I am now speaking to a well presented gentleman. He is groomed, well dressed and watching me keenly. Former music teacher, Vincent Baines, initially appears to be a person whom most would respect and even admire. He is after all a talented musician. However, he struggles with serious personality issues and his residence at Harbour House came at a huge cost.
Interviewer: Son of the great composer, Fredrick Baines. A concert pianist by age 12 and a professional violinist by age 15. By all accounts you are an accomplished man so I must ask, where did it all go wrong?
Vincent: I thought that much would be quite clear. It was all over the newspapers at the time.
Interviewer: It was indeed. Murder, kidnapping and making an enemy of the richest family in Coldford City. But I’d like to hear it from your own perspective. Can you tell me a little bit about where it began?
Vincent: (Taking a deep breath) Must we?
Interviewer: I’m afraid we must.
Vincent: I was contacted by Elizabeth Beckingridge. She was looking for a music tutor for her nephew, George. George had been exhibiting severe behaviour problems and she thought it might help. He was a natural with the piano.
Interviewer: But the tutelage didn’t go so well did it?
Vincent: I did what I thought was best. When I first arrived at the Beckingridge Manor there was still police tape. How was I supposed to know?
Interviewer: You suffer from Obsessive Personality Disorder, correct?
Vincent: All my life, yes. It did me no good with the Beckingridge family though. When I met George all I could think about was getting him away from such a toxic environment. I didn’t realise he was the cause.
Interview terminated by my own choice. Vincent continues to struggle with what he did and it may be best he be allowed to settle into the Harbour House rehabilitation facility before reconvening.
#amreading #harbourhouse2020 #thriller by @VivikaWidow
Bring me your sick. Bring me your troubled. Bring me those that society can no longer cope with for they will always have a home here at Harbour House.
Did your aunt tell you she murdered someone? No, she would leave that part out.”
Killing is a game for the rich.
When Vincent Baines is given the job of teaching music to little George Beckingridge he expects a typical commission from a privileged, wealthy family. George’s outbursts become more and more violent. His father is always absent, his aunt is afraid of him and his sister has been sent away to boarding school. Vincent is the only one who can get to the bottom of what is causing the child’s manifesting distress and unearth the terrible things the boy has seen.
***** A thrilling read ***** Hits all the right notes
Daniel is son of hotelier Rodney Weir. He is heir to the WEIR HOTEL chain with sights set upon running the City Main Weir after his father retires. Running a hotel in the Shady City isn’t without its challenges. It requires complete discretion, the ability to overlook shady doings and a firm hand when guests get out of control. This lack of moral thinking never really sat well with Daniel and through it he and his father clashed. Rodney had at least hoped the support of KAPPA SO brothers would help Daniel survive in the Shady City but pledging required a spirit that Daniel just didn’t possess. A night at the CHAPTER HOUSE left Daniel in hospital. After this event Daniel swore he no longer wanted anything to do with his name sake hotel or the father who was pushing him to be someone he just wasn’t.
Kind spirited, trusting and loving, Daniel sought the quiet life of a photographer instead. When he met a music student, VINCENT BAINES, he finally started to drift into the life he had always wanted. A loving partner, a nice home and a promising career it seemed Daniel had it all. But that danger his father had always tried to prepare him for ran deep under the grounds of Coldford. Even the beautiful suburbs of FILTON was not far enough away to escape it. His partner had issues, his home could not lock out psychopaths and his career would be cut short. If he had listened to his father, taken his place at the Weir and allowed himself to embrace the bad blood that ran through his veins, that same blood that allowed the Weir to survive, things might have been different.
Daniel learned the hard way that trust and kindness only get you so far when the policy of your family hotel is that once the reservations are made you pay no mind to what goes on behind the closed doors. His partner, Vincent, didn’t want that life for him either. He knew what good a person Daniel was and he shuddered to think of what the hotel life would do to him but no matter how far you run you can’t escape your true calling. Isn’t that right, Vincent?
