I'm not into this type of book, but I couldn't put it down. And the ending surprised me.
This one started out good for me, but I thought it was too slow, and couldn't make it through. I don't think I'm as much of a fan of Walters as I first thought because I haven't enjoyed her work since The Sculptress.
From Publisher's Weekly
This psychological thriller, her ninth novel, should satisfy both aficionados of the traditional English cozy and readers who prefer mysteries with a grimmer edge. Walters's dark drama unfolds in the tiny Dorset village of Shenstead, where Col. James Lockyer-Fox's wife, Ailsa, dressed only in flimsy nightclothes and boots, has been found dead on the terrace of Shenstead Manor. A coroner's jury declares James not guilty, but a telephone harassment campaign by unknown persons accuses him not only of the murder but other heinous crimes as well. This unrelenting pressure drives the colonel into a deep and debilitating depression. London solicitor Mark Ankerton steps in to prove his friend James innocent and to clear up the question of just what Ailsa was doing locked out of the house on a freezing night in her underwear and Wellies. His investigation leads him to a nearby group of Travelers-modern-day gypsies who roam the countryside in converted buses-who are squatting on unclaimed land, attempting to seize the property. The Travelers are led by the monstrously evil Fox, whose own agenda is much more complicated than a simple desire for free real estate. Award winner Walters rounds out her novel with several subplots, including confrontations between fox hunters and hunt saboteurs and other small scandals of rural life, all tied in the end to the resolution of the story. The writer's many fans will thoroughly enjoy this hefty, stand-alone mystery, but psychological thriller readers who are more interested in thrills than psychology may find the going a bit too slow and the eventual denouement too complicated by half.
I discovered Minette Walters with a book called, I think, "The Breakers," and fell in love! It's British mystery writing, but to me she's totally different from PD James. I really enjoy HOW she writes, as well as the stories themselves. Very enjoyable!
I think this was the best of her books.
The travelers have come to town. They've set up their motor homes and buses in the woods & are planning to stay a while. Their leader knows more about the people of Shenstead Village than he should and is about to make their lives a living hell. A tale of psychological suspense.
Minette Walters - her books alway keep me from housework. I never want to put them down. The settings are always different - so no boredom. This one was just as good as all the other....page turner.
"The traverlers have come to town. They've set up their motor home and buses in the woods and are planning to stay a while. Their leader knows more about the people of Shenstead Village than he should.
The village Patriarch, Colonel Fox, has his secrets--a wife who died under mysterious circumstances, an illegitimate heir, hapless children. All of which will come to light when he gets ensnared...like a fox in a trap."
"A disturbing tale about a proud family that would rather die out than give up it's shameful secrets. Walter's characters vibrate with the envy and spite of their pent-up grievances." The New York Times Book Review
Minnette has never let me down. I've enjoyed every one of her books, this one is no exception. Fox evil enough twists and turns to keep even the most jaded mystery reader happy. And, it's the first book I've every read that uses alopecia in the story. I recommend it!