This novel is a psychological thriller as well as a compelling crime read.
The discovery of the skeleton of a young woman by workmen causes Detective Inspector Tim Yates to reopen the gruesome case of Dorothy Atkins, a woman who was imprisoned for murdering her mother-in-law, Doris Atkins, more than thirty years before.
What is the link between the skeleton and Dorothy Atkins, now the aged inmate of a care home? Her former husband, Ronald, and her son, Hedley, each appears to have something to hide, and both only grudgingly co-operate with the police. What happened to Bryony Atkins, Dorothy’s and Ronald’s daughter, and why is everyone so reluctant to talk about her?
Hedley Atkins has recently allowed a relatively new friend, Peter Prance, to move into his flat, and he is introduced to Peter’s family in Liverpool. Is Peter simply a persuasive upper class scrounger, or is there something more calculated in his relationship with Hedley? Did Dorothy in fact kill Doris Atkins, or was she wrongfully imprisoned for a crime withthe killer still at large?
How many murders have there been, and how many killers are there? Detective Inspector Tim Yates and his team make their debut.
‘I’d like to describe this as a page turner but I read it on a Blackberry, so there were no pages to turn. And it’s really hard reading a novel on a Blackberry. But I did and I finished it which should tell any potential reader how good it is.’ —Richard Charkin, Executive Director, Bloomsbury
‘It has the feel of a literary novel with the constant disquiet of a sinister undercurrent. It is a study in the inner mental landscape of deduction, on the part of the police, and the cost of a lifetime of concealment and manipulation, as well as the descent into mental instability, on the part of the perpetrators.... Her handling of shifts both in time and point of view, as well as keeping the reader constantly off balance in terms of ‘whodunnit’, makes her someone to watch in the future... ‘In the Family’ is a book that I would read again, not only because of the rich tapestry of images, dialogue and internal landscapes, but also the thoughtful use of the written word. I can’t wait to read the next Tim Yates novel.’ —Elaine Aldred
‘The first thing you notice about the book is how well written it is. It has the feel of literary fiction.’ —Sarah Ward, Crime Pieces
‘The slow-reveal of the Atkins' history is reminiscent of Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine, forming a counterpoint to the brisk detective work of the police. The two stories - and two styles - are successfully brought together in the final chapters.’ —Rich Westwood, Euro Crime
‘An atmospheric and compelling psychological crime thriller set in the South Lincolnshire Fens. A ‘cold case’ from 30 years ago is re-opened after the discovery of the skeleton of a young woman but even after all this time it is clear the family are hiding something. We think this is a really exciting addition to the UK crime writing scene and look forward to reading DI Tim Yates' next case.’ —Lovereading