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Before the Poisonby Peter Robinson
Synopses & Reviews
“The accomplished Robinson never disappoints, mixing well-developed characterizations with edge-of-the-seat action.”
—New Orleans Times-Picayune
“Make no mistake, hes among the very best.”
Already justifiably acclaimed for his bestselling crime fiction novels featuring British Chief Inspector Alan Banks (“The best series now on the market” —Stephen King), Peter Robinson delivers a truly stunning standalone thriller, Before the Poison. Brilliantly combining the rich, atmospheric narrative of his award-winning In a Dry Season with the twists and suspense of the noir classic Laura, Before the Poison tells the riveting story of a composer who comes to the scene of a notorious crime and becomes obsessed with a beautiful, mysterious, and possibly very dangerous woman. Evocatively set in the picturesque Yorkshire Dales, Before the Poison is a masterful tale of mystery and suspense from the Anthony and Edgar® Award winner whose extraordinary fiction Janet Maslin of the New York Times compared to, “the masculine, brooding work of Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly, Harlan Coben, George P. Pelecanos, and Jonathan Kellerman.”
"At the outset of this haunting stand-alone from Arthur Ellis Award — winner Robinson (No Cure for Love), British film composer Chris Lowndes, a recent widower, leaves California after more than 30 years for the peace and quiet of the Yorkshire countryside. He buys isolated Kilnsgate House, which the estate agent neglects to mention was the site of a sensational crime. Intercut are passages from a fictional true crime book, Famous Trials, depicting the 1953 case against Grace Fox, who was convicted of poisoning her husband, Dr. Ernest Fox, at Kilnsgate, and hanged. While Chris's initial interest is simple curiosity, the more he learns about Grace, the more his interest veers toward obsession. In piecing together the murder case and Grace's extraordinary life as a nurse during WWII, Chris discovers as much about himself as he does about her. Robinson manages a melancholy tone without veering into the maudlin, and the presence of Grace Fox permeates every page. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Chris Lowndes built a comfortable career composing scores for films in Hollywood. But after twenty-five years abroad, and still quietly reeling from the death of his beloved wife, he decides to return to the Yorkshire dales of his youth. To ease the move, he buys Kilnsgate House, a rambling old mansion deep in the country.
Although Chris finds Kilnsgate charming, something about the house disturbs him, a vague sensation that the long-empty rooms have been waiting for him—feelings made ever stronger when he learns that the house was the scene of a murder more than fifty years before. The former owner, a prominent doctor named Ernest Arthur Fox, was supposedly poisoned by his beautiful and much younger wife, Grace. Arrested and brought to trial, Grace was found guilty and hanged for the crime.
His curiosity piqued, Chris talks to the locals and searches through archives for information about the case. But the more he discovers, the more convinced he becomes that Grace may have been innocent. Ignoring warnings to leave it alone, he sets out to discover what really happened over half a century ago—a quest that takes him deep into the past and into a web of secrets that lie all too close to the present.
About the Author
Peter Robinson's award-winning Inspector Banks novels have been named a "Best Book of the Year" by Publishers Weekly, a "Notable Book" by the New York Times, and a "Page Turner of the Week" by People. Robinson was born and brought up in Yorkshire, and now divides his time between North America and the U.K.
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