About the Book
In the past . . .
On a blisteringly hot August afternoon in Crystal Palace, once home to the tragically destroyed Great Exhibition, a solitary thirteen-year-old boy meets his next door neighbor, a recently widowed young teacher hoping to make a new start in the tight-knit South London community. Drawn together by loneliness, the unlikely pair form a deep connection that ends in a shattering act of betrayal.
In the present . . .
On a cold January morning in London, Detective Inspector Gemma James is back on the job now that her husband, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid, is at home to care for their three-year-old foster daughter. Assigned to lead a Murder Investigation Team in South London, she’s assisted by her trusted colleague, newly promoted Detective Sergeant Melody Talbot. Their first case, a crime scene at a seedy hotel in Crystal Palace. The victim, a well-respected barrister, found naked, trussed, and apparently strangled. Is it an unsavory accident or murder? In either case, he was not alone, and Gemma’s team must find his companion-a search that leads them into unexpected corners and forces them to contemplate unsettling truths about the weaknesses and passions that lead to murder. Ultimately, they will begin to question everything they think they know about their world and those they trust most.
About the Author
Second child of Charlie and Mary Darden. A rather solitary childhood (brother Steve is ten years older) was blessed by her maternal grandmother, Lillian Dozier, a retired teacher who taught her to read very early. After a rather checkered educational career, which included dropping out of high school at sixteen, she graduated from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, with a degree in biology.
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