Publisher: Allen & Unwin
When elderly Ailsa Lockyer-Fox is found dead in her garden, dressed only in nightclothes and with bloodstains on the ground near her body, the finger of suspicion points at her wealthy, landowning husband, Colonel James Lockyer-Fox. A Coroner's inquest gives a verdict of 'natural causes' but the gossip surrounding James refuses to go away. Why? Because he's guilty? Or because resentful women rule the roost in the isolated Dorset village where he lives? Already isolated in a remote Dorset Valley, Shenstead has become a ghost village where only five houses are in permanent occupation. The rest, priced beyond the reach of local people, belong to absent city dwellers uninterested in fighting turf wars...It's a place of too few people and too many secrets. Why have James and Ailsa cut their children out their wills? What happened in the past to create such animosity within the family? Why is the daughter described as 'damaged'? And why is James so desperate to find the illegitimate child - his only grandchild - who was put up for adoption when she was born? A story of unlikely alliances between strangers, whose clearer eyes and compassionate natures reveal evil for what it really is.
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