Monday 27 April 2009

Morrigan's Cross

It seems that Nora Roberts is a very popular writer. My eldest daughter loves her books and a couple of friends do as well. Not having read anything by her it's been hard to judge and perhaps I've been rather influenced by her reputation of being a formulaic, light, fluffy type of author. I'm easily put off when I think an author's work might not be my cup of tea, which is silly as it's not that difficult to grab a book from the library and test the waters. Which is exactly what I did and the book I grabbed was Morrigan's Cross, the first in Roberts's fantasy 'Circle' trilogy.

The story begins on a cliff-top in Ireland in the 11th century. Hoyt Mac Cionaoith, a young sorcerer, is battling with Lilith, the queen of the vampires. She has just turned his twin brother, Cian, into a vampire and he wants vengeance. Hoyt narrowly escapes with his life and is told by the goddess, Morrigan, that Lilith is planning to take over the world and it's up to him to stop her. He has to find five other people and form a circle of six warriors who will fight in the war to come. The snag is that these people will not be found in the here and now; he will have to travel one thousand years, through a time portal, to the 21st. century, in order to find them.

Using an ancient stone circle, Hoyt does just this and is transported straight to New York and the home of his brother who is now, of course, a one thousand year old vampire. Cian is not interested in helping him, claims he has no feelings for his brother at all in fact. Into their lives comes Glenna, a witch, who knows there is a war coming and that she will have an important role to play; between them, Glenna and Hoyt manage to persuade Cian to help them.

The next step is to move to Ireland, Hoyt, Glenna, Cian and his friend, 'King', to a property Cian has there, which turns out to be the twin's home from when they were children in the 11th. century. Here they must try to find the other two to complete the 'six' and then train themselves for the war that's to come. Not easy when the house is surrounded by vampires, watching their every move and constantly attacking. They have no choice in the matter though as the very future of the world is at stake.

Hmmm, well. I can see why people love her books - the fact that I didn't really love it is down to me I think, not the author. I say I didn't 'love' it and I didn't... but it was fine, I didn't dislike it intensely either. The plotline was interesting enough and the setting was okay though I didn't really get a strong impression of 'Ireland' from it. Trying to put my finger on why I'm a bit 'so so' about it is hard. I think it might come down to the fact that it was just a bit too 'girly' for me. And yet, I like some romance in my reading! It makes no sense. Perhaps this book was a romance with a fantasy element, rather than a fantasy yarn with a touch of romance? I honestly don't know. I do know that the romantic element didn't really make me 'feel' anything much. Because I didn't really care too much about Hoyt and Glenna I found it hard to feel all hearts and flowers about them as a couple. I'm guessing this is something lacking in me because Nora Roberts has many, many fans who clearly adore her work. Oh well.

Will I read more of her work? Probably. The story ends rather abruptly (so this is not a stand-alone) and I'm interested enough to want to know how it all ends. The library will provide me with the answer, but I'm in no hurry, I must admit. I guess I'm never going to be numbered among the legions of fans of Nora Roberts.

This is book 9 for my Support your local library challenge being hosted by J.Kaye. And as it's a fantasy novel will also count for Carl's Once Upon a Time III challenge... for which I've now read 5 books, but plan to continue on as there are other books in my pool that I want to read.

Wednesday 22 April 2009

The Sedgemoor Strangler

A few weeks back I read The Reaper by Peter Lovesey and enjoyed this crime novel so much I was inspired to check the library to see what other gems they were harbouring by this author. One of the books I came up with was The Sedgemoor Strangler, a volume of short stories.

Sixteen stories are included in this book and the author says in his introduction that, if there is a theme, it is that of the perfect murder and that, in most of the stories decent, law abiding people are plunged into events outside their normal experience.

The title story, The Sedgemoor Strangler, is set in the area of Somerset known as the Somerset levels. A barmaid has been killed and we witness her murder but are not told who the murderer is. Next we meet Alison who is a barmaid at The Jellied Eel in Bridgwater. Tony, a new, well off customer, with a chauffeur driven Mercedes starts to date her and we follow her story as another body is found and the pub's customers start to speculate that Tony might be the killer. Eventually the police come to the same conclusion but Alison just cannot believe it...

