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Summary

In 1970, Harold Stamp, a retarded, reclusive 20-year-old, was convicted on disputed evidence and a retracted confession of brutally murdering his grandmother - the one person who understood and protected him. Less than three years later, he is dead, driven to suicide by isolation and despair. A fate befitting a murderer, perhaps, but what if he was innocent?

Jonathan Hughes, an anthropologist specialising in social stereotyping, is determined to re-examine this case. There were alarming disparities in the evidence, and Hughes has little doubt that there has been a terrible miscarriage of justice. But there is also something else pushing this half-Iranian, half-Libyan outsider to reach for the truth.

This is more than a mere exposé of corruption; it is a dark tale of solitude and the relentless need to contain aberration and dissect evil.

© Minette Walters; (P) Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Critic reviews

"Walters uses to good effect the multiple viewpoints of her numerous characters, as well as flashbacks, letters, newspaper articles and e-mails to reveal the truth behind the decades-old murder. However, as in life, there are no easy answers, and although the ending may disappoint some, it caps perfectly all that has come before it." ( Publishers Weekly)

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