A Shred of Evidence
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"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."
“How strong would her assailant have had to be?” she asked. “Tom thinks that there might have been joyriders here.” “You want to know if a young boy could have done it?” Judy nodded. “I think it was someone she knew. No one heard anything, Freddie. Mrs. Cochrane was only in the woods—she would have heard someone shouting for help. I think it’s possible that the girl didn’t realize she was in danger until it was too late. That suggests a boyfriend.” “That makes sense,” said Freddie. “There are
building. Oakland School had started life as a grammar school, with all the facilities that any educational élite could possibly need or want. Now you couldn’t have a decent game of cricket without threatening the windows of half a dozen supposedly temporary buildings through which a second generation of pupils was passing. Colin’s wife Erica was the school secretary; she had been married and divorced before coming to work at the school, and meeting Colin. He had known, from the moment he had
tipped back his chair. Tom could see Judy tense up, as he was doing himself. “Well,” he said, rocking gently back and forth, “is it much of an alibi? We don’t know when he got home.” “He had told her he would be home at ten,” said Tom. “And he’s got a thing about being bang on time.” “I can try to find out if he was,” said Judy. “That’s a very flashy car they’ve got—the neighbours might notice its comings and goings.” “An interesting situation,” said Lloyd, coming down again, much to Tom’s
Lloyd left the murder room. He might even forgive a misused comma in this mood. Colin had never tried to work with a hangover before. It was going now, thank God, but it had been torture first thing. And he hadn’t had any proper kit. All his designer tracksuits were at home or with the police. That chap Marlow had kept him up late talking, as well. He wasn’t all that sure what he’d told him, but most of it had been off the record. He had wanted to know why the police had been talking to him, so
“Another week of this? That’ll seem like a lifetime to Colin! They suspect him, Patrick—don’t you understand what you’ve done?” “Yes,” said Patrick desperately. “But hear me out, Erica, please. Everything they’ve done—taking away his clothes, taking a blood sample—don’t you see? That will go to prove he wasn’t there. Because he wasn’t.” “So what?” she cried. “The only reason he doesn’t know the truth now is that he keeps avoiding me! Do you seriously think I’m going to let this situation go on?