About the Author
makes Alida van den Bos one of the most prolific writers of fictional novels in
the publishing business today?
background is not compatible with an ability to churn out reader-enthralling
thrillers, five in two years, as her animated mind plots, creates and perfects
in 1930, the family moved to
where she was educated. With her husband, Gerard, and two children she
in 1959, then lived among
’s opal fields at Coober Pedy, later using her experiences in life to further
her writing ambitions by producing short stories.
family’s next move was to
New South Wales
where she gave birth to her third child. After purchasing a property in that
area, Alida and her husband kicked off a racehorse-stud, aptly named Running
Hoofs, ultimately leading to successes in local and metropolitan
it was on to the nearby city of
where the couple operated an antique and old wares business until retirement on
New South Wales
retirement was not for Alida. “I want to write, write, write,” she declared
to the world, then honed her natural talents by enrolling with the renowned
worldwide tutoring group, The Writing School, successfully completing the
20-assignment course to earn a diploma that hangs proudly on her study wall,
along with her acceptance as a member of the Australian Society of Authors.
of her novels to date indicate the strength of the story-lines ... Amy
– Her Fight for Freedom, A Swastika for Anita, Jennifer’s Odyssey, Dead
Certainty and her latest literature classic, Flight
Into Death. Alida’s enthusiasm for fictional writing will never wane. Her
natural talent and inherent enjoyment would not allow it.
hen Diana Jordan and
her boss John Nicholson opened the door to
51 West Drive
, they got more than they bargained for. As soon as Diana put her keys in the
lock and opened the front door, she felt something was wrong, but she didn’t
understand why. She hesitated, then John gave her a little push to go inside.
Nicholson, owner of Nicholson Realty, had been commissioned to list the
six-bedroom, three-bathroom, two-storey, old Victorian home for sale at auction.
The owner, Charmaine Haley, a widow, had already moved to a unit. Her husband
had died suddenly of a heart attack, and her three children had married and
moved away. So now it wasn’t necessary for her to live in such a big house on
her own. After sending most of her furniture to auction, Charmaine kept only
what she needed to furnish her two-bedroom unit on the coast.
moving slowly from room to room, John made notes and Diana took photographs of
the main features such as the marble fireplace surrounds, high ornate tin
ceilings with crystal chandeliers, and the modern kitchen. Diana still
couldn’t get rid of an eerie feeling, although everything looked normal.
they finished downstairs, John and Diana climbed the wide cedar stairway with
the carved balustrade that was still in good condition. Upstairs, they inspected
the bedrooms and the modernised bathrooms until they came to the last room,
which seemed to be locked. Diana tried one of the keys on the bunch she had in
her hand, and it worked. That wasn’t surprising as most houses of that era had
similar locks fitted to their bedroom doors.
walked into the room, followed by John, and gasped when she saw how attractive
this room really was. It still had curtains, a large armoire, an ornate
cupboard, and a four-poster bed. From a bay window with a window seat you could
see the pleasant old English garden, but there was a smell she didn’t like and
to John, she pointed. ‘What do you think, John, why was this door locked?’
up from his notes, John answered, ‘I suppose it’s to keep out intruders.’
walked towards the bed which she wanted to photograph, Diana heard a noise. The
bed had velvet curtains around it and she parted them to see where the noise had
God!’ Diana stood frozen in shock. ‘John, there’s a body in the bed!’
bent over the body. ‘My God, it’s a young bloke, and he’s alive,’ he
declared, then immediately dialled the ambulance on his mobile.
her composure, Diana moved closer, ignoring the foul smell in the bed. The young
man’s face looked terribly pale, and his lips were blue. She could see he was
trying to talk and leaning her head towards him she stroked his hair gently.
‘Water … water …’ he was trying to say.
gone downstairs ready to meet the ambulance men and take them up to the bedroom.
Hurrying to the nearest bathroom Diana filled a beaker and moistened a
facecloth. She tried to lift the man’s head by putting her arm under his
shoulders to help him sip some water, then wiped his face and hands with the
cloth. She noticed he had no watch and no rings or gold chain on him, but he did
have a lot of dried blood on the back of his head.
onto his hand, Diana told him help was on the way. ‘Can you tell me your
hard, but no sound came from his lips, but sipping more water helped. With an
effort he managed to whisper something, and she thought he said, ‘Joe
heard people coming up the stairs, then the ambulance officers arrived with a
stretcher. After they gave the young man a brief examination, Diana asked them,
‘Has he got a chance?’
looked at each other, then one of the men told her, ‘He’s had a rough time,
but yes, we think he’ll make it. He’s hurt his head, and he’s very much
dehydrated. We’ll rush him to the hospital now and they’ll look after
they left Diana asked John what he wanted her to do next. ‘Well, we’ll go
back to the office and you should get in touch with Charmaine Haley before we do
anything else.’ Taking the keys from her he locked the front door on their way
the office she rang Charmaine straight away, and she told her what happened.
Charmaine couldn’t believe there had been a young man, barely alive, in what
had been her four-poster bed. ‘What was his name?’ she queried.
said his name was Joe Watson.’
never heard of him. The removalist was supposed to pick up all the remaining
furniture to be taken to the auction room and sold without reserve.’
was that supposed to happen?’
short pause Charmaine said, ‘Well, I moved out two days ago and the removalist
was going to pick up the furniture the next day.’
you know the door to that bedroom was locked, Charmaine?’
didn’t. It shouldn’t have been. I’m sure I left all the doors open.
Someone must have gone in there after I left. Anyway, I’ll get onto the
removalist and tell them to pick up the rest, okay?’
right, and I’ll let you know about the date and time for the auction of your
house. Thanks, Charmaine, talk to you later.’
looked at her watch. ‘Since it’s nearly closing time, do you mind if I go to
the hospital, John? I’d like to know how Joe Watson is doing.’
of course. I’d like to know too. See what you can find out.’