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ANN T UR NER

streak and snapped at my heels. Years ago we’d rescued this shaggy giant from an animal shelter; now that the kids, James and Erin, were away at university in Melbourne, Big Boy was my reason for fitness, my daily coach. The low rays of the sun tingled my skin as I scanned the ocean, a burning sapphire glowing with the promise of a long, hot summer on the Surf Coast. Hugging around the base of Victoria, this stretch of bush and beach lay exposed to dangerous storms off Bass Strait. But today there was no fierce swell; the waves rolled in gently, crystal clear. And yet for all the pleasure this morning gave, a hard fist gnawed deep inside my gut, clenched and pushing and out of control. Heart pumping, I pounded up the cliffs through the moonah trees, resistance in my muscles making me aware of every one of my forty-seven years. Slamming through the pain, minutes later I rounded the bend to where our weatherboard home perched atop a steep drive, one massive glass door peering out like a Cyclops to the bleached timber deck. The house floated in a pale eucalypt haze, as if it might untether at any moment and drift away. On the kitchen table a note lay bathed in sunshine. Sorry, couldn’t wait, see you tonight xxx. Carelessly scrawled, unlike my husband Stephen’s usual meticulous handwriting. He must have been in an extraordinary hurry. My stomach kicked again as I strode to the bathroom, stripping off my sweat-stained clothes and dropping them on the floor. I caught myself in the mirror, shoulder-length dark blonde hair plastered to my face, blue eyes clouded with frustration. What was so important that meant he couldn’t wait? As water pounded my skin I cursed. Although I’d been an archaeologist for twenty years and a professor for

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The Lost Swimmer PAGES.indd 2

15/04/2015 11:52 am

THE LOST SWIMMER by Ann Turner  

A haunting literary thriller that explores the consequences of love and trust

THE LOST SWIMMER by Ann Turner  

A haunting literary thriller that explores the consequences of love and trust