Befriended by Ruth O’Neil

Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 20.18.52Genre: Thriller


Some secrets never leave us alone. . . Gemma Peacock’s life was perfect – or at least, she thought it was. She had a home she loved, a job she enjoyed, and a husband she adored. The only cloud on the horizon was the continuing tension between Gemma and her mother-in-law, but that’s the same for everyone, right? After the death of her beloved husband, Ritchie, everything begins to fall apart. Indiana Manors’ life, on the other hand, is far from perfect – but she knows just what she has to do to fix it. Befriend Gemma Peacock – and destroy her. Befriended is an exciting, contemporary thriller that will keep you on the very edge of your seat. This book will toy with your emotions time and time again – and keep you coming back for more.



Once again, she spied the woman she’d seen in the church, keeping herself separate from the rest of the congregation, always half in shadow. Did she want Gemma to see her? She frowned and glanced back as she took her seat beside Maria; the anonymous woman caught Gemma’s eye for a second before withdrawing completely from view.

Who was she? What was she doing here?

Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 20.33.01

Social Media Links


Extract 2

She spread the broadsheet out in front of her, smoothing out the upturned corners. Obituaries were on page six. She flicked to it, feeling a thrill of excitement and fear. Part of her knew what to expect, but even so, seeing it in black and white was a very different thing. Page six screamed out at her, adrenalin pumping through her veins. It was time for her to become acquainted with a grieving widow. It hadn’t exactly been a part of her future plans, but she was nothing if not flexible. A slow smile grew across her face as she thought about what she was about to do. It wouldn’t be easy, but it might be fun.

She stared down at the name, feeling oddly conflicted:

Ritchie Peacock.

Ritchie Peacock had passed away suddenly in tragic circumstances. She gazed for a moment at the photograph included with the obit’. Peacock was a handsome, alpha-male who’d had a kind heart, and some of that came through in his picture. It was sad, really, that he was only forty-two when his life ended, but she could make that work for her. He had a young widow: she read her name: Gemma. She could befriend his widow, she thought. Someone who was the same age, might have the same interests, was probably a beauty and would be more than willing to accept her friendship after such an emotional trauma. She would be devastated by her loss yet compelled to acknowledge a stranger who apparently knew her beloved Ritchie. This was going to be easy – a walk in the park.

A quick Google search about the man and his life only added to her euphoria. He’d had quite an internet presence. There were pages and pages of information on the handsome chap. Peacock had worked in recruitment, had been a keen squash player on the weekends and a Chelsea supporter. One night of research and she would be almost ready to go – there would only be one or two details still to iron out, but those could come later. People were so careless with their social media, posting their entire lives across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the rest, for all the world to see. Altogether, it gave her great insight into how this unfortunate man had lived his life. And if she could find all this out, anyone could.

Indiana was always meticulous about her research. Without good research, the whole thing could fall apart so easily.

Ever since she had been four years old, Indiana had loved funerals. It was nothing morbid, nothing about the absence of a person from the world, but the emotion – the emotion was fuel to her fire. She remembered the feeling of excitement as her mother prepared her for the funeral of her older sister. Indiana had been four and Freya had been six when Freya had lost her battle with leukaemia. Indiana had hated Freya. Dressing for the funeral, Indiana had felt her sister got exactly what she deserved.

Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 20.40.06.pngI grew up in the ancient Roman city of Bath England, a beautiful peaceful city whose locations are often referred to in my first book ‘Sunshine & Tears’.

Befriended is my second novel and is a contemporary thriller.

I have always enjoyed helping others and I’m very committed to my job as a Teaching Assistant where I support young people with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities.

I have one son and two step children as well as two young grandchildren who now take up a big part of my life. I now live in Bristol England.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.