"McGown's style is uniquely hers, engrossing, poignant, with effectual characterization."
When the body of fifteen-year-old Natalie Ouspensky is found strangled near a public park in Stansfield, England, Detective Inspector Judy Hill and Detective Chief Inspector Lloyd have their work cut out for them. For Natalie wasn't quite the innocent her mother believes, and her classmates at Oakland School guard Natalie's secrets--and their own--like life itself. Then a shred of evidence points Hill and Lloyd in the right--and decidedly deadly--direction. . . .
"[A ] compelling story . . . The characters are devious, cunning, charming--and truly, truly wicked. This small English town, overrun with malice, is well served by its finely delineated constabulary, with Lloyd and Hill at the top of their form."
Constant gossip, endless secrets, nonstop rumors-these everyday elements of high-school life prove nearly impenetrable obstacles for Detective Chief Inspector Lloyd and Inspector Judy Hill of the Stansfield Police as they try solve the murder of a teenaged girl in this leisurely but compelling story. Natalie Ouspensky is a precocious 15-year-old with a host of gregarious friends, a fine school record and, apparently, a secret life. When her strangled corpse is discovered near a public park, Lloyd and Hill join hands to demonstrate once again (after Murder... Now and Then) why their professional (and romantic) collaboration creates tension, ignites sparks and ultimately, in McGown's skilled telling, comprises superior mystery fiction. As the investigators (aided by the overzealous and cheeky Detective Sergeant Tom Finch) query the pupils and faculty at Oakland School, they discover a network of romantic liaisons and flirtations that cross the barrier between students and teachers. Was popular gym instructor Colin Cochrane having an affair with Natalie? Who is sending him sexually explicit mail? Why doesn't an eyewitness to the events on the eve of the murder come forward? The characters are devious, cunning, charming-and truly, truly wicked. This small English town, overrun with malice, is well served by its finely delineated constabulary, with Lloyd and Hill at the top of their form.