From the prize-winning author of Richard and Judy Book Club novel, The American Boy, this is the first in the acclaimed Lydmouth crime series, set on the Welsh/English border in the confusing years after the Second World War.
Workmen in the small market town of Lydmouth are demolishing an old cottage. A sledgehammer smashes into what looks like a solid wall. Instead, layers of wallpaper conceal the door of a locked cupboard which holds a box - and in the box is the skeleton of a young baby. Items within the box suggest that the baby was entombed early in the nineteenth century, but when another man is also found dead, the evidence suggests that the baby's death is more recent than it seems and that a killer is on the loose . . . Journalist Jill Francis, newly arrived from London, has her first assignment.
The most under-rated crime writer in Britain today - Val McDermid
Captures perfectly the drab atmosphere and cloying morality of the 1950s . . . Taylor is an excellent writer. He plots with care and intelligence and the solution to the mystery is satisfyingly chilling - The Times
There is no denying Taylor's talent, his almost Victorian prose exudes a quality uncommon among his contemporaries... his eye for detail and an enviable ability to dissect relationships and communal habits make for a pleasurable read - Time Out
Engrossing launch of a series . . . Taylor subtly weaves the threads of this thoughtful, melancholy tale until they become an interlaced whole before the reader's eyes - Publishers Weekly
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