This quite long story was a real gem. I got very wrapped up in the mystery and, being rather local to The Levels myself, found it very atmospheric and spot on with the details. I thought I'd guessed who the culprit was but of course I was completely wrong... miles off course. An excellent start to the anthology.

The title story was followed by a very mixed bag of stories indeed.

Dr. Death is a rather creepy Victorian tale of a woman trapped upstairs in a house with a serial killer downstairs, who has just murdered her husband.

The Four Wise Men is a very nice little Sherlock Holmes story. It's Christmas and Dr. Watson receives a letter from an old regimental friend asking him to come down to Somerset to help protect a precious star that is carried in the nativity procession. He has a suspicion that someone may attempt to steal it. Holmes, of course, accompanies the good doctor.

The Amorous Corpse tells of a post office robbery where the post mistress refuses to hand over the money and the culprit keels over with a heart attack. Except that the culprit's girlfriend, after identifying the body, tells the police that, at the time of the incident the dead man was actually still in bed with her...

The Problem of Stateroom 10 is another little gem. A group of men on a sea voyage, one of whom is a writer, challenge the writer to write a story about the perfect murder. Unbeknown to them, that is exactly what the writer is planning: the perfect murder. This one had two twists that I didn't see coming at all.

The Kiss of Death is a Peter Diamond story; the author has written quite a few books about this detective, none of which I've read yet. This one was set in New York at Christmas, involved the mysterious death of a lecherous senior partner of a firm of accountants, and was really rather good.

The final story, Murdering Max, is a bit of a spoof story involving the author himself. He thinks he has written the one and only 'youdunnit' story (where the murderer is the reader) of the century and about to be lauded for this, because it's a very difficult thing to do, when it turns out a Frenchman has also produced one. It's November 1999, just in time to be squeezed in before the 20th century ends. What does Lovesey do?

Of all the stories, just a couple didn't work for me - they were well told but I felt the endings were a bit off. Otherwise I can honestly say that this was a really excellent collection of crime stories, very varied in settings and style, with many twists and turns, hardly any of which I guessed at and a couple of which actually made me say 'Oh!' out loud. Highly and unreservedly recommended.

This book qualifies for two challenges - J.Kaye's Support your local Library and the Book Awards challenge being hosted by

Sunday 19 April 2009

Here, There be Dragons

My lovely friend, Deslily, made a gift of Here, There be Dragons by James A. Owen, to me last Christmas. I thought it would be ideal to read for Carl's Once Upon a Time III challenge, and so it turned out to be.

The story begins with a murder. Professor Sigurdsson, is killed in his study by person, or things, unknown. John, the professor's student, Jack and Charles are summoned to the house by the police to be interviewed. The year is 1917, and John is on sick leave from the trenches of WW1. The police leave and a very unusual looking little man suddenly appears at the house, looking for the three friends: this is 'Bert'. He tells John that he is now the caretaker of The Imaginarium Geographica, a magical book which is basically an atlas of the world of the imagination, and that this world is real, it actually exists.

The four are suddenly on the run as the professor's murderers turn up to steal the book and kill them too. There's a ship waiting for them at the docks, The Indigo Dragon, and they just about escape with their lives, setting sail for the Archipeligo of Dreams.

It seems the lands of the Archipeligo are being taken over by the Winter King, and the people turned into Shadow-born. The king is after the Imaginarium Geographica to help him with his evil doings and it's the friends' jobs to protect the book and try to defeat the Winter King. It's no small undertaking and they will need all the help they can get. Thus, they travel from island to island picking up information along the way, as well as an odd young man named 'Bug'. Adventure follows adventure and some familiar characters crop up or are involved historically. And... as the title suggests... there are certainly dragons!

It's no surprise that this book reminded me of other books as the literary referances are everywhere. Some of the background is Arthurian for instance but not quite as we know it. I won't say more than that or considerable spoilers might be involved. What I will say is that I liked the setting very much. That's doubtless because I'm a real sucker for these maritime worlds with many small islands. This one reminded me a bit of Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea books, or the Clive Barker book, Abarat. What can I say? I'm Cornish, my blood is fifty per cent sea-water...

I have to be honest and say that I'm not really sure that this book was everything I wanted it to be. But I'm struggling to put my finger on why. A slight lack of depth maybe? The characterisation wasn't great? I don't know. I found myself annoyed too by yet another male author creating what should have been a strong and interesting female character, Aven, but making her shrewish and sharp tongued. As though he thinks that women can't lead without being like that. I won't climb up on my soapbox about this again as it's getting boring - I just wish some of these men would stop writing women like this.

That said, I still found this book to be a worthwhile read. It certainly has enough imagination and good things about it to make me want to read book two and discover what form the next adventure will take. Physically, the book is very beautiful. The illustrations are very good - a nice addition to the book, I feel - and the cover is gorgeous. I'm pretty sure my county library keeps these titles so will look for the next book, Search for the Red Dragon, there.

Thursday 16 April 2009


Time, once again, for some bookporn. The majority of my book buys recently have been secondhand - either charity shop or Amazon Marketplace. These stretch back a few weeks as I've been trying not to add to my tbr mountain... not that you'd notice any particular success in that area. *coughspluttercough*

A bit of a mixed bag really.

Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik is book four in her 'Temeraire' historical fantasy series. I haven't even started this series yet. I own book one and no others and yet I simply couldn't leave this in the charity shop. Yep... I really do realise how sad and pathetic that is...

Asta's Book by Barbara Vine is a book I've been looking for for ages and comes well recommended by readers who like her work.

The Lair of the White Worm by Bram Stoker means I plan to keep trying with him and this will do nicely for the RIP challenge in the autumn.

Our Spoons came from Woolworths by Barbara Comyns is a Virago that I think I've seen blogged about. And anyway, how could I possibly leave a book with a title like that behind?

Out of the Blackout and Fete Fatale by Robert Barnard are Nan's fault. Well the first one is... I added the latter, an English town/church fete type of crime yarn, entirely off my own bat because I thought it sounded fun. The former is a WW2 story about an evacuee who is never claimed and goes back to discover his identity when he's an adult. Sounds like my kind of story.

Death at the President's Lodging by Michael Innes is a complete unknown. I saw it in a charity shop in Exeter, read that it was a university/college type crime yarn, saw that it was almost pristine and decided that at 70p I couldn't really leave it behind.

Seven new (to me) books. And there I thought I've been pretty good this year. Kidding myself I think.

Hopefully over the weekend I can find some time to post some garden photos.

Wednesday 15 April 2009

The Graveyard Book

I jumped on The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman when I saw it in the library several weeks ago. I'd seen it blogged about in several places, none of which I can now remember, and truthfully was not expecting to see it in our library so soon. But there it was, so I nabbed it!

The Graveyard Book starts off with a murder, in fact, three murders. A family is killed by the man Jack... at least, three of them are - the parents and one of their children. The second child, a toddler, has wandered out into the night and escapes. He strays into the disused graveyard at the top of the hill but the man Jack comes to find him. Two ghosts, Mr. and Mrs. Owens, find the baby and protect him and Silas, not a ghost and not human, escorts the man Jack off the premises by addling his brain.

A meeting is held and eventually the ghosts of the graveyard decide that the child's life will always be in danger and they should raise him in the cemetary. Mr. and Mrs. Owens will care for him and Silas will be his guardian. They name the boy 'Nobody' Owens, 'Bod' for short.

Year by year the boy grows and we follow his adventures with his first friend, Scarlett, his education with Miss Lupescu, his adventures in the land of the ghouls, his experiences at the danse macabre and his friendship with the witch who's buried in the potter's field. But all the while the man Jack is still out there looking for the boy who escaped. Things come to a head when his friend, Scarlett, returns from Glasgow and becomes reacquainted with Bod. Who is this man Jack and why did he want Bod's family dead? More importantly, will Bod survive?

I must admit I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this book. I've only read three other Gaiman books, Stardust and two short story anthologies, plus a few sundry stories in other anthologies and, to be honest found his writing to be patchy. I was 'so so' about Stardust, loved some of the short stories... but not others. So, in a way, I found my reaction to this book a bit surprising because I absolutely adored it.

Firstly, I think the graveyard is a character all on its own. It's such a real place and the ghosts who live there so sympathetic that I found myself wanting to move in! I was fascinated by Silas... brilliant character, imo... it's quite obvious what he is but it's never stated as far as I can remember. Ironic that it's he who is the fatherly, guiding influence on Bod as he grows up and for me that was one of the best things about the book. There's plenty of humour in the story as well... I love the way the ghosts are named with their dates and epitaph, all of a sudden I understood how Gaiman came to collaberate with Terry Pratchett on Good Omens as it reminded me of the way Pratchett described the departments in Truckers. Very funny. Apparently the book is Gaiman's take on Kipling's Jungle Book stories, albeit a rather macabre one. And the book *is* genuinely creepy and it's brilliantly done, but not overdone - pitched perfectly in other words. From comments made by Bod to Silas at the end I got the feeling that this might become a series. I truly hope so as I would love to read more about these characters and am keeping my fingers firmly crossed.

