Although she hadn't seen her god-daughter for several years, Isabel feels duty-bound to help when Emily gets into trouble and takes her under her wing. To her surprise Emily is determined not to be a sponger and gets herself a job as nanny. Emily discovers her charge is illegitimate, the offspring of the naive daughter of a well-to-do couple and a ne'er-do-well conman who disappeared before the baby was born. Now, unknown to Emily, he is back and determined to exploit his status as parent in return for some cash, and she is violently caught up in his botched attempts at blackmail. Desperately trying to protect her charge from physical and psychological harm, Emily also tries to shield Isabel from becoming entangled in the drama. Then events beyond her control force her to act instinctively but with horrendous effect as her own and other lives are put at risk. Once again Margaret Yorke uses the effect of extraordinary events on every day lives to gripping effect in a tense and chilling novel of suspense.
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(178mm x 108mm x mm)
Time Warner Paperbacks
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
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US Kirkus Review »
Life, it seems, continues on an imperturbable course in cozy Northtown until the arrival of two strangers. One is Emily Frost, whom her godmother Isabel Vernon, though she hasn't seen her for many years, bails out of prison after she's arrested for an environmental demonstration turned violent. The other is Godfrey Sutton, paid off long ago to leave sheltered Alice Watkinson alone, who now returns to find that he's got a four-year-old daughter, Rowena. With a few deft strokes, Yorke (Act of Violence, 1998, etc.) brings these two lost souls together but doesn't move them to share their secrets: Godfrey, that Rowena Watkinson is the daughter he's determined to get access to; Emily, that she isn't Emily Frost at all. As the two plot at darkly comic cross-purposes - Godfrey's designs against Alice and the frail parents who booted him out turning from extortion to abduction - Yorke patiently reveals the ways in which these two pariahs are expressing the resentment that's already been seething inside lonely Alice Watson and ill-matched Isabel and her primly minatory husband Douglas, civil servant and landscape gardener (one of the author's slyest portraits of engorged self-satisfaction). Even after the final quiet twist, you'll be wishing you could spend more time among Yorke's dextrously skewered misfits. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Margaret Yorke
Margaret Yorke is a past chairman of the Crime Writers' Association. She has been a writer for over twenty years and her outstanding contribution to the genre has recently been recognised by the award of the 1999 CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger.