From the prize-winning author of Richard and Judy Book Club novel, The American Boy, this is the eighth in the acclaimed Lydmouth crime series, set on the Welsh/English border in the confusing years after the Second World War.
As a young police officer in Palestine during the closing months of the Mandate - the cradle of Middle Eastern terrorism - Richard Thornhill saw and did things which still haunt his dreams and make him fear for his sanity. Is he himself a killer Now, when a retired police officer is found dead in the ruins of Lydmouth Castle, the past has come back to claim Detective Inspector Thornhill, and he is under suspicion of another murder. His wife Edith and former lover Jill Francis join forces in an uneasy alliance to try to help him.
But there are many complications - scandalous allegations have been made about Miss Awre's School of Dancing; the Ruispidge Charity's annual dance for young people is under threat; teenagers haunt the newly opened Italian coffee bar and yearn for fumbled intimacies in the sheltering darkness of the Rex Cinema; an Oxford don is looking for love; the Angel of Death wears khaki shorts and drives a Ford van. And the Spring floods are rising higher than they have in living memory, drowning a multitude of secrets . . .
A brilliant take on the classic golden-age mystery updated with contemporary candour and enhanced by Taylor's ability to make characters rounded and real through his intuitive understanding of obsolete habits... a gripping and intelligent novel; highly recommended. - Literary Review
Andrew Taylor's Lydmouth series becomes more impressive with each book... Taylor's special skill is getting under the skill of his characters and creating a vivid portrait of even the dullest setting. It's a very accomplished novel. - Sunday Telegraph
Atmospheric - Daily Mail
Striking . . . A considerable achievement. - Tangled Web
Complex and absorbing - Woman & Home
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