This book qualifies for no less than three challenges: Carl's Once Upon a Time III, J.Kaye's Support your local library and the Book Awards challenge being hosted by 1more as it won the Newbery award for 2009.

Friday 10 April 2009

Crossed Wires

I was lucky enough to be sent a free review copy of Crossed Wires by the author, Rosy Thornton. I love getting books like this but it always worries me in case I can't do the book justice when talking about it; I'm hardly the world's expert at book reviews after all. And then there's always the worry that I won't like the book! Luckily, that was not the case with this highly enjoyable novel and I'm quite happy to wax lyrical about its excellence.

Mina is in her late twenties and has a job at a Sheffield call centre for a car insurance company. It's tedious beyond words, having to say the same things to every customer and deal with the stupidity thrown at her on a day to day basis. And then she gets a caller with a difference. Peter is a geography professor at Cambridge university. He's pranged his car, it was his own fault and he's actually apologetic and yes...'nice'. They chat for a bit etc. and that seems to be the end of it. Then he has another accident and calls again and because of an issue with his no claims bonus, Mina decides to call him from home one evening and they chat properly.

After that, Sunday night becomes their regular chat night and even though they've never met the two find they have a lot in common. Both are single parents and both are lonely. Mina tells Peter about her daughter, Sal, who's a book worm and who she's afraid has no friends at school. About her sister, Jess, who lives with her but seems to have some secret life and chooses not to communicate properly with Mina. And about how her mum left the family home to move in with her partner, Dave. In turn, Peter tells Mina about his twin daughters, Kim and Cassie, how he wonders if they're *too* close, and about how his wife, Bev, died four years ago. He has friends, the gay couple, Jeremy and Martin, and Trish his babysitter, but really he too is lonely and in need of someone to talk to.

As time goes on and various crises come and go, the two come to confide in each other more and more. Eventually one crisis leads to Peter driving the two hours to Sheffield in the middle of the night, except that he's not the one driving and, as they do, misunderstandings happen.

This is very much a story about being a parent. Specifically, a single parent but I think *all* parents will identify with the characters in the story with no problem whatsoever. My youngest daughter is, in actual fact, a single parent and the 'having to call on someone in an emergency' element of the story rings very true to life. There's also that thing where, as a mum or dad, you really do need someone to tell about the little truimphs or new stages your child has conquered and when there's no one as interested as you, it really is very hard.

So, in a way this is a rather a poignant story but I wouldn't say that that's all it is. Truthfully, it's actually a lot of fun too. There's a lot of humour and much that, as a Brit, I could indentify with. Its Britishness shines out of it - with many references to things like our TV shows, our cooking (spacing out the sausages for Toad-in-the-Hole made me laugh), shopping, homes and so on. I'm very fond of the kind of read where I know *exactly* what the author is referring to and where I can be made to laugh at my country's idiosyncrasies.

If I have any complaint at all I would perhaps have liked Peter and Mina to meet a bit sooner. But it's a minor moan, in truth the pace of the book is such that there is always something happening in the lives of the two main characters and that's easily enough to keep any reader thoroughly engrossed. It's beautifully written, romantic, but with a definite point to make about parenthood and how we all make it up as we go along basically. A delightful book that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Saturday 4 April 2009

Short story weekend

Despite a busy weekend gardening, I've still managed to read four short stories for Carl's Once Upon a Time III...

The first one was The Girl who Heard Dragons from the anthology of the same name by Anne McCaffrey.

Aramina is a young girl who can communicate telepathically with dragons. Her family are holdless wanderers, unfairly driven from their home by the evil Lord Fax. Driven to leave their current home they head up into the mountains where circumstances conspire and at long last Aramina comes face to face with dragonriders and their dragons. I don't think this story will mean anything to people not familiar with Anne McCaffrey's Pern universe. Those who are will find it as charming as I did. And what a fabulous cover!