I am reading @VivikaWidow. #maestro #harbourhouse2020 #thrillerfan #blogreads
Daniel can’t help but notice his partner, Vincent, is acting strangely. The muddy footprints, the unexplained absences. He’s letting his obessions get the better of him again and someone is going to get hurt.
Vincent Baines has made many mistakes in his life. What happened to Daniel was the biggest. He just can’t help his obsessions hurting the ones he loves.
Quiet. The noise of the workers on Chamberlain Docks faintly resonated in the distance. The ferry from the Island of Hathfield Bay would be arriving in soon. The 11:15. It always left port on time and the crossing was always a precise 56 minutes. What would it be bringing? Who would be returning? It didn’t matter because all of that was behind the tall hedges obscured from view. You see, it wouldn’t do good for the residents of Harbour House to look at what went beyond the safe little world that had been created for them. No that wouldn’t do at all, according to DR WINSLOW. Harbour House was a place of rehabilitation. Maybe seeing what was beyond the hedges, fences and walls would do them some good? Maybe it would give them some hope of returning to normality, but they weren’t there to hope. They were there to get better. They were there to shed all kinds of ailments.
One such resident was music teacher, VINCENT BAINES. 1105 was the number he was given and obsession was his reason for being confined to Harbour House. The air of the place was fresher than he had ever sampled deeper in the city and for that he was grateful. The noise of the birds chirping formed a pleasant little melody to accompany the blossoming rhododendrons. He had circulated the gardens three times when he came to a stop again. The door leading back into the facility slammed as a woman joined him. She looked a little surprised at first to see that she wasn’t alone but she smiled at Vincent and wandered to a bench and sat herself. She was slim of face and body. Her soft eyes were like clear blue pools of water. The way she had hunched nervously gave Vincent reason to deduce that she was new to the ways of HARBOUR HOUSE. She had been crying. She was still in clothes one would have worn outside. An intervention staged perhaps? Her family refusing to return for her until she was ‘normal.’ What was normal? No one was normal. Especially not in the city of Coldford.
“It will take a while to settle in but you’ll get there,” Vincent decided to say to her.
The girl looked up and smiled. “Thanks. I’ll be fine.”
Vincent nodded. She wasn’t a drug addict. She wasn’t a victim of trauma. Something else had brought her to them. He checked himself though. Ever since he was a little boy he had been drawn to the vulnerable, to those who needed help. His obsession meant that he was in no position to help. His obsessions just made things worse. The girl just needed to be left alone. At least Harbour House was helping him with something.
“How long do you have to stay here?” The girl asked just as Vincent was preparing to make another stroll of the gardens.
Her face was soft. She was pleading to him. She wanted his help. He could help. He had to help. She needed him. What was her name? Should he ask? If they shared their names that connected them. That made them a pairing and when you know someone who needs help you should help, shouldn’t you? Her watery blue eyes were begging him. ‘Help me, please!”
Vincent took a deep breath. “As long as it takes I suppose.”
The girl nodded. “I thought so.”
Vincent pushed his spectacles further up his nose. “You’ll get the help you need here.”
That much was true and that was all he would have to say on the matter. He had to leave it at that. If he thought about it more and started to question her as to what brought her there he would set himself back and Harbour House had been doing him good.
The door was thrown open again. TAWNY, an a old show girl and fellow resident leaned out. She had a cigarette dangling from her lips.
“C’mon honey!” She called to Vincent. “We’re going out to the roof.”
She giggled as the artist, DAVID FINN, also a resident, pushed beside her in the doorway.
“I painted my walls with pudding and they think its shit!” He laughed.
Vincent shook his head. “Very mature, David,” he replied but he was laughing too.
He made his way to join his friends. He stopped at the girl on the bench. “You’ll be fine,” he said.
The girl smiled in return. “You think so?”
Vincent didn’t dare allow himself to ponder the question.
A matron of the facility, Beverly, was making her way to the gardens.
“I know that was pudding!” She barked at David, slapping his arm.
