Winner of the CWA Gold Dagger Award
Dr. Sarah Blakeney is one of very few mourners when her grumpy old patient, Mathilda Gillespie, dies at home in the bathtub, apparently of suicide. The old woman has taken barbiturates, slit her wrists, and bound her head in a rusted contraption called a scold's bridle, a cage with tongue clamps used to torture women in the Middle Ages. The police start to suspect homicide right around the time they learn that Sarah has been generously included in the dead woman's will. When she becomes the prime suspect in the murder, it's up to Sarah to delve into the bizarre details of Mathilda's private life, a history of greed, abuse, and depravity, and uncover the real killer.
""Minette Walters knows the cruel kinkiness that can lurk behind the most sedate of facades.""--Los Angeles Times
""Thoroughly chilling . . . gripping . . . disturbing.""--Orlando Sentinel
""Walters fearlessly flirts with gothic menace and intricacy as she draws all the loose threads together in this full-bodied plot.""--The Washington Post
""A wonderful, thought-provoking mystery by a brilliant new British writer.""--The San Diego Union-Tribune
""Fans of P.D. James and Ruth Rendell will respond to Minette Walters's deft touch and psychological suspense and appreciate her ability to depict complex and sympathetic women characters.""--Minneapolis Star-Tribune