The Dwarf - Ray Bradbury. (From The October Country.)
Aimee works for a carnival. Bored, one hot evening, she visits Ralph who runs the Mirror Maze. He tells her about a dwarf that comes there every night and who clearly wants to buy a mirror... Odd little tale this one. I'm not entirely sure what the point of it was, other than to illustrate how cruel people can be. Reason enough perhaps.

Dead Man's Shoes - Charles De Lint
Angel, a woman who has appeared in previous Newford stories and who runs a refuge for street children, is having a strange dream. In it the ghost of a homeless man, known as Everett, approaches her in the steet holding something wrapped in newspaper; she can't see what it is but feels desperate to know. Alive, Everett was not a pleasant man but his eyes are pleading... he wants her to do something but she can't figure out what. A boy called Robbie takes her to see the body and Angel sees that his distinctive boots are missing. Robbie tells her that 'Macaulay' must have taken them and it's left to Angel to reluctantly solve the mystery of how her dreams are connected with the missing boots and the strange boy who collects shoes.

Bird Bones and Wood Ash - Charles De Lint
Jaime is being followed around by what she thinks of as women with the faces of animals - bear, raven, toad, snake and many more. They want her to do something and tell her, 'It is for those who have need of a strong mother.' She thinks this has stemmed from a visit she made to a fairy ring with her beloved Annie who has recently died. Whatever the reason, Jaime accepts 'gifts' from each of the anima and finds herself doing something to men who abuse their children. Which is how she comes into contact with Chris Dennison, the social worker from a previous story in this anthology, The Forest is Crying. Chris has an idea...

Two more terrific stories from Charles De Lint. This anthology, The Ivory and the Horn really is very good ineed.

Thursday 2 April 2009


I'm wondering how I'm going to feel when I have no Terry Pratchett left to read. I think the Bromeliad is the last of his series that I haven't read, I still have a couple of the Sam Vimes books, and several of his latest novels. I'm saving them and savouring them as I honestly don't want to be in a position where I can't pick up a Pratchett I haven't already read. Oh well, I reckon it won't be such a terrible thing to read them all over again. And learning to be patient and wait for new books to come out is not so awful. Much.

Anyway, Truckers is book one of Terry Pratchett's Bromeliad trilogy and my second book for Carl's Once Upon a Time III challenge.

The small group of nomes who live out in the country are struggling. Their numbers are dwindling and, aside from Masklin and Grimma, are all elderly. Masklin is the only male fit enough to hunt and is reaching the point where he just cannot cope. He wants to leave, to find somewhere where life is not so hard but the others won't hear of it. There's a row one night amd Masklin goes off in a strop. While he's sulking the others are attacked by a fox and afterwards reluctantly agree to leave. They end up on a lorry which takes them to a place the like of which they've never seen before: the Store. To be precise: Arnold Bros (est. 1905).

Here they find more nomes than they've ever seen, in one place, before. The big shock is that these nomes do not believe in the existance of the Outside. All they know is the Store and will not believe that Masklin and his friends are Outsiders. The store nomes live in various departments such as Ironmongri, Millineri, Haberdasheri, Del icatessen, or the secretive Stationeri, and seem to live in a state of undeclared war with each other. The Outsiders eventually settle with the Stationeri but things come to a head when The Thing - an artifact they've owned for centuries - warns them that the store is about to be demolished and they'd better get out... fast! How can Masklin get the store nomes to believe him and even worse, work together to solve this terrible problem?

People seem to be divided about this series. Some I know are not struck, others love them. After reading just the first book I fancy I'm going to fall into the latter category. I really did enjoy it. It's classic Pratchett to my mind - a book about another species which really holds up a mirror for us to look at ourselves. You think the stores nomes are ridiculous until you suddenly realise they're exactly like us. It would be sobering if it wasn't so funny. Terry pokes gentle fun at just about everything, I particularly like his use of Arnold Bros. (est. 1905) as a sort of nome god, and the 'bible' quotes at the beginning of each chapter are brilliant.

'iv. On the Moving Stairs, let the sign be: Dogs and Pushchairs must be Carried;'

'v. And Arnold Bros (est. 1905) waxed wroth, for many carried neither dog nor pushchair;

'vi. On the Lifts let the Sign Be: This Lift to Carry Ten Persons;'

'vii. And Arnold Bros (est. 1905) waxed wroth, for oftimes the Lifts carried only two or three;'

'viii. And Arnold Bros (est. 1905) said, Truly Humans are Stupid, who do not understand plain language.'