David and Tawny fell to laughter. “Had you going though!” David teased.
The three made their way to a quiet spot on the roof. Beverly called to the girl.
“Emily?” She said. “I need you on the floor.”
The girl nodded, took a deep breath and stood. Her family had left her there. They wouldn’t return until she was better but she wasn’t a resident. She was a nurse. Just like the residents she would be there as long as it took.
Vincent thought he had his life together. A loving partner, a thriving career and all the blessings life can offer. When he accepts a wealthy new pupil his obsessions threaten to derail everything.
Celebrating 4 years! Read the hit novella that brought Mr Baines to Harbour House.
Those little mind worms can wriggle deep. But you have an public persona that you need to keep. They wriggle, the squirm and they embed. You can’t get those thoughts out of your head. There’s one place obsession can meet its cure. In Harbour House, that I can assure.
A skilled negotiator for the most part, Evan is charming but also very full on. He started his career in sales for COOPER Garage when he was a budding accounts student at FILTON University. With his proven stats behind him he was head hunted for the advice team for Beckingridge Firm. This suited Ethan. BECKINGRIDGE TOWER was the one place in Coldford he wanted to work. There he thrived and there he also met his wife, Sonya.
So what exactly does the accounts advice entail? Evan, being a proven salesman with a head for numbers formed a formidable team with his wife. They were placed in charge of bringing in wealthy new clients for the financial giants to invest their money. They were also charged with pushing old clients to invest in new projects. All with that ultimate goal – Cold Hard Cash.
Successful at their job and paid well the Heaths bought a lavish residence in Filton. Fancy cars and expensive restaurants like the DELPHINE are all part and parcel. They just can’t get enough which is why their teenaged son is still sent drug errands to the Shanties.
Times change and the flow of wealth in the Shady City can be treacherous. As music teacher, VINCENT BAINES, watched the Heaths leave for work one fateful morning he couldn’t help but notice that Filton had no soul. Who needs a soul when you can sell it for a mansion house?
Music teacher Vincent Baines shudders when he arrives at the home of his latest pupil. Behind mansion walls are where the true skeletons lie.
Mr and Mrs Heath found themselves on the wrong side of the Knock Knock Boss Lady. It was time to take a leap of faith. Complete Season 1 of the Knock Knock graphic novel series is free to read here or click below to download for Kindle.
He’s an adorable little psychopath, right? Well perhaps not. He tends to rile the readers but he does give a lot to talk about. So with that in mind here are ten things you (probably) didn’t know about the heir to the BECKINGRIDGE TOWER.
This may contain some MAESTRO spoilers so if you haven’t read and wish to do so click HERE.
1: Crazy on his mother’s side.
KNOCK KNOCK readers will have met ERNEST BECKINGRIDGE, George’s father, in ISSUE 17: HIGH FLIERS but Maestro readers will remember George’s mother, Alice. Tall, demanding and with a reputation of being a bit of a dragon Alice had a reputation that resonated through the town of Filton and with good reason. She was tough, charismatic and was ahead of her husband in leadership of the Beckingridge Manor. What you may have not known was that Alice was treated as girl for rage bouts and psychopathic tendencies. It seems its like mother like son for Alice and George.
Before music teacher, VINCENT BAINES, came into his life George had no friends. The Peterson twins in the neighbouring mansion house avoided him as best they could. The only person he had ever grown close to or would even consider a friend was a little boy named CECIL. Cecil was sick though. George was never told what had happened to him but when he failed to turn up at school one day George was informed by their teacher, Miss Matheson, that the little boy had died in the night. George was inconsolable.
To say that George has strange quirks would be putting it mildly. But among those quirks George has a deathly allergy to bee stings. At age seven George had been stung whilst in the gardens of his manor home. His tongue and throat were swollen but his mother Alice, watched him. He was close to death when finally his father gave him his epipen. George, as you can imagine, hates bees.
