Published by Piatkus,
24 March 2005.
ISBN: 978-0-74990725-9 (HB)
The death of a journalist researching the case of the brutal murder of the Harford family at 16C Potwoolstan Hall in Devon in 1985 reawakens all the horror of the case that had, with the passage of time, become folklore. The Hall - now a New Age healing centre - becomes again the centre of a murder case.
Investigating is DI Wesley Peterson., who approaches the case in his usual calm and sympathetic manner, somewhat different in temperament to his wife Pam who is her usual discontented self - even more so as Neil, Wesley’s University friend, has gone off to a dig in Virginia, USA, where they are uncovering the remains of an early English settlement. Interestingly, the early remains link back to Potwoolstan Hall and also disturbingly to Neil’s own ancestors.
The murder of the Harford family was at the time laid at the door of the housekeeper, but as Wesley investigates the murder of the journalist, he becomes convinced that the journalist during his research of the case uncovered evidence that the housekeeper Martha had not been the killer, and that maybe the killer is still out there. He needs to trace Martha’s daughter and to speak with the only survivor of the family massacre, Arbel Harford.
is a fascinating mystery. There are many strands, some that reach far back into
the past. The story is told from multiple points of view, including one from
the past. All the books I have read by Kate Ellis have been good, but this one
is particularly absorbing. Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Lizzie Hayes
Ellis was born in
Liverpool and she studied drama in Manchester. She worked in teaching,
marketing and accountancy before first enjoying writing success as a winner of
the North-West Playwrights competition. Crime and mystery stories have always
fascinated her, as have medieval history and archaeology which she likes to
incorporate in her books. Kate's novels feature archaeology graduate Detective
Sergeant Wesley Peterson who fights crime in South Devon. Each story
combines an intriguing contemporary murder mystery with a parallel historical
case. She has also written five books in the spooky Joe Plantagenet series set
up in North Yorkshire as well as many short stories for crime fiction
anthologies and magazines. Kate was elected a member of The Detection Club in
2014. She is a member of the Crime Writers Association, Murder Squad, and
Mystery People. She is married with two grown up sons and she lives in North
Cheshire, England, with her husband. Her most recent series is set post
WW1. Her most recent book is The Stone Chamber.