18 September 2022

When We Were Young by Dawn Goodman Blog Tour!


When We Were Young

Four best friends. One of them is dead. Are their secrets safe?

Uni friends StaceyPaulaBev and Valentina used to be inseparable until one weekend before graduation when nothing was ever the same again.

Thirty years later, reunited at Valentina's funeral, Stacey receives a letter written by her late friend asking for one last wish... that the three friends go back to where things fell apart and finally bury the hatchet.

As they revisit their old haunts of their uni days and follow a series of clues left by Valentina, their friend's death begins to look suspicious and it is up to them to find out what happened – but they all have secrets to hide.

They say good friends are hard to come by, but when there is so much at stake and someone is lurking in the shadows, how do you know who is a friend and who is a foe?

Purchase Link - smarturl.it/WhenWeWereYoungDG


Two glasses of wine turned into the entire bottle and by the time it was empty, Stacey had convinced herself that she should talk to the police after all, that something terrible had happened and she owed it to Valentina to fix it. Stacey’s guilty conscience was always at its clearest at the bottom of a bottle. She searched up the website for the local police service and went through all of their questions about whether the crime was happening now, if someone was in danger, was the perpetrator on the scene, but none of it was relevant and she didn’t actually know anything at all.

It would be easier to call them. She struggled to focus on the numbers that swam in front of her as she called the local police station. Explaining that she had information about a friend’s death, she was put on hold for quite some time. The tinny music was making her head spin, then someone else was on the phone, trying to palm her off, convincing her to report it online, then suggesting she come down to the station and report it in person. Attempting to keep her voice calm, she explained that she was ill and needed to do it over the phone. Her head was thumping again. More tinny music followed and she almost hung up.

A new voice came on the line, thin, high-pitched and sounding like it was coming from a thirteen-year-old girl. She introduced herself as PC Julia Banks and Stacey suspected she was a junior officer who had drawn the short straw. Stacey resisted the urge to ask her how old she actually was.

‘My friend died recently and I’m worried that something bad happened to her,’ Stacey said instead and felt like a child herself saying it.

‘Okay, let’s start at the beginning. Can I have your name please?’

‘Valen— Oh, sorry, Stacey Maxwell.’

‘And your friend is…?’

‘Valentina Mackenzie – at least she used to be. I assume she still is.’

There was a pause and Stacey could imagine PC Banks scribbling notes in big, round letters with a long, thin, sparkly pen with a pink pom-pom on the lid.

‘And what happened to your friend?’

‘Well, I don’t know. I found out recently that she died – I don’t know how – and I went to her funeral and everything, but I’ve been getting these letters and messages from her and she is making it sound like she was scared, that maybe someone was trying to hurt her.’

Another pause as PC Banks probably drew doodles on her notes. ‘When last did you see your friend?’

‘Thirty years ago.’

PC Banks coughed – at least Stacey hoped it was a cough and not a snort of derision. ‘Thirty, did you say? As in three zero?’

‘Yes, we haven’t spoken for a very long time,’ Stacey admitted.

‘And she sent you a letter?’ PC Banks didn’t sound like she was taking notes or doodling or anything anymore.

‘Yes, just before her funeral I got a letter asking me to make sure Paula and Bev were there and then I got another letter after the funeral. Look, the point is that she said she was scared and it sounded like someone might be threatening her.’

‘Do you have any idea who might want to harm your friend?’

There was the issue. Stacey couldn’t tell her what she really knew, who had the best motive for hurting Valentina – because he was dead already.

‘No, I… er…’

PC Banks exhaled audibly down the phone line. ‘I appreciate your posthumous concern for your friend’s welfare, but I don’t see what we can do without more information.’

Teenagers didn’t use words like posthumous. Maybe Stacey had been wrong about PC Banks. Maybe she had been wrong about lots of things. ‘But what if he hurt her?’ Her voice was small now.

‘Who? Who do you think may have hurt her?’

‘I… I… don’t know.’ Stacey wanted to scream his name. It sat on the end of her tongue like a pill, dissolving into bitterness. But he couldn’t hurt anyone else.

They had made sure of that.


Dawn Goodwin’s twenty-year career has spanned PR, advertising and publishing, both in London and Johannesburg. A graduate of the Curtis Brown creative writing school, she loves to write about the personalities hiding behind the masks we wear every day, whether beautiful or ugly. Now a company director, what spare time she has is spent chasing good intentions, contemplating how to get away with various crimes and misdemeanours, and immersing herself in fictitious worlds. She lives in London with her husband, two teenage daughters and British bulldogs Geoffrey and Luna.




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