AN INNOCENT GAME. A SHOCKING CRIME. A COMMUNITY FULL OF SECRETS.
Two little girls were out playing a game of dares. Only one returned home.
The ten-year-old told police what she saw: village loner Bill ‘Creepy’ Cawley dragged her friend into his truck and disappeared.
No body was found, but her testimony sent Cawley to prison for murder. An open and shut case, the right man behind bars.
The village could sleep safe once again.
Anna thought she had left Mapledon and her nightmares behind but a distraught phone call brings her back to face her past.
30 years ago, someone lied. 30 years ago, the man convicted wasn’t the only guilty party.
Now he’s out of prison and looking for revenge. The question is, who will he start with?
Anna, a school teacher, about to enjoy the summer holidays, instead finds herself returning to her childhood home in the village of Mapledon. Her mother is being targeted for her role in the arrest and trial of Bill Cawley – convicted of the murder of Anna’s best friend thirty years ago.
Lizzie, a journalist, is on her way back too – and between them they discover the shocking truth of what really happened thirty years ago and who was responsible.
The writing is impeccable, the settings authentic, the premise interesting. Mapledon feels claustrophobic and creepy, a local place for local people, and the complicated relationships have so much potential for a really gripping read.
Unfortunately, I felt very distanced from the characters – I didn’t like any of them, except for Lizzie, and so didn’t particularly care what happened to them.
I also felt the set up was a little unlikely, with the village children, encouraged by the adults, allowed to behave so horribly, and I thought the dénouement too was really unrealistic. It all felt very far-fetched, if I’m honest.