Frank Peters’ peaceful life on his farm in the isolated Yorkshire Moors comes to an abrupt end when his beloved wife Maureen dies. Depressed when his daughter emigrates to Australia two weeks after the funeral, and that his son rarely visits or calls, Frank believes he is destined for a bleak and lonely future. Then one night, disturbed by a noise at the back of the house, he finds a badly injured young woman called Irena, and he’s shocked when she reveals that she was brought into the country by a man who then imprisoned her and forced her into prostitution.
Frank offers her a bed for the night, but it’s the middle of winter and when heavy snowfall prevents her from leaving the next day, he’s forced to extend the invitation – which causes problems with his daughter who, when she finds out, accuses him of betraying her mother.
With his daughter not talking to him, Frank is horrified when, during a storm one night, he agrees to sleep in Irena’s bed and wakes to find himself on the verge of having sex with her. Wracked with guilt, because he had been dreaming that he was with his wife, Frank is sure that Irena is just being kind when she confesses that she is developing feelings for him. But as time goes on, and he finds himself becoming increasingly attracted to her, he’s forced to make a choice between the past and the future . . .
Brutal is a gritty thriller by the bestselling author Mandasue Heller.