THE LOVER OF THE GRAVE by Andrew Taylor

THE LOVER OF THE GRAVE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 More work for the undertaker in the 50-year-old village of Lydmouth, where the cast's memories of the late war are eclipsed this time by the image of a man left dangling from the storied Hanging Tree in nearby Ashbridge. Inspector Richard Thornhill is informed that the corpse is that of Les Carrick, of Moat Farm, but it isn't--it's his twin brother Mervyn, a master at the Ashbridge School. (Is it really Les after all? Or did someone murder Mervyn mistaking him for Les? Time will tell.) Meanwhile, a Peeping Tom has set his prying eyes on higher sights, moving up from boring holes in the ceiling of a public convenience to peering in a window at Larry Jordan, the famous actor visiting the Bull Hotel incognito, to flashing Lydmouth Gazette reporter Jill Francis. In addition, Taylor (The Mortal Sickness, 1996, etc.) presents a properly suspicious Italian hand who just won't leave Moat Farm to return to his own country; decorous hints of adultery, illegitimacy, and blackmail; and an observant sixth- former whose story about seeing the late Mervyn Carrick just before he was killed keeps changing with the moon--in other words, nothing unfamiliar, nothing untoward, and all tossed together with a soothing lack of dramatic urgency, or of tangible clues. Readers who, beguiled by Taylor's understated wit and nostalgic charm, persist to the end will be rewarded for their patience by an unguessable killer.

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1997
ISBN: 0-312-15573-5
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1997




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