Amy Foster’s granddad dies unexpectedly and there’s no money to bury him, so the orphaned youngster decides on burglary as a career. Unfortunately, she picks on stately Hawkhills just as its owners, first cousins Rick and Drusilla Layton, return home. With an unscrupulous gleam in their eyes, the Laytons give her room, board, a makeover, and a job. Amy is soon, uncomfortably, posing nude for artist Drusilla and overhearing Rick put the moves on Harry Weston’s wife Yvonne in the hope that she’ll convince Harry to sell him his computer firm. When she asks about the bars on her bedroom windows, she’s told that they were put there to protect dear old granny, now locked away in a nursing home. Chief Inspector Milson and Sergeant Scobie, meanwhile, are looking into the disappearance of former Layton au pair Katrina Kovacs. Drusilla’s mom Constance insists Katrina simply debunked, but when Harry is stabbed to death and an incriminating photograph is found in his safe, they decide they have a double homicide on their hands. A former Weston employee will be thrashed and his unhappy young wife seduced, Amy will be led on still further, and there’ll be major computer shenanigans, business espionage, licentiousness, and family secrets aired before Katrina’s and Harry’s fates are laid bare.
Old pro Forsythe (Only Living Witness, 2000, etc.) keeps the pot boiling briskly. A feast for readers with a taste for epic theatrics, innuendo, and bodies buried in the garage.