There was a hole in his chest. A big hole. A quick glance showed exposed flesh and bone, red gore. It had been an accurate shot.
Truck driver Dave Shackleton senses that all is not well at Hardacre farm when he arrives to collect the morning’s milk. The cows are loose and the farmers nowhere to be seen … In the farmhouse, he discovers the bodies of Aaron Summers and his son Jack, killed with their own shotgun. Sweltering in a heatwave, Detective Inspector Joanna Piercy is now faced with solving a double murder by person or persons unknown; and when she learns that Aaron also had a daughter, Ruthie, she sets in motion a massive search to find her – either alive or dead …
‘Clear and well-crafted storytelling that pulled me in right from the start. The atmosphere of the heatwave and the claustrophobic community was beautifully done, and the lack of sentimentality in the relationship between Joanna and [her boyfriend] Matthew was fresh and entirely credible.’ – Ann Cleeves.
‘A masterpiece of crime fiction … The plot – which unfolds like an origami model – is intricate, clear and faultless … Every page of this gripping mystery deserves to be savoured.’ – femaledetective.com.
‘More than a match for Rendell and Christie’ – Broadway Ham & High.
The fifth of Telos Publishing’s reissues of noted British crime author Priscilla Masters’ Joanna Piercy mystery series.
259pp. B-format reissue novel.
Published 15 December 2014
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Priscilla Masters was born in 1952 in Halifax, Yorkshire and adopted at six weeks old by an orthopaedic surgeon and his Classics graduate wife – number three of seven multi-racial adopted children! She moved to Birmingham at the age of 16, and qualified as a registered nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 1973.
A lifelong fan of crime novels, she began writing in the mid 1980s in response to a challenge made by an aunt asking her what she intended doing with the rest of her life. She borrowed a typewriter the next day. In 1994 the first of her DI Joanna Piercy novels, Winding up the Serpent, was published by Pan Macmillan. She has now written 11 Joanna Piercy novels in total and is currently working on the twelfth. She has also written five novels set in Shropshire featuring Shrewsbury Coroner Martha Gunn, and a number of medical stand-alones dealing with such issues as the blurred line between sanity and insanity, the arrogance of a surgeon and the difficulties face by a female GP.
She is married to a doctor, now retired and running a successful antiques business in Leek, Staffordshire, which is where her Joanna Piercy novels are set. They have two sons and two grandsons.