Eight hours. Six friends. Read an excerpt from Five Survive by bestselling, award-winning author Holly Jackson
More about the book!
Read an excerpt from Five Survive – the brand new, explosive crime thriller from Holly Jackson!
From the author of the multimillion-copy bestselling A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series comes a new blockbuster thriller about a road trip that turns deadly.
With edge-of-your-seat tension and a gripping mystery, Jackson has written another instant classic.
About the book
Eighteen year old Red and her friends are on a road trip in an RV, heading to the beach for Spring Break. It’s a long drive but spirits are high. Until the RV breaks down in the middle of nowhere. And as the wheels are shot out, one by one, the friends realise that this is no accident.
There’s a sniper out there. He’s watching them and he knows exactly who they are. One of the group has a secret that the sniper is willing to kill for.
As a game of cat-and-mouse plays out, the group desperately tries to get help. Buried secrets are forced to light and tensions within the group reach deadly levels. Only one thing is for sure. Not everyone will survive the night ….
Read the excerpt:
Here and not. Red and black. One moment there, another gone. Her face in the glass. Disappearing in the light of oncoming headlights, reappearing in the dark of outside. Gone again. The window kept her face for its own. Good, it could keep it. Back, the window didn’t want it either.
Red’s reflection stared through her, but the glass and the darkness didn’t get her quite right, blurring the details. The main features were there: the too-pale glow of her skin and the wide-set dark blue eyes that weren’t hers alone. You look so much alike, she used to hear, more than she cared to. Now she didn’t care to hear it at all, even think it. So, she looked away from her face, their face, ignoring them both. But it was harder to ignore something when you were trying.
Red shifted her gaze, looking instead at the cars in the lane beside and below. Something wasn’t right; the cars seemed too small from up here at her window, but Red didn’t feel any bigger. She watched a blue sedan edging forward to pass, and she helped it along with her eyes, pushing them ahead. There you go, bud. Ahead of this thirty-one-foot-long metal can, speeding down the highway. Which was strange when you thought about it; that you traveled down a highway when high was right there in the name.
“Red?” The voice opposite interrupted her thoughts of lowways and highways. Maddy was looking at her through the dimmed inside lights, skin screwed up around her sandy-brown eyes. She gave a small kick under the table, jabbing Red in the shin. “Did you just forget we were in the middle of playing a game?”
“No,” Red said, but yes, yes she had. What had they been playing again?
“Twenty Questions,” Maddy said, reading Red’s mind. Well, they had known each other all their lives; Red had only gotten a seven-month head start and she hadn’t done a lot with it. Maybe Maddy had learned to read her mind in all that time, more than seventeen years. Red really hoped not. There were things in there no one else could ever see. No one. Not even Maddy. Especially not Maddy.
“Yeah, I know,” Red said, her eyes wandering to the other side of the RV, to the outside door and the sofa bed—currently sofa—where she and Maddy would sleep tonight. Red couldn’t remember; which side of the bed did Maddy like again? Because she couldn’t sleep if she wasn’t on the left side, and just as she was trying to read Maddy’s mind back about that, her eyes caught on a green sign outside in the night, flying over the windshield.
“That sign says Rockingham, aren’t we getting off this road soon?” Red said, not loud enough for anyone at the very front of the RV to hear, where it would have been more use. She was probably wrong, anyway, best to say nothing. They’d been driving on this same road for the past hour, I-73 becoming I-74 and then US 220 without much fanfare.
“Red Kenny, focus.” Maddy snapped her fingers, a hint of a smile on her face. It never creased, though, Maddy’s face, not even with the widest of smiles. Skin like cream, soft and clearer than it had any business being. It made the freckles on Red’s face stand out even more, side by side in photos. Literally side by side; they were almost the exact same height, down to the highest-standing hair, though Red’s was dark blond where Maddy’s was more light brown, a shade or two separating them. Red always had hers tied back, loose bangs at the front that she’d cut herself with the kitchen scissors. Maddy’s was untied and neat, the ends soft in a way Red’s never were. “I’m the one asking questions, you’re the one with the person, place or thing,” Maddy prompted.
Red nodded slowly. Well, even if Maddy also liked to sleep on the left, at least they weren’t on the bunks.
“I’ve asked seven questions already,” Maddy said.
“Great.” Red couldn’t remember her person, place or thing. But really, they’d been driving all day, setting off from home around twelve hours ago, hadn’t they played enough road trip games? Red couldn’t wait for this to be over so she could finally sleep, whether left side or right. Just get through it. They were supposed to arrive at Gulf Shores around this time tomorrow, meet up with the rest of their friends, that was the plan.
Maddy cleared her throat.
“And what answers did I give, remind me?” Red said.
Maddy breathed out, an almost sigh or an almost laugh, hard to tell. “It was a person, a woman, not a fictional character,” she said, counting them off on her fingers. “Someone I would know, but not Kim Kardashian or you.”
Red looked up, searching the empty corners of her mind for the memory. “No, sorry,” she said, “it’s gone.”
“Okay, we’ll start again,” Maddy said, but just then, Simon stumbled out of the small bathroom, saving Red from more Organized FunTM. The door bounced back into him as the RV sped up.
“Simon Yoo, have you been in there this whole time?” Maddy asked, disgusted. “We’ve played two whole rounds.”
Simon pushed his black, loosely waved hair away from his face and held an unsteady finger to his lips, saying, “Shh, a lady never tells.”
“Shut the door, then, jeez.”
He did, but with his foot, to make some point or other, almost overbalancing as they hurtled along the highway, changing lanes to pass. Wasn’t their exit soon? Maybe Red should say something, but now she was watching as Simon waded forward, leaning on the tiny kitchen counter behind her. In one awkward motion, he slid onto the booth beside her, knocking his knees on the table.
Red studied him: his pupils were sitting too large in his dark, round eyes, and there was an incriminating wet patch on the front of his teal-colored Eagles shirt.
“You’re drunk already,” she said, almost impressed. “I thought you’d only had like three beers.”
Simon moved close to whisper in her ear, and Red could smell the sharp metallic tang on his breath. She couldn’t miss it; that was how she knew when her dad was lying to her, No I didn’t drink today, Red, I promise. “Shh,” Simon said, “Oliver brought tequila.”
“And you just helped yourself?” Maddy asked, overhearing.
In answer, Simon balled both his fists and held them in the air, yelling: “Spring break, baby!”
Categories Fiction International
Tags Book excerpt Book extract Five Survive Holly Jackson Jonathan Ball Publishers