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The Sting of Death by Jessica Mann

“Jessica Mann is the English Highsmith – this is a fine novel and as a thriller is right in the front rank” Marganita Laski, The Listener

It is the past and character of one of the women in this novel that brings into contact and collision two worlds that are absurdly remote from each other.

One is the tranquil landscape of Grebe Bay in South Cornwall. The other belongs to international terrorists, mindless killers.

Grebe has conflicts of its own. These range from rival claims to inheritance to the protection of the Large Blue Butterfly. A clash is in progress between ‘simple-life’ preservationists and some casual exploiters. The Cornish landscape is peopled with splendid characters, indigenous or trendy in-comers, not least the flamboyant Ivory Judd who paints vast self portraits in the nude and will take her clothes off any time to let comparisons be made.

A dead body is found in the water of the bay. There is trouble in identifying it. Soon the various dangers that threaten the little community become obvious.

A death, some inquiries, a solution and denouement. These are the main items of a complex plot, and they gain strength and credibility from acute observation of the people involved.