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By Gwen Moffat

In a remote Lakeland dale whitewashed cottages nestle in lush gardens, sheep roam the fells and the Rutting Beck runs crystal clear: it seems like a Cumbrian paradise…

But Melinda Pink, visiting on holiday, knows better. She knows that yard-thick walls do more than shelter their occupants from the elements; they can also muffle screams. For there are serpents in paradise; dead sheep go unburied, tax dodges and benefit fraud are rife; the proprietor of the tearooms falls prey to a rumour of salmonella poisoning – and then the village busybody is found caught up in the jetsam of the flooded beck.

Arthritic but insatiably curious, it is Miss Pink who takes up the cudgels on behalf of the other intrepid local old folk both alive and dead, and – as it soon transpires – of other, younger victims. Against a backdrop of a stark and beautiful countryside is woven a thread of love and lust, of betrayal and revenge.

Gwen Moffat‘s main interests are wilderness areas and the genesis of murder, and all her books have featured one or the other. Moffat has written six travel books and twenty-six novels, she has been a mountain guide and broadcaster, and she has written features, short stories, columns and reviews. She has travelled extensively in the Alps, the American West and the wild places of Britain. Currently she lives in the Lake District.

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