Margaret Yorke was the recipient of the 1999 Crime Writers' Association Diamond Dagger Award for excellence in the field of crime writing.
Once again, Yorke offers an engaging combination of psychological intensity and murderous intent in an English village setting. The secrets of two neighboring houses cause problems for their inhabitants, especially when a killer comes to reclaim a hidden lethal weapon. For all collections.
Fatherless boys-some of whom yield to bad company, others to good influence-give British writer Yorke's latest a strong emotional dimension. Self-reliant Mark lives with his unmarried mother; angry, thieving Steve with his widowed stepmother. Together they while away afternoons with aged invalid Tom Morton at his home, The Willows. Up the road at Merrifields lives Richard Gardner, a generous man of great patience, with his abusive, manic-depressive wife, Verity, and her sons, vulnerable Terry and tough, rude Justin. As village incidents of vandalism, arson and burglary escalate, each of the boys falls under suspicion. When Tom dies, homely retired spinster Marigold Darwin buys his house. Here Yorke's trademark suspense kicks in: Alan, the man Tom raised as a son, has completed a prison sentence for his wife's murder and finds he is disinherited. Determined to dig up his murder weapon under the shed at The Willows so he can start a new life in crime, Alan nurses his rage, and it's only a matter of time before he claims a new victim. Yorke works a subtle psychological study of bad behavior, yet leaves the reader free to root for the triumphs of those who choose to act decently. Mystery Guild featured alternate. (Apr.)