From the number-one best-selling author of The Ashes of London and The Fire Court, this is the sixth instalment in the acclaimed Lydmouth series.
When the body of Rufus Moorcroft, a middle-aged widower with a distinguished war record, is found in his summerhouse, the verdict is suicide. But both reporter Jill Francis and her lover, Detective Richard Thornhill, approaching the case from different angles, discover there's more to it than that.
The key to the mystery stretches back to a highly charged summer before the war and to another death. A local asylum plays a part, as do a moderately famous artist and his wife; Superintendent Williamson, now retired and loathing it; Councillor Bernie Broadbent, a man with more pies than fingers to put in them; a Cambridge don; an aristocratic unmarried mother, now gleefully drawing her old-age pension; and - to Thornhill's surprise and growing horror - his own wife, Edith.
"Andrew Taylor is a master story-teller." (Daily Telegraph)
"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 prose exudes a quality uncommon among his contemporaries." (Time Out)