Nearly a year after Monroe Lidlington hauled his wife’s dead body from the sea, he’s arrested and charged with her murder. His new wife, Stevie – twenty years younger than him – and his son, Greg, reluctantly come to the view that he’s guilty until Greg unearths a massive cover-up by his mother’s ex-employees that points to Monroe being set-up. While Monroe’s guilt seems in doubt, tragedy strikes.
Monroe Lidlington appears distraught and shocked when he and two friends discover his wife’s body in their fishing net. Messages of sympathy pour in. Months later, after he’d married his young girlfriend, people begin to question his innocence. When his new wife and his son share their belief that he murdered his last wife, his world starts to fall apart.
An emotionally charged thriller where a man has to cope with the discovery of his wife’s body, his son’s belief that his father killed his mother, and the gradual realisation by his second wife that she is sleeping with a murderer.
‘A gripping, page-turning story, with an ending so poignant that some readers will reach for the tissues.’
Five star review – 1st week out.
‘This is a short novel, which I was able to read in an evening. Nevertheless it is packed with action and stuffed with believable characters. Monroe has a row with his wife, after which she leaves him. She is found murdered shortly afterwards. He later meets a new woman, Stevie, and they marry. Stevie, through a series of discoveries, comes to believe that Monroe himself did away with his first wife. We follow her and Monroe’s son Greg as they try to make sense of all this and begin to unravel the truth.
The writing is very good, crisp and immediate. I was very soon sucked in to the story and made to care about the characters. I found Stevie and Greg to be very sympathetic characters although perhaps the Police Inspector was too rude to be true! (Maybe I’ve only met the polite ones?) The last part of the story, as we came to realise what had happened, became very tense and exciting. A great little read, this!’
Monroe Lidlingtonwatched the dark, muddy-coloured coffee stain run down the wall in a vertical line until it
hit the skirting board and dribbled, not so neatly, down its surface. A puddle formed, close to where the
remains of a smashed cup lay in pieces on the floorboards. The old wooden chair creaked as he shifted his
position from one side to the other. He remained still – with one leg outstretched, the other bent a little at the
knee – and gazed at the visual manifestation of a marriage just shattered. He shrugged his shoulders, brought
his legs together, and sat up. He joined his hands behind his head. He didn’t want to look behind the large,
murky splodge, where the cup had smashed against the grey wall. He knew there’d be a hole in the plaster. He
sighed, and dropped one hand onto his left thigh. He heard the clatter of his wife’s feet on the floorboards
upstairs. ‘You’ve surpassed yourself, my dear. This time you’ve really screwed up,’ he said out loud.
He stood up, kicked the bits of broken crockery into a pile, and took three paces to the sink. He gazed out into
the dark night with his hands against the edge of the old, porcelain basin, and started to think what had
brought the evening to such a dramatic climax.
She’d come in, moody as usual, after a long journey from London to Cornwall. He’d been preoccupied with
checking the tides and weather for his fishing trip the next day, and hadn’t realised she had something on her
mind and had wanted to off-load it. She’d entered the kitchen and started to talk. He hadn’t listened; he’d
waved in a cursory manner and took a call from his friend, Les, about the details for the next day’s trip. Juliet
flew at him as soon as he’d hung up, and accused him of ignoring her. ‘I had something important I wanted to
talk to you about,’ she’d said.
He apologised, poured them both a drink, and tried to listen to her. She had started to describe a horrific
mining disaster in South Africa, which involved her company. He hadn’t paid much attention, and had thought
about the needs for the next day’s trip.
‘You’re not interested, are you?’ Juliet had said in a loud voice, and turned and left the room. He’d gone to
prepare a pasta supper, and had called her, after fifteen minutes, to say it was ready.
‘I’m not hungry,’ she had shouted when he turned up in her study with a tray with her portion of the meal. ‘I
told you I don’t want anything,’ she said, and didn’t take her eyes away from her laptop. She’d looked stressed,
and had a notebook open next to her.
‘What do you want me to do with…?’
‘Monroe, don’t be so fucking lame,’ she’d replied with a raised voice. ‘I told you. I’m not hungry. Leave me
alone. This is important.’
Juliet had appeared in the kitchen after about an hour and a half. Her face looked pale, and drained of all
colour. She stood and stared at Monroe, and pulled a cigarette to her lips from a packet she’d left on the
worktop. She looked away for a moment to light it.
‘Coffee?’ he’d asked, as she walked to one of the big wrap-around chairs.
‘Thanks,’ she’d replied, and sat down.
‘Tell me more about the mine disaster,’ Monroe said, as he carried a cup of espresso over from the other side
of the room to the table and placed it next to her. He moved back to sit at the opposite end.
‘Oh, forget it,’ she replied without looking at Monroe, and stared at the wall.
He poured some sugar from a dispenser into his cup, stirred it around, and looked up at Juliet. ‘I’m going on a
fishing trip tomorrow with Johnny and Les.’
Juliet didn’t take any notice, and turned away. She blew smoke into the air.
‘I said, I’m going…’
‘I heard you the first time. I’m not interested, Monroe. Right now, I couldn’t care if you were flying to the
‘Why are you sitting here then, if…’
‘I can, can’t I? It’s my house as much as yours. You offered me a cup of coffee.’