PLAY DEAD by Peter Dickinson


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 Fifty-ish Poppy Trasker, unhappily divorced and marking time by minding her grandson Toby for her politically-minded daughter-in-law Janet, is asked to identify a dead man found in Toby's play center. To Poppy's alarm, it's the man who had been watching her house and following her and Toby. What connection can the unknown corpse (a child molester?) have to the death of one of the play-group nannies-- or to Poppy's unlikely liaison with John Capstone, husband of Janet's Thatcheresque opponent...or to an international drug-smuggling plot, a cozily aristocratic family, or the impending fall of the Romanian government? In the hands of anybody less than veteran Dickinson, the preposterous reach of this intricate plot would boggle the mind; here, the links between the homely details of Toby's tantrums and the fate of the Ceausescus seem beautifully inevitable. Dickinson's touch is so masterly here that he makes other fine domestic mysteries seem quite amateurish.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-89296-478-2
Page count: 288pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 1992


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