Charmian Daniels, the tenacious and attractive policewoman detective, keeps a card index on the inhabitants of Deerham Hills, a village forty miles from London which has little petty crime: when things break out there they are serious.
Jennie Melville's novel is concerned with closeknit, dangerous, human relationships. Very far from a whodunit, the story develops tensely and yet inevitably like the formula for a genetic code. Underneath is a problem of identity. What makes up a person? Charmian Daniels has to handle an explosive situation in which her own emotions are involved. She must uncover the identity of the victim as well as the real nature of the crime.
Jennie Melville, a pseudonym for Gwendoline Butler, was born and brought up in south London, and was one of the most universally praised of English mystery authors. She wrote over fifty novels under both names. Educated at Haberdashers, she read history at Oxford, and later married Dr Lionel Butler, Principal of Royal Holloway College. She had one daughter, who survives her.
Gwendoline Butler's crime novels are hugely popular in both Britain and the United States, and her many awards included the Crime Writers' Association's Silver Dagger. She was also selected as being one of the top two hundred crime writers in the world by The Times.