Amy Myers is known for her short stories and historical novels featuring Victorian chef Auguste Didier and chimney sweep Tom Wasp. Her contemporary series features classic car detective Jack Colby, and she is currently working on a new 1920s mystery series featuring Nell Drury, chef at Kent’s Wychbourne Court.
I am sometimes guilty of casting a disbelieving eye on some cover shoutline quotations from well-known names. Not in this case. ‘Stunning’ says Ann Cleeves on the cover of Letters to my Daughter’s Killer.
And stunning it is. The novel poses the question ‘can we forgive those who do us the greatest wrong’ and grips throughout as it explores the circumstances of Ruth Sutton’s anguish.
Her daughter Lizzie, married to Jack and with a four year old daughter of her own, is found brutally murdered on her kitchen floor one Saturday evening, and the hunt is on for Broderick Litton, the determined and formidable stalker who had plagued Lizzie a few years earlier. With her distraught son in law and Florence to look after, Ruth is plunged into a nightmare as little by little she learns more from the police investigation about Lizzie’s death, but tries to subdue her own emotions in order to protect Florence. Her divorced husband Tony, now remarried, is a support but cannot basically help Ruth, who has to find her own way out. The letters, written four years later, and sent to the killer, are the path she follows.
With breath-taking twists, Letters to my Daughter’s Killer is driven forward by the psychology of Ruth’s grief as she reacts to the emerging revelations about what happened that evening, and she struggles with the need to save herself from the destructive emotions that they arouse. The novel is – well – stunning and I’ll never disbelieve a cover quote again.