This baffling standalone from British author Fraser (The Unburied Past) deals sensitively with issues of family and relationships. In East Sussex, piano teacher Jill Lawrence is content to share a house with her grown daughter and her daughter’s family, though she misses her husband, a freelance photographer, who died in a suicide bombing in Egypt the previous year. In Scotland, Beth Monroe, a childless widow, has become attached to her new lodger, Johnnie Stewart, but she is dismayed when he disappears one day. After a week, Beth goes to the police, who show her a photograph of Johnnie and tell her he’s been stabbed to death. A third, seemingly unrelated plot line involves an extended family in North Yorkshire. Keeping track of all the characters can be a challenge, and frequent changes of locale make for choppy pacing. Still, Fraser does her usual fine job of planting red herrings and subtle clues to the puzzle’s solution as her well-crafted plot builds to a surprising conclusion. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/16/2015 Release date: 01/01/2016 Genre: Fiction
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