review by showhost
I have never read a book by this author before but I was in our local library with my grandson and thought I need to get a new library card so I will borrow a book (haha). There weren’t any of my ‘usual’ authors so grabbed this one as good reviews for her on the back of the book and a CWA dagger winner. It's good to try new authors and widen your options and I enjoyed this one.
It's not a fast paced crime book, the tension builds slowly. It begins in the home of the recently deceased Thomas Porteous who died from natural causes. The police are in the house as well as Thomas's wife of 10years (his very young wife). What has made the police suspicious, and why they are there, is because she waited hours before reporting his death.
The story then goes back to how Thomas & mad Di (his wife) met which was very unusual - she was 17, from a dysfunctional family and breaking in to his house to pinch his car keys for her gang; but when she entered she was mesmerized by his collection of paintings and shocked to find him bound to a chair with a noose around his neck. Something she never told the police about. Whilst she was in prison Thomas sent her art books.
After serving her prison sentence she got in touch as he knew she would. He was in awe of her, of her intelligence and quick eye for the beauty in the paintings. Mad Di moved in as Thomas’s housekeeper but eventually he asked her to marry him. People in the small town where they lived believed she was just a gold digger. His 2 daughters were appalled, not only because of the age gap but also they could lose what they considered theirs – his money/house & paintings. They did not like their father nor had their mother and very rarely went to see him. His grandchildren were also banned from seeing him.
They needed to get rid of young Di, anyway that they could, but Thomas had pre-empted them. He was dying of cancer and was worried that when his time came that his scheming daughters would try to take everything from Di. So a plan was hatched with a confidente and on his death the battle of wills began.
I will definitely look for another book by this author.