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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by Williams & Whiting, 9 April 2018. IBSN978-1-912582-05-1(PB)
Olivia has put her Scottish past
behind her, after a decade of a happy marriage in Switzerland. Now, suddenly,
she gets an anonymous note reminding her of her past ... and on the same day, a
village child, her daughter’s best friend, goes missing.
person-centred story draws you straight in, from the opening: the contrast
between the children running off to school, and the sinister note. We know
straight off that Olivia’s not as she seems, but her everyday life, looking
after the children, baking, walking the dog, is made so real that by vivid
description that we’re drawn into emphathising with her. As the chapters
showing her past unfold, we understand what’s gone wrong in her life, and why.
The characters that surround her are interesting too: the ageing rocker and his
protective wife, who’s created a mansion hideaway up the road, the newcomers
who are starting a spirituality centre, Olivia’s awkward teenager son, Julian,
and her loving but distant husband, Christian. We see them all through Olivia’s
eyes – the novel is narrated in third-person centring on her throughout – and
have to assess for ourselves who is genuine and who’s manipulating her. Christian’s
determined she should put the missing child behind her – but how can she? The
descriptions of village life in Switzerland were wonderful – the beauty of the
scenery, but at the same time the isolation, is used to atmospheric effect, and
village events and traditional celebrations gave us a sense of life there while
also moving the plot forwards. The strands of Olivia’s life gradually draw
together to make a surprising, satisfying finish.
well-plotted, atmospheric story of one woman’s carefully-constructed world
falling apart. Highly recommended.
Alison Bailliewas brought up in Ilkley, Yorkshire by Scottish
parents. She studied English at the University of St Andrews, before teaching
English in Edinburgh secondary schools and EFL in Finland and Switzerland. Now
she spends her time reading, writing, travelling, playing with her
granddaughter and attending crime writing festivals.
Marsali Taylor grew up near
Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently
a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and
two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is
fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive
dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a
keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of
her local drama group.Marsali also does
a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.