I giggled all the way through the book to be honest. Every time I read one of his books I'm torn between laughing and marvelling at the man's sheer genius. He's unique; I can't think of another writer who writes like he does. Certainly I think his humour is uniquely British, as are the characters who inhabit his stories... I'm constantly amazed that the books appeal to anyone outside of the UK, but they clearly *do*. Truthfully, I think that one of the best ways for foreigners to understand us Brits is to read Terry Pratchett.

And now I have to wait to read book two, Diggers, because I don't have it. I have to grab it from my eldest daughter next time I see her so I'll just have to be patient. Oh dear.

Wednesday 1 April 2009

A Fatal Inversion

This is my very first book by Barbara Vine. So many people rate her books and I knew I ought to try something by her because it was quite likely that I would too. I just never got around to it. That I planned to is plain because I've had A Fatal Inversion on my tbr mountain for a while now and, as is the way of things sometimes, it was suddenly time to read it, but I can't for the life of me say why.

Rather a complicated plot this... let's see... Adam Verne-Smith is nineteen when he inherits Wyvis Hall (in Suffolk) from his uncle Hilbert. It's completely unexpected, his father, Lewis, was certain he would get the house and the disappointment when he didn't was profound. Adam decides to go down to the house during the summer holidays and his close friend, Rufus, drives him. Rufus is slightly older, a third year medical student, Adam is a linguist. The year is 1976 and the main preoccupations of both men are drink, drugs and women.

Fast forward ten years (and the actual start of the book) and the current owner of the house is burying a much loved pet, in the pet cemetary in the woods surrounding the house. Instead of burying their dog they find bones - a human skeleton - an adult and that of a baby.

Adam is away on holiday with his wife and daughter when the news breaks, his father meets him at the airport to tell him all about it. From that point on it's accepted that Adam knows who the bodies are and how they got there. Rufus, now a consultant surgeon, but not in contact with Adam, also knows. The other person aware of the happenings of that summer is Shiva, of British/Indian heritage, who was also there that summer with Vivian, a new-age hippy type. The only other person there at the time was Zosie, a girl Rufus picked up at the station some days after their arrival at the hall.

This is the long hot summer of 1976 and, although several of them are keen to go to Greece for the summer, none of them have any money and slowly but surely it's decided that they will stay at Wyvis Hall. They sell antiques from the house for food, drink and drugs, and Zosie steals things.

Back in the present day (1986/7) it's revealed that the body is that of a female aged 17 to 20, and the child, a young baby girl. The present day Adam can do nothing but wait and watch as the police start to investigate the crime. He is nervous and terrified and this of course affects his family life. Rufus is more laid back about the situation but his life is not perfect either, and neither is Shiva's. The lives of all three were severely affected by the events of that long hot summer, in ways that are only slowly revealed.

A cracking good read this one. It's one of those crime novels where you more or less know who did it right from the start. Less clear in this story is who is dead, though the potential list is very short. More interesting is the 'why' and the 'how'. Truthfully, they're not a very pleasant bunch of characters inhabiting this book; they're mostly shallow and hedonistic with no morals at all. Barbara Vine is superb at depicting these awful people without being judgemental. Hers is very much a 'this is how it was, make up your own mind' style of writing. She's also superb at drip feeding little snippets of information to the reader as she hops back and forth between the two timelines. And thus you slowly build a picture of events, make guesses about what happened, only to be proved completely wrong! Until the end approached I had no idea who the dead woman and child were... once I knew, I saw the final twist coming, I must admit, but it was very nicely done. The setting of the book is also beautifully done. The hall in Suffolk with its dark and menacing woodlands is like a character in its own right. A claustrophobic world where you easily imagine anything happening...

Now that I've taken the plunge and actually read a Barbara Vine, I definitely plan to read more. I like this kind of psychological crime yarn and she clearly does it very well indeed. I gather another good one is Asta's Book which I don't have, but I do have The Blood Doctor and No Night is too Long which are on my 'read sometime this year' list.

Barbara Vine won the CWA Gold Dagger award for 1987 for this book so it qualifies for my Book Awards challenge that's being hosted