From the prize-winning author of Richard and Judy Book Club novel, The American Boy, this is the seventh in the acclaimed Lydmouth crime series, set on the Welsh/English border in the confusing years after the Second World War.
Love and need make unexpected bedfellows, and both are blind. As the grip of a long hard winter tightens on Lydmouth, a dead woman calls the dying in a seance behind net curtains. Two provincial newspapers are in the throes of a bitter circulation war. A lorry-driver broods, and an office boy loses his heart.
Britain is basking in the warm glow of post-war tranquillity, but in the quiet town of Lydmouth, darker forces are at play. The rats are fed on bread and milk, a gentleman's yellow kid glove is mislaid on a train, and something disgusting is happening at Mr Prout's toyshop.
Returning to a town shrouded in intrigue and suspicion, Jill Francis becomes acting editor of the Gazette. Meanwhile, there's no pleasure left in the life of Detective Chief Inspector Richard Thornhill. Only a corpse, a television set and the promise of trouble to come.
How skilfully he recreates the atmosphere of the time through innuendo, attitude and detail rather than dogged description . . . Taylor is the master of small lives writ large - Frances Fyfield, Express on The Suffocating Night
The most underrated crime writer in Britain today - Val McDermid
Andrew Taylor is one of the most interesting, if not THE most interesting novelist writing on crime in England today - Harriet Waugh, Spectator
Taylor is an excellent writer - The Times
The people depicted here are real and believable and the drabness and genteel facade of Fifties England is skilfully brought to life. Taylor is, as always, adept at showing the reality beneath the surface - Sunday Telegraph
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