Beverly Sullivan struggles through her meal. She wonders how it can be possible that after twenty years of marriage there is nothing to talk about. Without the kids there, interrupting, distracting, it seems there is little for them to say to one another. They didn't use to be like this. They used to be good together. All those years of eating with the kids has made them lose the knack of conversation. They should have hired more babysitters, gone out by themselves to restaurants more, she thinks regretfully, like the expertd always advise.
Unfortunately, she is positioned so that she is lookin directly at the outrageously attractive engaged couple alone together in the corner. They do all the things couples in love do: they look into each other's eyes, they smile excessively, touch each other whenever they can. Every once in a while, they laugh.
They're so young, she thinks, they have no idea.
What happened to him will never go away. He will always be defending himself. And there will always be people who don't believe him. He's learned that people will believe what they want to believe. And it's truly frightening how easily they'll believe it.
She has survived this weekend only to take something ugly away with her - she's learned that you never really know anyone else. That is terrifying. Because you can't tell, can you? When she leaves here and goes back out into the world, she will think of everyone she meets as having the potential for evil deep inside.
Lauren watches the guests at the other tables with interest. She has always been curious about people, observing them, trying to figure out what makes them tick. Studying what they do.
She wanders along the shelves, dragging her index along the surface. Something seems to catch her eye, and she pulls a volume from its place. 'Oh - I've heard about this one,' she says. 'I've been meaning to read it.'
David reads the title - The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, or The Murder at Road Hill House.
'I love a good murder mystery, don't you?' she says.
Morning comes slowly, the sun obscured by thick cloud. Overnight, the falling snow, so peaceful, has turned to sleet, coating everything in brittle ice, making the landscape even more dangerous to navigate. It seems everything is about to snap. Inside the inn, there’s a distinct chill in the air.
Lauren rises early, freezing, even with the warmth of Ian pressed up beside her. Her neck is stiff. She gets out of bed, shivering, and hurries to put warm clothes on, wondering why it’s so damn cold. She slips on jeans, a T‑shirt, a heavy sweater, warm socks. They hadn’t closed the drapes before they went to bed, and now she glances out the front window to the landscape below. Everything is covered in sparkling ice. It’s beautiful, as if the world is coated in diamonds.