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Read an extract from Three Drops of Blood by Gretchen McNeil

Read an extract from Three Drops of Blood by Gretchen McNeil

Being an actress, Kate is no stranger to drama. And when her chance at a leading role gets cancelled, she is willing to do whatever it takes to get her acting career back on track even if that means getting a boring office job at her best friend’s father’s law firm so she can prove to her parents she can to support herself rather than go back to high school.

Now, rather than living life on the big screen, she is stuck filing mundane contracts and watching the people in the office across from hers live their equally boring lives. But when Kate sees things heat up between a woman and her assistant, her new source of entertainment take a turn for the worse when she witnesses a double murder. Now, she must get anyone to believe her and find out who this mystery woman is to get answers.

But as she learns more and more about the circumstances leading to the gruesome act, she begins to realise there is a bigger mystery under the surface… In this voyeuristic thriller filled with twists and turns, can Kate get anyone to believe her before she becomes the next victim?


Kate didn’t have time to answer her own question before another figure barged through the door of Ripley’s office. Kate recognized him immediately. It was the man who had confronted Ripley a few days ago.

The man Kate assumed was Ripley’s husband.

The assistant scrambled to his feet, struggling to button his pants. He pressed himself against the window as if he might be able to disappear through the glass, and as Ripley’s husband turned to face him, Kate saw why. The man was holding a gun.

Ripley didn’t show any fear. Or surprise. In fact, as she sat on the desk in her bra, Ripley looked almost as if she’d been expecting this confrontation. A smile played at the corners of her mouth while she watched her husband, her hands fidgeting with something just out of Kate’s view.

Her husband was yelling, face red, spit flying from his mouth, but instead of attempting an explanation or begging forgiveness, Ripley merely tilted her head back and yawned.

Her husband paused, momentarily thrown by his wife’s reaction. He stood in the door, his gun hanging limp and forgotten in his hand as he gazed back and forth between Ripley and her assistant. Suddenly, he seemed to realize where he was and what he was doing, as if arriving at his wife’s office while brandishing a firearm had all been done unconsciously, under the influence of anger or booze or both.

He dropped the gun, jumping away from it in horror, then turned to leave. In the window, Real-Life Wyatt’s body visibly relaxed.

But if Ripley shared her assistant’s sense of relief, she certainly didn’t show it. Instead of relaxing, she threw her arms up in dismay, and Kate could almost hear the single word she mouthed. “Seriously?”

Ripley sighed and grabbed the item she’d prepped on her desk. She must have said something nasty because her departing husband swung around. At the same time Ripley raised her hand.

Kate registered two things simultaneously. The first was that Ripley had managed to pull on a pair of blue surgical gloves while her husband had blustered in the doorway, and the second was that she held a black metal object in her hand, but Kate only realized it was a gun when Ripley pulled the trigger, shooting her husband in the chest.

“Oh my God!” Kate cried out, though no one could hear her from inside the dungeon.

Holy shit. She’d just watched Ripley murder her husband. No self-defense, no the heat of the moment excuse. She’d calmly and stoically murdered him while he was unarmed and attempting to leave.

Ripley walked into the lobby and bent down, over the body Kate assumed, though she couldn’t see the floor from her angle. Her assistant crept up behind her. Then in one fluid move, Ripley swung aside and held something out toward Real-Life Wyatt. Kate thought she heard a faint pop reverberate across the courtyard. The assistant’s body twitched, then hung in the air for a moment before he too crumpled to the ground.

Kate was pretty sure Ripley had killed him using her husband’s gun.

Three Drops of Blood is published by Disney-Hyperion on 21 March 2023

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