Synopses & Reviews
The year is 1919 and the population of Great Britain is still struggling to its feet after being hit by the atrocities of the First World War. Progress is slow, even in quiet spots like the village of Broughton Underhill, on the edge of the Black Country. Gradually soldiers return, wounds begin to heal, and people try to move on with their lives. Former police sergeant Herbert Reardon has returned to the village, determined to solve an old murder--a woman was found drowned in the lake when the war was just beginning.
However, as Reardon begins to investigate, it becomes clear that secrets still abound and lips are staying sealed. When Edith Huckaby, a maid from Oaklands Park, is found murdered in exactly the same spot, Reardon is convinced that the two cases are linked. As he endeavors to discover the hidden truth, his suspects and witnesses are painstakingly trying to rebuild their lives, in a world that has been changed and scarred forever.
Broken Music is a masterful portrait of the horrors of the front line and the anxiety of the home front, as the loves and losses of wartime Britain are woven together and the truth slowly dawns on a local tragedy.
"Eccles's middling stand-alone set in England in 1919 features Herbert Reardon, a recently discharged soldier with a disfiguring war wound who can't let go of a puzzling death that occurred in August 1914, which was the last case he handled as a police sergeant in the small town of Broughton Underhill before joining the army. Marianne Wentworth, the grown daughter of the Rev. Francis Wentworth, drowned in a lake after a boathouse jetty collapsed, a tragedy widely viewed as accidental. The surviving Wentworths don't welcome Reardon's renewed inquiries, which only reinforce his suspicions of foul play. Meanwhile, he must adjust to the effect his scarred face has on others. The big family secret at the heart of the mystery is a bit hackneyed, and Eccles (The Shape of Sand) is less adept than Charles Todd in depicting the psychological aftermath of WWI." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Fans of Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series, and those interested in the history of the Great War and its aftermath, will appreciate Eccles's skillful portrayal of life in the trenches and on the home front, as well as the novel's complex saga of family secrets, love and loss....A compelling British mystery and family saga set during and after the First World War."--Shelf Awareness
"Eccles weaves a spellbinding tale of deception, violence, tragedy, love, and loss."--Booklist on Shadows & Lies
The year is 1919 and Great Britain is still struggling to its feet after being hit by the atrocities of the First World War. Former police sergeant Herbert Reardon returns home, determined to finally find out what happened the night that his daughter, Marianne, was found drowned in the lake. When a maid is found murdered in exactly the same spot, Reardon is convinced that the two cases are linked.
About the Author
Marjorie Eccles was born in Yorkshire and spent much of her childhood there and on the Northumbrian coast. The author of more than twenty books and short stories, she is the recipient of the Agatha Christie Short Story Styles Award. Her books featuring police detective Gil Mayo were adapted for the BBC. Eccles lives in Hertfordshire.