The House of Women

      Alison Taylor

The House of Women

Lonely, ageing and chronically ill, Ned Jones is found dead on sweltering summer afternoon in his rooms. Everyone assumes he died of natural causes. But after the post-mortem suggests otherwise, Detective Chief Inspector Michael McKenna and his team become involved. In search of Ned's killer, McKenna visits the house of Edith Harris, where Ned lodged. But fragile, neurotic Edith and her three enigmatic daughters – Annie, Mina and Phoebe – spring one surprise after another on McKenna. Slowly, McKenna begins to unravel a story of scholarship and greed, deceit and twisted loyalties, where the sins of the past, as well as the present, are avenged on innocent and guilty alike… 'The House of Women' is a mesmerising crime thriller that is perfect for fans of Nicci French, Aline Templeton and Elizabeth George. Praise for Alison Taylor ‘With her third novel, The House of Women, Alison Taylor confirms her place among the new stars of British crimewriting. A far from straightforward investigation into a suspicious death reveals a history of obsession and long-held hatred, with an intriguing cast of characters, which again includes the compassionate and personable DCI Michael McKenna . . . a complex and challenging book.’ Sunday Telegraph ‘Careful, complex, intelligent . . . unusually for a detective story, it is the characterisation and the writing, even more than the plot, that hold the attention’ Guardian ‘This slow-paced thriller set in Wales turns the screw tightly on its characters. A murder investigation draws DCI McKenna into close contact with the victim’s family . . . Deep in the Bala hills a crumbling farmhouse yields up its secrets’ Mail on Sunday ‘With this dark and involving tale, Taylor stands up to be counted alongside the best of British crime writers today’ Ideal Home ‘Eerie and unforgettable’ Prima ‘Definitely an author to watch’ Yorkshire Post ‘Billed as a crime novel, Alison Taylor’s The House of Women is all that and more . . . McKenna’s quest for the truth is just one strand in Taylor’s narrative, which is also rich with the detail of an historical Welsh landscape and the world of letters . . . A novel teeming with intelligence’ Image ‘If you love Minette Walters, check out Taylor. She shows scary insight into human frailty in this gripping story’ Peterborough Evening Telegraph ‘Taylor unravels a tale of stupidity, greed, deceit, twisted loyalties and past sins which keeps the reader gripped until the end’ Newcastle Evening Chronicle Alison Taylor has lived in North Wales for many years. She held senior childcare posts with the former Gwynedd County Council. She has been instrumental in exposing institutional child abuse, and in 1996 won the Campaign for Freedom of Information Award in this area. Her interests include classical and baroque music, art and writing. Endeavour Press is the UK's leading independent publisher of digital books.

From AudioFile

When an ailing lodger dies in his room, the female relatives with whom he lives assume natural causes. One young niece, however, doesn't buy it and helps police solve the murder. Steve Hodson tells the story from the point of view of Detective Chief Inspector Michael McKenna. His portrayal of the troubled officer is the most poignant, the most insightful of the many characters in the book. The others he handles competently, both males and females, bringing life to even the most minor parts without overplaying them. McKenna and his male colleagues play a supportive role in this story. Hodson's understanding performance captures the sadness and hope that surround both the women of the family and the women in McKenna's professional circle. R.P.L. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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    Child's Play

      Alison Taylor

Child's Play

Surrounded by dense, dark woodland, the Hermitage is an exclusive school for girls. One balmy summer's night, Sukie Melville leaves her room and vanishes into the woods. The following day her body is pulled from the waters of the Menai Strait.

When Superintendent Michael McKenna and his team move in to investigate the death, the school's charismatic headmistress insists it was suicide - but McKenna isn't so sure.

With the truth inextricably bound up in the secrets and lies of the young girls, the investigation soon proves to be as labyrinthine as the woods surrounding the school. Scratching the glossy surface, McKenna uncovers a dark and dangerous ethos underpinning the school. Nothing in that dangerous hot bed of passionate, brooding resentments is what it seems, and no one can be trusted, least of all Freya Scott, to whom McKenna is recklessly attracted.
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