Losing Nicola

Susan Moody. Severn, $28.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8014-7
Moody (Dummy Hand and five other Cassie Swann bridge mysteries) deftly captures austere post-WWII England in this subtle, somber stand-alone. Seven-year-old Alice and eight-year-old Orlando have settled with their large extended family in roomy Glenfield House in Shale, a small town on the Kent coast. The years pass happily enough for the children, until their final summer in Shale when, the day after Alice's 12th birthday party, Alice and Orlando discover the battered body of Nicola, a girl two or three years older than Alice, in a lonely glade. The bewitching Nicola was the daughter of one of Glenfield's paying guests, a divorced woman from London. Twenty years later, a recently divorced Alice returns to Shale, where she begins to piece together events of that summer and must face the possibility that her beloved Orlando is a murderer. Moody skillfully brings her characters to life, especially the emotionally wounded Alice, who slowly progresses toward healing. Martha Grimes fans should be pleased. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/18/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-78010-334-1
Paperback - 276 pages - 978-1-84751-327-4
Hardcover - 366 pages - 978-0-7278-9620-9
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