April 1989: sisters Alison and Jacquie Barnett take a holiday to Greece that neither of them will ever forget. When Jacquie's father dies, she discovers he has split everything equally with her sister, whom no one has seen for eleven years. And Jacquie, desperate for the money, has no choice but to try to trace her. It is a journey that takes her to Westmead, and stirs old emotions that will once more put lives in danger ...
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(178mm x 108mm x 38mm)
Time Warner Paperbacks
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
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UK Kirkus Review »
This eighth novel from Charles is set around a fictitious Westmead Cathedral near Bristol in the year 2000.Chris, a teacher in a London comprehensive school, and his wife, Sophie, move to Westmead when he takes up post as lay clerk in the cathedral choir and history teacher at the cathedral school. Included with the new post is free residence in a medieval terrace house in Quire Close near the cathedral. Putting her successful photography career on hold, Sophie supports Chris in his choice having had his help in the past. She thinks Westmead may be a good place to start a family, but she feels claustrophobic in the gossipy enclave dominated by the powerful widow of the former Dean. Lonely and unhappy, she becomes intrigued by the story of the murder of a young woman in the close more than a decade earlier.Jacquie Barnet comes from her home in the Fen country to Westmead in search of her sister, ALison, last seen eleven years previously. Their history until then is one of over protective parents dominated by a fanatical pastor of the Free Baptist Church to which they belong. An uncharacteristic holiday in Greece for the sisters shortly before they lost contact has consequences that are important in finding Alison. The investigation disrupts the tenor of life in Quire Close and many unchristian traits are revealed.Despite factual references to 21st century life, the characters seem to live in a time warp that subtracts several decades from real time. Gender roles, fashion and the attitudes portrayed towards techonology support this parochial view which rural isolation and religious scruples cannot quite justify. Predictable plot, stereotypical characters, cliches and coincidences confound the expectations raised by the book jacket. Review by MONICA HARAN (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Kate Charles
Born in America, Kate Charles has lived in England for many years, and she and her husband live in a large Victorian house with their two dogs - one white, one black.