Lill Hodsden was a monster. She rode roughshod over her daughter, wiped her feet on her husband, blackmailed her lovers and smothered her sons with a mother love that left them screaming out for freedom. Lill set the hackles rising all over Todmarsh, the little South Coast town she queened it over. She was just asking to be done in.
And her sons were very ready to oblige. In fact, they had it all worked out, for Saturday night. But when Lill was found garrotted on Thursday, on the way home from one of her boy-friends’, the case was wide open, and half Todmarsh would have regarded the murderer as a civic benefactor. Inspector McHale, on his first murder case, is a man who values intelligence, particularly his own. He is convinced he is going to discover the killer. But is he going to discover the right one?
In the claustrophobic relationships around the appalling Lill, Robert Barnard has used his gift for creating murderable monsters to set up a murder everybody can sympathize with.
About the Author
Robert Barnard lives in Leeds, was born in Essex and educated at Balliol. He had a distinguished career as an academic before he became a full-time writer. His first crime novel, Death of an Old Goat, was written while he was professor of English at the University of Tromso in Norway, the worlds most northerly university. He is a writer of great versatility, from the light and satirical tone of his earlier books to the more psychological preoccupations of later ones, such as A Fatal Attachment. Under the name of Bernard Bastable he has also written novels featuring Mozart as a detective, and is the author of many short stories. He has created several detectives, including Perry Trethowan and Charlie Peace. Robert Barnard says he writes only to entertain. He regards Agatha Christie as his ideal crime writer and has published an appreciation of her work, A Talent to Deceive, as well as books on Dickens, a history of English literature and nearly thirty mysteries. Robert Barnard was the winner of the 2003 CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for a lifetime of achievement.