A rising film star is murdered on the morning of her wedding.
Actors Daniel Richardson and Hugh Ashley-Hunt are as close as brothers. So it’s hardly strange that they should fall for the same girl, quirky Tamsyn Burke. Almost on a whim, she follows them to Dorset, where they’re filming Thomas Hardy’s Under the Greenwood Tree. Tamsyn finds work as an extra, but Hugh soon persuades producer Sir John Hodges to take a gamble and move her into the lead. As the three lark about the countryside, Daniel feels his connection to Tam growing, but when the production wraps, he’s heartbroken to learn that she’s agreed to move in with Hugh. Their engagement soon follows, and on the nuptial morning, Daniel wonders how he’ll manage seeing his best friend wed to the love of his life. Worry turns to horror when Tamsyn is discovered stabbed to death, her wedding dress drenched in blood. All during the following weeks—at the funeral, throughout the police investigation—Daniel is plagued by the thought that Tamsyn must have been killed by one of the guests. Even as DCI Gordon Murray and Sgt. Ennis pursue the case diligently, if somewhat by the book, Daniel feels he must launch his own inquiry. Joined in his quest by Tamsyn’s sister, the young actor meets dead end after dead end until he reaches far enough into the past to find the motive for murder.
Thomas’ finely drawn characters more than make up for some clumsy plotting in her eminently readable debut.