Actress Jessica Randal has been incapacitated by a broken leg, and both she and her husband of eight weeks, author Matthew Selby, think they will have a month of tranquility and convalescence when they rent Hinckley cottage near the rustic English village of Westridge. But a demented rapist is stalking the town, striking quickly, savagely and often, and always adding his own macabre touch to the act by forcing his terrified victims to recite nursery rhymes. When the body of Freda Cowley, missing owner of Hinckley cottage, is discovered with a nursery rhyme tucked into her pocket, it becomes apparent that the rapist is also a murderer, and the community, populated with well-meaning, sharp-eyed and astute citizens, draws together for support and protection and tries to make sure that Jessica, housebound and helpless, has someone with her when Matthew is out of town. Jessica is indeed at risk, for several bizarre incidents have drawn suspicion to her husband, and clues suggest she is next on the murderer's list. Fraser (A Shroud for Delilah has added a distracting and meaningless romantic subplot, but the book remains, till the end, a taut and truly shocking story. (February 6)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987 Release date: 01/01/1987 Genre:
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.