Synopses & Reviews
In 1970, Howard Stamp a mentally retarded twenty-year-old-was charged with brutally murdering his grandmother. The evidence was controversial, but Stamp was convicted. Three years later, he commited suicide.
After trying to bring Stamp's case to public attention for years, George Gardener teams up with anthropologist Dr. Jonathan Hughes, who has reexamined Stamp's case for a book on injustice. The more George learns about Jonathan, the more similarities she discovers between scientist and subject. And if a dangerous killer is still at large she must help Jonathan defeat his own demons.
"Bestseller Walters (Fox Evil, etc.) delivers another complex tale of murder and deception. In 1970, 20-year-old Howard Stamp is convicted of brutally killing his 57-year-old grandmother with a carving knife; three years later, he commits suicide in prison. In 2002, London anthropologist Jonathan Hughes includes the Stamp case in his book, Disordered Minds, which examines infamous miscarriages of justice. The mentally slow Stamp may have been coerced into confessing to the murder. George (Georgina) Gardener, an elderly councilor living in Stamp's hometown of Bournemouth, has come to believe in Stamp's innocence herself and asks Jonathan for help in clearing the young man's name. The two get off to a rocky start, but they form an uneasy alliance that gradually grows into a deep friendship. Watching this relationship develop is one of the novel's more entertaining aspects. Walters uses to good effect the multiple viewpoints of her numerous characters, as well as flashbacks, letters, newspaper articles and e-mails to reveal the truth behind the decades-old murder. However, as in life, there are no easy answers, and although the ending may disappoint some, it caps perfectly all that has come before it. Agent, Jane Gregory at Gregory and Company. (Dec. 7) . (), $6.99 (320p) ISBN" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A brilliant piece of psychological deconstruction and a gripping story which works on several levels heartrending and shocking by turns, clever and demanding." Daily Mail (London)
"Undoubtedly one of Walter's best novels yet...startling." Evening Standard (London)
"A taut and compelling novel...the story takes off with all the wit, suspense, and deft plotting Walters is famous for." Calgary Herald
"Another brilliant twisting tale by celebrated crime queen Minette Walters." The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, Australia)
Called "a brilliant piece of psychological deconstruction" (London's "Daily Mail"), the first American publication of this novel by the "New York Times" bestselling author of "Fox Evil" features a new design and trim size for comfortable reading. HC: Macmillan (UK).
When a local councillor and an anthropologist re-investigate the controversial murder conviction of a mentally retarded 20-year-old, they're unprepared for the disturbing facts that come to light--and the personal demons with which they must come to terms.
About the Author
Minette Walters is the Edgar Award-winning author of six previous novels of intrigue, most recently The Breaker
. Walters won the Crime Writers Association John Creasey Award for the best first crime novel in 1992, with her debut novel The Ice House
. Rapidly establishing a reputation as one of the most exciting crime novelists writing today, her second novel, The Sculptress
, was acclaimed by critics as one of the most compelling and powerful novels of the year and won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for the best crime novel published in America in 1993. In 1994, Minette Walters achieved a unique triple when The Scolds Bridle
was awarded the Crime Writers of America Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year. Her following novels, The Dark Room
and The Echo
, were also published to further critical acclaim and international best-selling success.
Walters work has been translated into thirty-two languages and adapted for television. Her first five novels have been adapted for BBC Television with huge success. She has worked as a magazine editor, and is now a full-time writer.