When Detective Charlie Peace attains the rank of inspector, he decides to relocate to the sleepy town of Slepton Edge, along with his pregnant wife, Felicity, and daughter, Carola. His dream of moving, however, can only become reality with the financial assistance of his stubborn father-in-law, Rupert Coggenhoe, a mid-selling novelist and the ...Read MoreWhen Detective Charlie Peace attains the rank of inspector, he decides to relocate to the sleepy town of Slepton Edge, along with his pregnant wife, Felicity, and daughter, Carola. His dream of moving, however, can only become reality with the financial assistance of his stubborn father-in-law, Rupert Coggenhoe, a mid-selling novelist and the district's most popular widower. Unfortunately for Charlie, Rupert agrees to provide the money but on the strict condition that he moves in with them, or to a house nearby. With a heavy heart, Charlie accepts the offer and purchases two neighbouring houses, hoping that the cosy village community will warm his somewhat frosty family. However, a short time after arriving, whilst taking a walk in the neighbourhood, Charlie and Felicity encounter a group of children chanting and jeering outside a home. Strangely, the residents are a retired elderly couple who have just recently moved to Slepton Edge and cannot explain the children's reactions. Stranger still, the children are well organised, and the basis of some of their chants are lines from Shakespeare's "The Tempest". When a mysterious death disturbs the village calm, the network of neighbourhood gossip emerges as both Charlie's greatest ally and the biggest obstacle in his path to the truth. A complex and darkly intriguing mystery from the award-winning Robert Barnard, exploring the secrets that can remain hidden within the most tightly knit communities, and the lengths some people will go to in order to keep them buried.Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 2007-03-26 Undercurrents of sexual exploitation pervade Diamond Dagger Award-winner Barnard's diverting eighth suspense yarn featuring Insp. Charlie Peace (after 2005's Bones in the Attic), who has left London for suburban Slepton Edge with his pregnant wife, Felicity. Tagging along is Felicity's father, egotistical romance novelist Rupert Coggenhoe. Felicity and Charlie soon discover that Rupert followed them to Slepton Edge less to be nearby than to escape rumors of a past illicit relationship, which soon plague him anyway, especially after he takes up with seductive, manipulative teen Anne Michaels. Anne, who leads a group of drama students harassing newcomers to Slepton Edge, craves attention and amuses herself with petty blackmail. When a murderer strikes, suspicions point in many directions, including a doctor who curiously left his practice to run for mayor and a local cop who's a macho "ladies man." An implausible coincidence on a bus undoes some of the thrill of the chase, yet Barnard's tale raises some unsettling questions about the "destructive power of children." (May) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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