Extramarital indulgence with a long-lost flame makes just pots and pots of trouble for an otherwise blameless British businessman.
It just couldn’t be more troubling, really. Here’s poor Hugh Wellesley, soldiering away, trying to keep the family glassworks from falling into the hands of a heartless corporation with plans to close the scrappy, hardworking company that Wellesley’s dad set up and send its loyal workers out into the cold post-Thatcher world. Then, just as Hugh’s almost got the financing scraped together from bloodsucking investors for a buyout, the corpse of Sylvie, a half-French nymphet who bewitched him years before and then bewitched him again just a few months ago, has washed up in the river Dart, stabbed and wrapped in polythene. What could have possessed Hugh to let himself be distracted by that dishy but drug-riddled Gallic siren? Well, of course, Hugh blames himself for spending far too much time and energy on the business, leaving him weakened and vulnerable, but he can’t help also blaming his wife Ginny just a bit. Asthmatic, hyperorganized, far too interested in the shallow world of charity events and lesser nobles, absorbed in the endless upkeep of the country house and the city house and the house in Provence, spending zillions faster than Hugh can make it, Ginny is just not doing her part in this time of crisis. Too bad they couldn’t have led the happy life of Hugh’s brother David, a small-town GP whose frumpy wife Mary seems so very supportive. And now here come the Exeter police to drag Hugh away from those important banking meetings just at the worst possible time. Is David a suspect? Alas, not a very successful sneak, he had been seen puddling about on the family yacht with Sylvie, and he can’t account for all the time around her murder. But neither can the possibly psychotic Ginny. There will be mild surprises in this curiously dated thriller from the author of Deceit (2001).
Joanna Trollope with a bit of blood.