A mystery a young woman finds in her childhood home leads her to revelations about her clouded past.
Opal Jones left home at 12 to escape her alcoholic mother’s promiscuous lifestyle. Following her mum’s death, she returns to Leeds and moves into the family home. The neighbors are much as she remembers, but all is oddly changed by the disappearance of Dennis and Margaret’s grandson Craig, whose mother, Karen, no longer speaks to them. The police looked closely at everyone on Mote Street—including Opal’s mum, whose boyfriend at the time was Karen’s husband—but Craig was never found. Across the street from Opal live nosy Mrs. Pickess, obsessed with cleanliness; Opal’s beloved old music teacher Fishbo Gordon and his fellow band member Pep Kendal; and the Joshis family, who run a taxi service. They all seem to be hiding secrets. Opal often hears her next-door neighbor, the only new arrival on Mote Street, sobbing through their adjoining wall. After she finds an odd message written inside an article of furniture, Opal resolves to track down related messages. Her quest takes her to the wealthy Fossett family, whose senile daughter, Norah, is the only occupant of a huge house. As Opal tries to discover what happened to Craig and searches Norah’s house for more clues, repressed memories of her own past float up, threatening her and all her old neighbors.
The creator of Dandy Gilver (Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for a Murder, 2012, etc.) has produced a stand-alone that is worlds apart, a fascinating, mysterious ramble you can’t put down.