s wallet. He would have had that on him.

The police had come to the conclusion that the father and son had not met with any foul play. Maybe they had walked to get help and simply got lost.

Tegan knew that the police were wrong. Drew knew how to change a tyre and he knew how to fix a car. Why would he lead James and himself deep into the bush, when he would have stuck to the road?

She took a few steps and kept looking around. Deep down, she knew that Drew had met with foul play. She just had to accept that, but deep down she also knew that her little man was still alive. One day she would hold him again, the mother had faith.

Her husband and her house entered her thoughts. After a few months of getting no answer from the police, Tegan had put the house up for sale and now all that she had was this car and some money in the bank.

It broke her heart to know that a happy family now lived in her house. That a child was now sleeping in James’ room. But recovering her son and by some miracle, her husband as well, was worth giving everything up for.

Snapping out of her thoughts, Tegan realised that she had walked quite a distance from her car. No new thoughts had entered Tegan’s mind about the disappearance, but as she turned to leave, something had caught her attention.

Stepping from the roadside had she uncovered an old sign saying ‘Regent’. Leading through the bush was a narrow, overgrown road.

Tegan left the sign and made her way back to the car. Sitting in the drivers seat with the door open, she grabbed the map and scanned it carefully. “Regent. Where are you?” The name Regent was nowhere. Scanning over the map once again, she had come to the conclusion that maybe Regent was either an old town that wasn’t worthy of being acknowledged on the map, or it was an old deserted town.

She looked at the picture of James hanging from her mirror and then she spun it around to look at the photo of Drew on the other side. “Couldn’t hurt. I can always turn around and come back,” Tegan told herself. She pulled her leg in and shut the door.

Slowly, she drove to the narrow opening that lead into the dense bushland. Bushes and sticks scratched up against her new car as she cautiously made her way through. This didn’t bother her, as she had purchased the vehicle for the sole purpose of locating her loved ones.

As the road became even more overgrown, Tegan wondered if it was a good idea to follow this road. It was too late now to turn around. The road was too narrow and the shrub on either side was too dense.

The mother began to worry that she was going to get stuck, but without any warning the bushland ended. And before her was a well maintained dirt road that ran horizontally and shops over the road. She sat there for a moment and took in all that she saw.

There was no comparison between the dull green and brown of the bush and the perfect manicured grass that ran along both sides of the road.

She glanced at her watch and knew that there was no time left to waste. The sun was nearly down and she needed to find a place to stay for the night. Pulling away from the bush, she turned left and then right. No shops were open. There was an old fashioned diner, but nobody was in side except a waitress. She took a few turns, unaware of where she was heading.

What a lovely town. It was only small, but it was beautiful. All of the buildings were 1960’s design. Some a little before and the gardens that lined the tiny main street were perfectly kept.

A pub stood on the corner and Tegan could see that there were a few patrons inside. Taking another few turns, she came across an old motel. She found the car park entrance and parked near several other cars.

Huge trees surrounded the motel. Tegan marvelled at its old world beauty as she followed the path around to the entrance. Regency Motel’ stood above the double glass door. As she entered, she was in awe of the high ceilings in the foyer and the chandelier that hung from it.

The floorboards were polished and shiny and a maroon carpet lead the way to the service desk. Dark maroon velvet drapes covered the tall windows and off to the right, antique chairs and a coffee table adorned the waiting area.

“May I help you dear?” An elderly lady appeared behind the desk. Tegan was lost for words. Surely this place would be out of her price range. Maybe the elderly lady could point her in the direction of a cheap bed and breakfast.

Tegan cautiously walked up to the desk. The old lady was plump and had a grandma quality about her. She wore a cream short-sleeved blouse with a lace collar. Her hair was short and curly and reminded Tegan of her own grandmother, from when she was a little girl. Her face was round and appeared soft, with many lines etched into her skin. She smelt like lavender.