The Empty Room

by Sarah J Clemens
Genre: Psychological Suspense, Thriller, Mystery

Rain soaked and dreary, it was a 1901 abandoned Victorian that newlyweds Dean and Elizabeth Montgomery hoped would fulfill their dreams of a new start in life, even if the town of Eastbrook, Maine was nestled under a constant blanket of fog.

The first neighbor the couple meets dashes those hopes when he raises a bizarre question: what happened to the last person who lived in their house? A cryptic question, but nothing to worry about. At least not until the couple looked under the floorboards inside the house.

Under mounting pressure from the residents of Eastbrook to stop questioning the past, Dean and Elizabeth are driven deeper into the history of the house, the town, and their neighbors. When the couple discovers what happened in Eastbrook, keeping the secret could save their lives, but uncovering the truth might be worth the risk.

What happened inside The Empty Room is a mystery until the last page. A gripping psychological suspense, the story takes readers on a cat-and-mouse game where some secrets are better off hidden.

Dean made his way to the end of the hall, but found the smile on his face slide off when he

turned to find Elizabeth standing motionless at the opposite end of the hallway.

“Honey?” he questioned, still panting from the recent marathon. “What is it?”

Trying to catch his breath, he walked toward the room where Elizabeth stood. It was as if

she was frozen in time just outside the last room on the right. Dean joked, “Don’t tell me. It’s

floral wallpaper, isn’t it? I knew this home was too good to be true.”

But Elizabeth did not respond.

He took a deep sigh in a final attempt to catch his breath, and stood to the left of Elizabeth

looking for some indication for her silence, but no clues found their way. “Hey, if I wanted to be ignored I’d call your mother,” he teased. “What’s going on?”

He stepped in front of Elizabeth to see what it was that had caused his wife to lose any grasp of the English language, but was confused at what he saw. The room she was staring at, one of four bedrooms throughout the house, was empty.

Under any other circumstances, an empty room was nothing but evidence to the fact that the house was unoccupied, but in this home, where the kitchen still had year-old leftovers, an empty room was anything but ordinary.

He stood beside her in the doorway for several moments. Elizabeth stepped forward, only

permitting a few steps past the door frame. “Why only one room?” she said half to herself. “Was this the only room he packed when he left?”

Dean followed her lead into the room. “I don’t think so. The realtor said that no one had

seen him moving, just that he’d left.”

One of the smaller rooms in comparison to the rest of the house, the only item in the room

was a sheer white curtain that hung in front of the window adjacent to the door. Snagged in the wooden frame of the window on a piece of flaking white paint was a small red ribbon that had caught a weak breeze from a draft in the window. To the left were two white doors to the closet, and aside from a few spiders that had staked their claim, it was the only room not bombarded with belongings.

Dean nudged Elizabeth gently and persistently with his elbow as he looked up and down the room. “This is fascinating and all, Liz, but remember when we were looking for the master bedroom in our new home? That was fun, wasn’t it?” he said.

Sarah J. Clemens is the author of the debut mystery novel, The Empty Room. She started writing The Empty Room in 2009 and formed her own imprint in 2016 called Off the Page Publishing.
She started her professional career working as a news assistant for her local newspaper before finding a passion for the law and pursued an education in criminal justice. In addition to writing fiction, she is also a legal assistant with an Associate of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Human Services.
Sarah was born in California and now lives and works in Boise, Idaho. She has the same sarcastic sense of humor as the characters in her books, and she has an unparalleled love for animals.