Location: Enfield, London
Mother: Celene Cross
Likes: Black nail polish. The Dark Crystal. Stevie Nicks. Cemeteries; everybody there is already dead.
Hates: Justin Bieber. Butterflies. Teenagers who think they know everything. Impenetrable fucking mysteries.
Weird habits: Collecting bottle caps. They're everywhere.
Worst fears: Becoming her mother. Letting somebody get too close. Being buried alive.
Why you should care...
Rumer Cross is scraping by working for a dingy London detective agency. She lives in the shadow of her mother, a violent criminal dubbed the 'Witch Assassin' whose bloodthirsty rampage terrorised London for over a decade.
Raised by foster families who never understood her and terrified she could one day turn into her mother, Rumer has become detached and self-reliant. But when she's targeted by a vicious mobster who believes she's hiding an occult relic, she's drawn into the very world she's been fighting to avoid.
Hunted by assassins and haunted by her mother's dark legacy, Rumer must also confront a terrible truth: that she's cursed, because no matter what she does, everybody she's ever grown close to has died screaming.
Set in an urban sprawl of bullet-riddled buildings, Killing Rumer is a thriller that asks the question: can we ever really change who we are?
How you can help...
The worst thing that can happen to a story is nobody reading it. That's why your help means so much to me. If you pre-order your copy of Killing Rumer now, you'll be helping to get Rumer's story out into the world. Got friends who love crime fiction and kick-ass heroines? Please tell them about Rumer! Tweet. Facebook. Email. Sky-write. Pass notes to strangers on the underground. Get a tattoo. Anything you can do to help spread the word will earn you a big sloppy thank-you in the book and my eternal gratitude. Rumer has it... so let's get her out there. Thank you!
THREE DAYS BEFORE THE HAMMER
The dark wants to eat me. I’ve spent long enough in dark places to know. I’m underground, buried deep, soil cramming into my mouth. The nightmare I’ve had since I was a kid. All I have to do is choke it down, fight the clawing panic, surrender to the shadows, but that would mean giving in, and Rumer Cross is no fucking coward.
I cough but there's no soil in my throat. I'm not in the ground. I'm slumped against something that shakes me like a doll. Why can't I see? My eyes feel like they're on stalks but there's only darkness.
A horn sounds somewhere and I remember.
The man in the street asked for a light then he knocked mine out. I was outside my place and I saw the fist coming, but I didn’t move in time. He must have bundled me into the van I saw at the kerb. The engine grumbles somewhere behind me and as annoyance hollows out my gut, I spy a hairline crack of light where the rear doors must be.
My head pounds and I go to scratch fingers through my hair, but they won't move. My wrists are bound behind me.
“Guy's a pro,” I mutter.
What does he want? And why the hell didn’t I duck when he made a fist sandwich with his hand? That one I can answer; I didn’t duck because nobody ever looks twice at me. I’m used to slithering around invisibly because I’m a shadow.
And I’m only half being dramatic. I’ve learnt to get by unnoticed – not that there’s anything that noticeable about me anyway. I could be any twenty-something city chick, my jeans a little rattier, my home-cut black hair more tangled, always getting in my face, which is a sun-shy kind of pale. Kids at school called me 'Oddzilla' and 'Tumour' thinking it would hurt me. Fuck them.
That punch hurt, though. My mouth feels weird. Numb and… big. Swollen. The guy must have a serious collection of rings. I run my tongue over my teeth and taste metal. A jag of pain shoots through my gum. One of them is broken.
Forget the teeth.
I can’t remember what the guy looks like. It was raining and my hood was up, so I didn’t see him until he was right by me, and when he asked for a light, the rain got in my eyes.
He caught me at a bad time. I’d lost the guy I was shadowing and I was in a foul mood.
Is that why I’m in the van? Is this guy a disgruntled client? Somebody I followed?
Nobody’s ever caught me following them, though. That’s how good I am at melting into the background, like one of those artists who paint themselves as brick walls or bookcases.
I wish I could remember his face.
Rumer has it we're doing pretty well this week! Not only does Rumer now have her own Twitter account (check it out here if you dare) but today we hit the not unimpressive figure of 98 backers, which has taken us up to a rather magnificent 40%. Just look at it. That's a gorgeous percentage, no?
That means we're over two thirds of the way to being fully funded! Talk about a nifty way to start a sunny…
Newsflash from the Killing Rumer campaign – we're 25% funded! Yes, we're a QUARTER of the way there! Slow-mo high fives and tears all round.
Thank you so much to everybody who has supported the campaign so far, whether pre-ordering a copy, sharing on social platforms, or lending words of advice/comfort (delete as applicable) when my nerves wobbled. I'm overwhelmed and grateful…
So today's the day. We've launched the Killing Rumer campaign here at Unbound. I'll be honest, I have no fingernails left and I'm comfort eating chocolate until I'm sick but that's OK because WE'RE LIVE. This is not a drill! Klaxon and loud fireworks ahoy!
I'm pleased to report that, outside the cyclone that is my fraught mind, things are shiny. People have been ridiculously supportive (hi people…
These people are helping to fund Killing Rumer.