4. Highly intelligent; emotionally stunted.
Even as a grown up George still has the tendency to behave like a child and a very spoiled one at that. He has the emotional level of an eight year old but when tested he showed an extremely high IQ. Some doctors reckoned most of his childish outbursts were an act. He seemed to enjoy shocking people.
5. Twin birthdays.
Speaking of spoiled. The Peterson twins, with some hesitation, offered an invitation to the Peterson manor for their joint sixth birthday party. George accepted. However, seeing the attention the twins were being showered with GEORGE created a scene the way only George could. Ernest had been present but unable to stop his son wrecking the gifts that had been brought for the twins and attacking Oliver Peterson with a soiled nappy. Twin, Ollie was a feisty little boy though and George was sent home with a burst nose.
6. A night at the movies.
We all enjoy a good flick, right? George does too. In fact he had been sat in front of the television so often as a tot with little else to stimulate him it became something of a nanny. He especially enjoys the older films when actor, LAURENCE DUBOE was in his prime.
7. On display.
George was sent home from school one afternoon when he was eight after exposing himself to the entire class. Ok maybe that’s not exactly a big surprise but he enjoyed the wave of shock he had brought to the room. Perhaps enjoyed a little too much. It wouldn’t be the first time he exposed himself, nor would it be the last.
After his mother died George became interested in the embalming and preservation process. He learned everything he needed to know from books he had insisted on getting from the library and even had a shed full of dead pigeons he planned on putting his knowledge to the test on.
9. A distraction.
When Vincent first meets George’s Aunt ELIZABETH, she informs him that his latest pupil may be a bit of a handful. It seems Beckingridge Manor has had some trouble keeping its heir in line. Vincent has been enlisted as a music tutor not only to offer the boy some refinement but also to distract him. Vincent fails to ask what exactly they are trying to distract him from. He finds out for himself soon enough.
The reason music is chosen rather than martial arts, drawing or any other pursuit is because George’s favourite place as a boy was the music room. He would spend most of his time in there and when he was in there Alice could lock the door and forget about him for a while.
10. 10 years is too soon.
George was a kidnap victim. After seeing what George was capable of and what the Manor environment was doing to him his teacher offered him a way out. Naively, perhaps but at least it did keep him out of trouble for a while.
Now George is back. He’s all grown up and he’s ready to take the reins of his father’s empire. Part of that empire leads him to Harbour House and the place where his favourite teacher is now resident.
Broken and disgraced. A music teacher, an artist and an old show girl form an unlikely friendship. Inside Harbour House all they have is each other.
Little George Beckingridge has become too much for his family to handle. Perhaps music lessons from the talented Mr Baines will give him something more positive to focus on.
George is the youngest child and only son of CEO ERNEST BECKINGRIDGE. He is a young man with every possible privilege in life laid at his feet.
Having spent 10 years in the hands of a kidnapper, George is still adjusting to life back at BECKINGRIDGE MANOR with his Aunt Elizabeth, his father, sister and his new born niece, Vicky. As accommodating as the manor and its staff can be it seems he isn’t overly excited about being home. He always did find it quite a constricting place when his mind was set on doing whatever he wanted.
He has a psychopathic nature with a wealth and family name behind him that would have him see no consequences. George is a dangerous presence among polite society.
He is rarely found without a stuffed mouse toy named Cecil in his arms. Cecil doesn’t make a fitting accessory for a young Filton man ready to take his place at the top of the BECKINGRIDGE TOWER but those close to George have learned not to try and take it away from him.
Having missed out on a great deal of schooling a team of tutors have been assigned to bring the Billionaire Boy up to speed in preparation for him taking his father’s place at the BECKINGRIDGE FIRM. There is only one tutor George requests though and that is music teacher, VINCENT BAINES, who had been assigned to him as a boy of eight. George had been quite a handful at the time and his family felt that music lessons would give him something more positive to focus on. The trouble is though, thanks to those lessons Mr Baines is now resident of the rehabilitation facility HARBOUR HOUSE.
