As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by The Cornovia Press, 8 August
2013. ISBN: 978-1-908878-06-9
Gillian Butler hasn’t been seen since ‘The Brownes’ dinner party’. Now
fifty years later the same people gather to discuss the human remains that have
been discovered in a quarry, and which are undergoing tests, but which it seems
are most probably her remains.As theevening
broke-up all those years ago, just who was the last person to see Gillian
is a people-tracer and a novelist married to Francois, but at the time of
Gillian’s disappearance was married to Hector, whom Isobel thinks isn’t looking
too good now with his high colour.Dr
is now a known expert on child abuse, abduction, abandonment and adoption. Then
there are The Dorneywoods, and twice widowed Hannah.
story alternates between first and third person narrators. Initially we hear
from Isobel of her early life and that of the people surrounding her.Then the story switches to Fidelis and her story,
which starts in Berlin
in 1938.Like so many stories of that
period, it is a tragic.And we learn
thatthe story remains unresolved, as
Fidelis’s true identity is still a mystery.
enjoyed the way long forgotten events are brought to the surface, with odd
irrelevancies that we all encounter when we seek to remember the past. In one
recollection Isobel says that she recalls that Fidelis left the dinner party,
with Euan Butler to catch the sleeper. They were carrying their luggage ‘I
wonder when rolling luggage began,’ she muses. Can anyone remember?’ I too
began to ask myself that question.
characterisation is masterly, giving the reader the person without the need for
description. Isobel recounts at one point: ‘When I left him, Hector blamed “those
bra-burning harpies” and if he could he would have cited the woman’s movement
as the co-respondent in our divorce.’
the story progress more and more layers are stripped away from the characters,
and a sad but gripping tale of mystery and vengeance is revealed.If the novel has a message it is that one
should be careful of making decisions
that not only effect but can change and destroy lives.This book is highly recommended.
Reviewer: Lizzie Hayes
Jessica Mannnovelist, journalist, broadcaster
and author of non-fiction. Jessica hasbeen a Planning Inspector, chaired public committees, been involved with
the NHS and been responsible for protecting water customers. But she always
wanted to be a writer, ever since she learnt to read. She went to school in London, and then took degrees in Archaeology at Cambridge and in Law at Leicester University.
After living in Edinburgh for ten years and for three in Leicester she moved
with her husband, the archaeologist Professor Charles Thomas, to Cornwall,
where she still live. Jessica has written20 books so far. She has two sons, two
daughters and 11 grandchildren.