Diary entries tell the convoluted story and reveal the deepest secrets of a dead woman and her killer in this dark, suspenseful novel of a dysfunctional British family. Zoe is a successful television producer whose grief following the sudden death of her infant daughter is assuaged by the ministrations of a self-styled healer who insinuates herself into Zoe's life with alarming results. When Zoe is killed, suspicion falls on her husband Michael, whose own journal continues where Zoe's left off. Busy trying to care for their two teenage sons, he is stunned when the police arrest him for Zoe's murder, and he puts himself in the capable hands of his brother-in-law, a successful London barrister who takes the boys to live in the country. Soon, Laura, Zoe's sister, becomes increasingly uneasy at the strange behavior the boys exhibit. As the killer's own journal reveals, there are secrets in this family no one suspects, including the truth behind baby Beth's crib death. Fans of Frances Fyfield and Minette Walters will appreciate Jones's careful plotting, compelling character development, and fascinating portrait of psychological disintegration. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The sudden death of an infant shatters a London family's sense of well-being in Jones's highly stylized crime novel. Told in alternating points of view, the account begins with the diary of the child's mother, 44-year-old Zoe, a TV talk-show host, who is reeling from the crib death of her baby, Beth. (Zoe and her husband, Michael, already have two boys entering adolescence.) The mood darkens when Zoe meets with former show guest and New Age psychiatrist Lillian Taylor, who bewitches Zoe and is depicted as either a savior or the devil. What begins as a psychological novel about the strains of family life suddenly changes gears as Michael, writing from jail after having been accused of killing Zoe, tells his side of the story. He must prove, through his lawyer and brother-in-law, Felix, that "our family is innocent of everything except the fact that evil made itself manifest in our midst and that we were powerless to withstand it." Jones shows more interest in clues than insight, especially in the next section, written by Felix, the husband of Zoe's sister, Laura. His investigations implicate many characters and are meant to let the audience play along. When Laura becomes pregnant, the murderer's journal appears, revealing plans to strike again. But Michael guesses who it is (as will most readers), and, in a sudden climax, the killer is caught red-handed. Though the pacing occasionally stumbles, this intelligent, suspenseful work offers something to both mainstream fiction audiences and mystery fans. Editor, Charles Spicer; agent, Clare Conville at A.P. Watt in London.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.