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Sunday 4 February 2024

‘Unnatural Ends’ by Christopher Huang

Published by Inkshares, Inc,
20 July 2023. 
ISBN 978-1-95030158-4 (PB)

Christopher Huang was not a writer I’d heard of before, but I was intrigued when I read the blurb of his second novel Unnatural Ends – “But [Sir Lawrence Linwood’s] heirs soon find his last testament contains a strange proviso – that his estate shall go to the heir who solves his murder.”

A short prologue set in 1903 introduces the reader to Sir Lawrence Linwood’s three adopted children, Alan, Roger and Caroline in their secret playroom at the top of the ruined Norman High Tower of Linwood Hall.

The scene shifts in Part One to 1921 when the three adult children are called home to their murdered father’s funeral. Alan is now a dedicated archaeologist eager to return to Peru, Roger an engineer who is mad about cars and planes, and Caroline a successful journalist working in Paris who has political ambitions.

It soon becomes clear that Sir Lawrence was a manipulative parent bringing up his children to win his favour by pitting their wits against their own siblings. Something he maintains even after death by forcing them to compete to find his murderer.

This is a dark, complex novel. Nothing is quite as it first appears. The story is more about each of the children investigating their own lives and past assumptions to uncover the truth of what really happened than in solving the recent murder of their father.

There are twists, turns and surprises from beginning to end. A very different, but highly satisfying read.
Reviewer: Judith Cranswick  

Christopher Huang grew up in Singapore, where he served his two years of National Service as an Army Signaller. He moved to Canada where he studied Architecture at McGill University in Montreal. Huang currently lives in Montreal.  His first book was A Gentleman's Murder.


Judith Cranswick was born and brought up in Norwich. Apart from writing, Judith’s great passions are travel and history. Both have influenced her two series of mystery novels. Tour Manager, Fiona Mason takes coach parties throughout Europe, and historian Aunt Jessica is the guest lecturer accompanying tour groups visiting more exotic destinations aided by her nephew Harry. Her published novels also include several award-winning standalone psychological thrillers. She wrote her first novel (now languishing in the back of a drawer somewhere) when her two children were toddlers, but there was little time for writing when she returned to her teaching career. Now retired, she is able to indulge her love of writing and has begun a life of crime! ‘Writers are told to write what they know about, but I can assure you, I've never committed a murder. I'm an ex-convent school headmistress for goodness sake!’
Her most recent book is Passage to Greenland

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