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Publisher's Summary

When torrential summer rains uncover a bizarrely tattooed body on a Lake District hillside, old wives' tales also come swirling to the surface. For centuries Lakelanders have whispered that Fletcher Christian staged the massacre on Pitcairn so that he could return home. And there he told his story to an old friend and schoolmate, William Wordsworth, who turned it into a long narrative poem.

Wordsworth specialist Jane Gresham, herself a native of the Lake District, feels compelled to discover once and for all whether the manuscript ever existed - and whether it still exists today....

©2006 Val McDermid (P)2006 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Absorbing modern mystery." (Times)
"An irresistible combination of contemporary psychological thriller and historical mystery." (Tess Gerritsen)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • M. Robinson
  • 01-07-17

Dreadful writing

I loved the last Val McDermid book I read, I almost can't believe this is by the same writer. Indulgent nonsense, a back story so dull - but obviously not to the author - it kept putting me to sleep. And it kept being repeated and laboured over by more and more characters having to explain it to one another! I don't know how any of them managed to convince one another it was even a vaguely likely rumour, it was clearly bollocks. I tried persevering but it was too stupid and dull. Find a better Val MacDermid book, she's usually perceptive and smart. Too wrapped up in her own fascination with history here to remember to think about character, plot, intrigue and suspense.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anne
  • 08-15-16

couldn't stop listening

great plot . Lots of twists and turns keeping the listener interested. Would like to hear more about Jayne Gresham...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-12-17

Different approach for Val

A different perspective as the main hero is not a detective looking at the crimes, but a literary searcher. Of course well plotted and good characters. Very enjoyable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul D
  • 04-09-17

Identity fraud?

Can this really be Val McDermid ? Never been know to fail . . . . but really not up to standard. Unsympathetic characters with carved from stone dialogue . Really had no interest in any of them and not bothered about their fates. Maybe a reissue of a very early work? Certainly reads like one

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • yelsel
  • 11-26-16

Thoroughly absorbing

Great idea, well executed. Narration of the characters voices was convincing and this really allowed you to get involved in the intriguing story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • mandy
  • 05-20-17

had to keep listing

enjoyed this book, easy to follow, it's just it all comes very quickly at the end

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • 10-18-16

Intriguing - how much is historically accurate?

Great storyline melded into historical events and characters. Narrator's characterisation through various regional dialects is very credible. Typical Val McDermid twists and turns and well researched detail

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anna ricketts
  • 08-20-16

A Val McDermid special A thorough good listen.

A little slow to start but stick with it
It was a real good tale with with factual information combinned.












1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Donna
  • 02-18-17

learning without realising

it took a while for me to get into this book but I really enjoyed the history lesson within it. A good holiday read

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  • misscole
  • 01-20-17

interesting read

disappointed with the ending , no real climax. started off well. narrator was good and made the story interesting. like the connection to Wordsworth and the Lake District

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  • emmoff
  • 11-17-16

Plot fell apart

Unfortunately the plot became ridiculous halfway through this book. Started well but I found myself scoffing with incredulity at the storyline. Not the far-fetched Mutiny of the Bounty aspect but the behaviour of the protagonist and the leniency of the Police. Disappointed as I thought Val McDermid was better than this. Don't mean to put others off, see what you think. :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • waterwench
  • 09-24-16

Poorly narrated

The voice of the narrator is very annoying and detracted from being able to follow the story.