One late-spring day, in a beautiful, remote patch on the Isle of Wight, a picnicking family is brutally murdered. All evidence points towards Spike Falconer: a local vagrant, the adoptive son of a wealthy, influential local couple. Diagnosed in childhood with Dangerous Severe Personality Disorder (DSPD), Spike has long-since been abandoned by his family and society. He is charged and convicted. Four years later, psychologist Karen Taylor is interviewing Spike in prison, as part of her research into DSPD. Not yet fully recovered from the death of her husband, and running from dark memories concerning the circumstances surrounding it, Karen hopes her summer on the Isle of Wight will be a welcome escape from university life on the mainland, as well as giving her the space she needs to think about her new, fledgling relationship with neurosurgeon Will. Her late grandmother's ramshackle chalet, situated in remote woodland, proves the ideal hideaway. But soon Karen begins to feel threatened. Local detective Charlie Trench is convinced whoever killed the picnicking family is responsible for a string of other murders and disappearances on the island. And Spike's family - Colonel Falconer, his fragile wife Sylvia, and their natural-born son Simon - are keeping tight-lipped, closing ranks. Someone on the island doesn't want Karen getting too close to Spike. But could Spike really be innocent of these crimes, as Karen begins to suspect? Is he implicated as accomplice to a more dangerous psychopath, or is he someone's helpless puppet? Karen doesn't know who to believe. But when Spike escapes from prison, and Karen finds herself in the frame for murder, she knows she is going to need all her professional skills to out-smart a manipulative killer.No Escape joins a very select group of crime novels set on the Isle of Wight.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Natasha Cooper's next book
I can't remember whether it was at Harrogate or CrimeFest last year that Natasha Cooper mentioned she was starting a new series. She had provisionally given the main character the first name of Karen (an excellent choice) but wasn't sure if it would remain. So far it seems it has. The blurb listed on amazon for No Escape (released 3 August 2009) goes as follows: