On a hot summer day in Sydney, Australia, teacher Bill Pagett is murdered. Detective Inspector Carol Ashton investigates, but the case is complicated by her attraction to prime suspect Sybil Quade. The first in the Carol Ashton series.
Allen & Unwin
One telephone call and the past rushes back to engulf Detective Inspector Carol Ashton. "Carol, I need you. It's Mitchell. He's dead. They think I killed him." After three years, hearing again that familiar voice, Carol remembers Christine's lacerating words the last time they met: "It's all too hard, Carol. I love you but I just can't give up everything. I can't leave Mitchell. It's over, you do understand, don't you? Now Christine desperately wants her help-the woman who cost Carol everything.
Four women dead, each strangled with an orange cord, their bodies ritually arranged. Detective Inspector Carol Ashton and Detective Sergeant Mark Bourke have a serial killer on their hands.
When thirty-eight year old Cassandra Ryan discovers her grandmother Nell's secret - that she was not the biological child of her parents, but a foundling - she is intrigued. Inside the suitcase found with the abandoned child at the Port of Brisbane in 1913 Cassandra finds a package of letters, a children's storybook, and a coded manuscript belonging to Eliza Makepeace Rutherford: the Victorian authoress of dark fairy-tales who disappeared mysteriously in the early twentieth century. And so begins the quest to solve a century-old literary mystery.
Summer 1924: on the eve of a glittering Society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again.
Winter 1999: Grace Bradley, 98, one-time house-maid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet's suicide. Ghosts awaken and memories, long consigned to the dark reaches of Grace's mind, begin to sneak back through the cracks. A shocking secret threatens to emerge; something history has forgotten but Grace never could.
'Under a star-soaked sky he ran miles and miles along a dusty road. Behind him, on the horizon, over the ocean, a massive storm glittered and boiled.'
Brilliant skies, sudden storms, black nights and a ramshackle house that is disintegrating into the rainforest. Sheltering from their pasts, Cliff, Susan, Daniel and Jade experience a few oddly idyllic days and nights together in the small coastal town two of them call home and to which the others have returned.
On 4 February 1939, Connie Sommerlad was brutally butchered and her brother left for dead in their family farmhouse in rural Tenterfield.
It was a murder that would rock the tight-knit community; a murder made all the more shocking by the fact that their assailant was a local man working for the Sommerlads. Jack Kelly, who was to become the last person to be hanged in New South Wales, struggled to explain his awful crime even as he faced the gallows.
Yet this was far from the only mystery to be exposed by Connie's tragic end.
When Krissie joins her best friend, Sarah, on a walking holiday in the Scottish Highlands, it seems like the peaceful balm they both need. But peace turns to betrayal when Krissie seduces Sarah's husband, Kyle - and it isn't long before betrayal turns to murder . . .