When Mattie Harris's body is found drowned in the river, everyone in Lydmouth knows something is wrong. Mattie wasn't a swimmer - it can't have been a simple accident. She was drunk on the last night of her life - could she have fallen in? Or was she pushed? Mattie was a waitress, of no importance at all, so when Lydmouth's most prominent citizens become very anxious to establish that her death was accidental, Jill Francis's suspicions become roused. In the meantime she is becoming ever closer to Inspector Richard Thornhill, and discovering that the living have as many secrets as the dead...
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(26mm x 111mm x 177mm)
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
The Lydmouth Series of detective stories is set in the 1950s with Detective Inspector Richard Thornhill and Jill Francis - deputy editor of the Lydmouth Gazette - as the principal characters. Lydmouth is a small market town with the parochial morality typical of post-war Britain, and in this, the fourth of the series, the illicit and the respectable come face to face in a story with no happy endings. When waitress Mattie Harris is found drowned by mentally retarded Jimmy Leigh, secrets and rumours begin to surface as well. Although Mattie was a woman of little consequence some of Lydmouth's leading citizens seem very anxious to establish that the death was accidental. Thornhill is in charge of the investigation but soon finds himself the outsider as the old-boy network intervenes. His own secret relationship with Jill is further complicated by an unexpected development and issues common to both the case and their private life weave dangerously close to each other. This has everything in the mix for a thoroughly enjoyable read: a tight plot that moves along and keeps you guessing until the final few pages; a wide cast of well-rounded characters through which the author gives us individual insights into emotions and motivations; an evocative depiction of the 1950s without any hint of nostalgia to lessen the tension and dark undercurrents of society at its hypocritical worst. The book also has added appeal because it allows us to look at the other victims of these circumstances and to consider the wider issues. Readers who welcome intelligent whodunits should read it without delay. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Andrew Taylor
A bestselling crime writer, Andrew Taylor has also worked as a boatbuilder, wages clerk, librarian, labourer and publisher's reader. He has written many prize-winning crime novels and thrillers, including the William Dougal crime series, the Lydmouth crime series, the ground-breaking Roth Trilogy - which was televised as ITV's Fallen Angel - and several standalone historical crime novels. His many awards include the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger in 2009 for sustained excellence in crime writing, an Edgar Scroll from the Mystery Writers of America, and the Crime Writers' Association Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, which he has won twice - most recently for his bestselling Richard & Judy Book Club novel, The American Boy, which was also selected for The Times Top Ten Crime Novels of the Decade. Bleeding Heart Square won Sweden's Martin Beck Award, the Golden Crowbar. Andrew Taylor is also the crime fiction reviewer of the Spectator. He lives with his wife in the Forest of Dean, on the borders of England and Wales. To find out more, visit Andrew's website, www.andrew-taylor.co.uk, and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/andrewjrtaylor