In the long hot summer of 1976, a group of young people are camping in Wyvis Hall. Adam, Rufus, Shiva, Vivien and Zosie hardly ask why they are there, what they are doing or how they are to live; they scavenge, steal and sell the family heirlooms. In short, they exist. Ten years later, the bodies of a woman and a child are discovered in the Hall's animal cemetery. Which woman? Whose child?
'I defy anyone to guess the conclusion, but looking back, the clues are seen to be there, unobtrusively but cunningly planted, so that it seems one should have known all along. The curtain is drawn back to reveal rather than to surprise; a most satisfying end' Daily Telegraph 'An absolute winner, nimbly written with all the Dickensian virtues of vivid characterization, fine prose style and a cunningly devised plot that shifts and twists and keeps you on the edge of your chair' Daily Mail 'The story is brilliant, the ending a perfect bit of irony... Barbara Vine has the kind of near-Victorian narrative drive... that compels a reader to go on turning the pages' - Julian Symons, Sunday Times
Barbara Vine is the pen-name of Ruth Rendell. She has written fourteen novels using this pseudonym, including A Fatal Inversion and King Solomon's Carpet which both won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award. All her books are available in Penguin. Ruth Rendell sits in the House of Lords as a Labour peer. She lives in Maida Vale, London.