Night Child

Alan Scholefield, Author
Alan Scholefield, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-312-08863-7
Hardcover - 480 pages - 978-0-7089-3082-3
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An astute hybrid of procedural and psychological detailing, this engrossing mystery features several shocking crimes and characters who derive a measure of satisfaction from experiences of emotional brutality. The only witness to the murders of a reclusive mother and daughter is the small boy whom the two women held captive in the upstairs of their London home. But David is mute and unresponsive. Hannah Wilton, the psychologist assigned to the boy's case, puzzles over his silence and his interest in green pens and the number six as she also contends with the attentions of a photographer interested in David and with her own personal tragedy, which bonds her to the boy. The investigating copper is Peter Ferry, a rough-edged hotshot with an urbane superior breathing down his neck. Before the conclusion, a shocker liberally doused in blood, Scholefield ( Thief Taker ) painstakingly surveys subtle developments, including Ferry's evolving relationship with his suddenly possessive father and Wilton's tentative exploration of love after death. A layered, highly satisfying tale. (Mar.)
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