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 Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 15 January 2015. ISBN: 978-1-780-22002-4 (PB)
No murder; no violence; no crime at all, in fact. Just the slow,
inexorable building of a sense of appalled horror, as the conspirator stalks
her prey and inflicts escalating punishments for a past hurt, the nature of
which is only elliptically revealed. What, you wonder, will she do next? How
far will she go? And why? What is it all about?
is a successful artist with a sophisticated, upmarket lifestyle. Emma is a
struggling mother who has given up a career in the media to bring up her two
children, and isn’t quite managing. Somewhere in the distant past their paths
have crossed, to Nina’s detriment; Emma doesn’t remember, but Nina does, all too
well, and is determined to exact revenge. It’s reminiscent of Zoë Heller’s
wonderful Notes on a Scandal, though much more subtle.
unfolding story flips from one protagonist to the other, often recounting the
same incident from both points of view, in a way which reveals Nina’s
Machiavellian tendencies and Emma’s naivety. On the surface, hardly anything
seems to happen: just everyday life in residential London, with days full of
childcare, shopping and exhaustion for Emma, painting and clashes with her
mother and teenage daughter for Nina. Yet all the while, there’s a growing
sense of menace, as a progression of recognizable yet individual characters
float across the page and the history between the two women gradually, though
never completely, emerges.
beautifully done: exquisitely written, understated in a way which draws you in
and keeps you reading. Lane reveals just enough about the past to be
intriguing, but never divulges the whole story; it’s up to the reader to decide
if Emma’s sin was really heinous enough to merit the fate Nina has in store for
ending is pitch perfect, but that’s all I’m saying about it. This is a book to
be read at a sitting; it will keep you up long past bedtime.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
debut Alys, Always
was a You Book
Club choice, longlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award and
shortlisted for the Writers’ Guild Best Fiction Book
award. Her is her second novel
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.