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Saturday 28 October 2023

‘Clutch of Phantoms’ by Clare Layton

Published by Harper Collins,
1st May 2000.
ISBN: 0-00-651318-2

Cass Eversham is a successful City trader. The story opens as Cass succeeds having taken one of her biggest gambles yet. With a rise in salary, and starting a two-week holiday in the Seychelles with the man she loves Cass leaves her office on top of the world. Within twenty-four hours her world has collapsed.

When Livia Claughton is released from jail after serving a long prison sentence, she is besieged by reporters. Moving to a remote area and living under an assumed name, Livia attempts to come to terms with her new life.

Julia Gainsborough is an actress struggling to restart her failing career, while dealing  with her feelings of bitterness and the need for revenge.

Although each of these women have had no contact for the last twenty five years, their lives are inexplicitly woven together by their past which now shapes their future.

This is one of those books you have to keep reading, so much is under the surface. Livia Claughton had clearly been convicted of a serious crime, but what, and why, is not immediately apparent. There are layers to peel away before the reasons become known. Likewise, who she was and what she has become, is only revealed slowly, and the interaction between characters brought together by a set of circumstances makes for fascinating reading.
Reviewer: Lizzie Hayes

Clare Layton is a pseudonym of the highly successful writer Natasha Cooper (Daphne Wright), who has two series, the first featuring Willow King (seven books) and her more recent series featuring barrister Trish Maguire. This is her first psychological suspense.


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