Saturday, March 3, 2012

Before The Poison-Peter Robinson

Before The Poison

Peter Robinson

Morrow, Feb 21 2012, $25.99

ISBN 9780062004796

After three decades residing in California, following the death of his wife Laura after a bout with cancer, Oscar winning film composer Chris Lowndes returns home to Yorkshire. He purchases Kilnsgate House because he wants the isolation to grieve in peace. However, Heather Barlow the realtor failed to inform Chris that his new home was the site where Grace Fox poisoned her husband Ernest in 1953. Following her conviction Grace hung for her murder of her spouse and a true crime book Famous Trials became a popular seller.

Chris learns about the infamous incident and curious, he conducts a little research. He becomes fascinated by Grace who was a dedicated nurse in France and the Pacific during WW II and begins to investigate what drove her to kill her physician husband. As he follows Grace’s trail, Chris composes a sonata to honor his late wife while also guiltily attracted to neighbor Heather.

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks and company take a breather as Peter Robinson provides an intriguing character study that contains three interrelated subplots from different eras. Readers observe the modern day sexagenarian widower struggling to move on with his grief while his inquiries into Grace circa 1953 (excerpts from Famous Trials) and WWII (Grace’s diaries). Although Heather’s attraction to Chris never comes across as real, Before The Poison is a terrific moving first person tale of grieving widow stepping out alone for the first in decades.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: