Nineteen thirty-four, London. Into the decaying cul-de-sac of Bleeding Heart Square steps aristocratic Lydia Langstone fleeing an abusive marriage. However, unknown to Lydia, a dark mystery haunts Bleeding Heart Square. What happened to Miss Penhow, the middle-aged spinster who owns the house and who vanished four years earlier? Why is a seedy plain-clothes policeman obsessively watching the square? What is making struggling journalist Rory Wentwood so desperate to contact Miss Penhow? And why are parcels of rotting hearts being sent to Joseph Serridge, the last person to see Miss Penhow alive?
Andrew Taylor is the author of a number of critically acclaimed crime novels, including the Roth Trilogy (ITV's Fallen Angel) and The American Boy, his best-selling historical novel which was a Richard and Judy Book Club selection. He has won many awards, including the CWA John Creasey Award, an Edgar Scroll from the Mystery Writers of America and two CWA Ellis Peters Historical Daggers.
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The characters were great, I particularly liked the heroine who showed character, backbone and grace. The story takes you on an interesting journey with some real surprises at the end.
It really showed the difficult situation of an upper classed woman who is trying to live without the support of her husband. She is neither fish nor fowl, but her courage enables her to create a viable life for herself.
I think it caught the zeitgeist of the time well and how attitudes were beginning to alter prior to WW2, changes which continued apace soon after.
Another excellent Andrew Taylor story
- Malcolm Blackwood