Little George Beckingridge has become too much for his family to handle. Perhaps music lessons from the talented Mr Baines will give him something more positive to focus on.
An old property in the affluent town of FILTON. It has been in the BECKINGRIDGE family for generations. More rooms than would ever be required it is a distinctive building that sits at the head of the town. Home to ERNEST and his sister ELIZABETH BECKINGRIDGE , along with Ernest’s children, his wife, Alice, having died.
Elizabeth Beckingridge aka thriller novelist Liz Beck
Some cut offs of police tape can be found in the bushes surrounding it from the days it was closed of as a crime scene. Now that is all anyone in the town ever sees of it. It was the first thing music tutor VINCENT noticed too when he was appointed to teach the younger Beckingridge, George.
It is a beautiful home but never had it been a happy one. Murder, madness and resentment in the air. Despite Elizabeth’s best efforts to create a home after the business with Alice it will always be cold. Even having money to burn won’t heat it up.
The say behind mansion walls are where the true skeletons lie.
#amreading @VivikaWidow and have music lessons with Mr Baines! 🎶 #maestro #harbourhouse2020
ELIZABETH Beckingridge had seen it before. As a former wild child herself she was familiar with the concept. It came from too much money and privilege with little sense of the real world. This was different though. Her nephew George was something different.
“He’s just spoiled,” she told her brother ERNEST. Ernest was sweet natured, kind and completely incapable of delivering the discipline. His wife, Alice, was though.
When Alice died this could no longer be denied.
She walked a long the Main Street of the beautiful town of Filton, heading towards the Beckingridge Manor with a COLDFORD CITY TRAVEL MUG in hand filled with black coffee.
“Elizabeth!” A familiar voice called her name, using the full name knowing her well enough to know she hated the shortened versions of Liz or Lizzie.
It was Mrs Peterson. The manor house’s closest neighbour. Her twin boys Ollie and Oz were playmates of George’s.
“Good morning, Mrs Peterson,” Elizabeth greeted hoping she wouldn’t be kept in conversation too long.
“I didn’t know you were back in town.”
“I never left,” replied Elizabeth. “After Alice’s funeral I decided to stay on and help Ernest out. I didn’t see you at the funeral, she added.”
Mrs Peterson pouted. “Alice was a dear friend of mine but I didn’t think that it was very appropriate given everything that happened. I heard that there was a bit of a fuss, picketers still calling her a child murderer.”
Elizabeth sighed. She wasn’t getting away without a satisfactory explanation to the nosy neighbour.
“We’re really just trying to focus on what’s ahead of us and try and get back to normality. You should send the twins over. I’m sure George would love to see them. He tells me they avoid him at school.”
Mrs Peterson’s face screwed as though she sucked on a lemon. “I’d rather the boys didn’t come over and it was me who told them to not speak to him. They don’t make great friends and there is always trouble.”
Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “Just say what you mean. You don’t want to be associated with a child killer. An accusation that was acquitted I might add and you don’t want your precious twins associating with my nephew because the last time they did there was a torn designer shirt, a broken nose and a beheaded dog to contend with.”
Mrs Peterson pouted. “Then you can see my point?”
Elizabeth sighed. “We are trying to do what we can to calm him down. These days he spends most of his time locked in the music room.”
Mrs Peterson seemed conflicted about something. “I have a music tutor I use for the boys. Oz is positively a prodigy on the cello. Perhaps some music lessons could give him something positive to focus on.”
“Short of having him committed you mean,” Elizabeth said in return but it was more of a mumble to herself.
“Mr BAINES is his name. You will find his flier on the town notice board. I must dash but do tell Ernest I send my best.”
George did enjoy tinkering with the piano. Perhaps it would give him some focus. With all the other kids shunning him it would help for him to have something to fill his day. Elizabeth wondered if this music teacher had what it took to keep George Beckingridge as a pupil.
When Elizabeth’s young nephew starts asking of the murder his mother was acquitted from she feels it’s time to find the disturbed little boy something to focus on. Music lessons might be key.