Innocent Victims: Two Novellas

Innocent Victims: Two Novellas

by Minette Walters
     
 

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Chickenfeed As part of World Book Day 2006, Minette Walters took part in the Quick Reads initiative, designed to encourage developing readers and adult learners as they explore the exciting world of books. Chickenfeed, Walter's contribution, is a crackling tale based on the true story of the 'chicken farm murder' that took place in Blackness Road, Crowborough, East

Overview

Chickenfeed As part of World Book Day 2006, Minette Walters took part in the Quick Reads initiative, designed to encourage developing readers and adult learners as they explore the exciting world of books. Chickenfeed, Walter's contribution, is a crackling tale based on the true story of the 'chicken farm murder' that took place in Blackness Road, Crowborough, East Sussex in December, 1924.

Although Norman Thorne never confessed to killing his girlfriend Elsie, he was tried and hanged for the crime. Minette's fictionalised account of their relationship is told from the points of view of both Elsie and Norman, from the time of their first meeting at chapel when Norman is 18 and Elsie is 22, until the eve of Norman’s trial for her murder just over four years later.

In the real-life case, an exchange of letters between the lovers, in which Elsie told Norman that she was pregnant, formed part of the evidence that suggested Norman's motive for murder. When the lovers grow apart, Elsie creates a fantasy to replace the reality of their fractured relationship. Meanwhile Norman has fallen for another woman yet cannot bring himself to tell Elsie that he no longer wants to marry her. Burrowing deep into an English legend, Walters creates a suspenseful tale of fiction based in fact, leaving it to the reader decide whether Norman was guilty of the heinous crime.

The Tinder Box In the small village of Sowerbridge, Patrick O'Riordan has been arrested for the brutal murder of elderly Lavinia Fanshaw and her live-in nurse, Dorothy Jenkins. As shock turns to fury, the village residents form a united front against the O'Riordan family, while friend and neighbour Siobhan Lavenham remains convinced that Patrick has fallen victim to a prejudiced investigation. Jeopardizing her own position within the bigoted community, Siobhan stands firmly by his family in defense of the O'Riordan name.

Yet when terrible secrets about the O'Riordans' past are revealed, Siobhan is forced to question her loyalties. Could Patrick be capable of murder after all? Could his family's tales of attacks be devious fabrications? And if so, what other lies lurk beneath the surface of their world? As the truth unravels, it becomes clear that beneath a cunning façade, someone's chilling ambition is about to ignite.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fans of Edgar-winner Walter will welcome this collection of two previously published novellas. The poignant Chickenfeed, based on an infamous 1924 murder case in East Sussex, charts the tragic course of the courtship of Norman Thorne, a city boy trying to make a go of an ill-conceived chicken farm, and the mentally unstable young woman determined to marry him, Elsie Cameron. The Tinder Box, a compelling tale of prejudice and gossip set in 1999, opens with the trial of Patrick O’Riordan, a 35-year-old unemployed Irish laborer, for the brutal murder of a 93-year-old woman and her nurse in an English village where the Irish are despised. Though the evidence against Patrick is overwhelming, his crippled mother persuades fellow Irishwoman Siobhan Lavenham to help exonerate her son. Siobhan discovers plenty about the victims, the O’Riordan family, and the escalating threats to the O’Riordans before everything falls into place to produce a shockingly different picture than expected. Agent: Jane Gregory, Gregory & Company. (July)
Library Journal
In "Chickenfeed," based on a notorious 1924 murder on an East Sussex chicken farm, Walters explores how Norman Thorne met Elsie, the girlfriend he reputedly killed. In "The Tinder Box," everyone in town unites against the O'Riordan family when Patrick O'Riordan is accused of murder, though neighbor Siobhan Lavenham proclaims his innocence. Then secrets emerge that make her start to wonder. Walters is a Gold Dagger and Edgar Award winner (among other honors), these two works were both No. 1 best sellers in the UK, and you were wondering whether to purchase?
BookPage
“Simon Prebble is at his best, evoking time and place and using his estimable gift for dialect with spot-on accuracy.”
BookPage

From the Publisher
“The aural deception Prebble creates is so effective that listeners will be stunned when the mask is finally removed. Prebble’s rendition of different genders and accents is skillful and brings to life the author’s characters. The result is a deliciously chilling listen.”
Publishers Weekly

“Simon Prebble is at his best, evoking time and place and using his estimable gift for dialect with spot-on accuracy.”
BookPage

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802126122
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
07/10/2012
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author


Minette Walters is the author of fourteen suspense novels and the winner of the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award, the Edgar Allan Poe Award, and the CWA John Creasey/New Blood Dagger Award, among others. Her work has been translated into twenty-six languages. She lives in Dorset, England.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Dorchester, Dorset, England
Date of Birth:
September 26, 1949
Place of Birth:
Bishop¿s Stortford, Hertfordshire, England
Education:
B.A. in French, Dunelm (Durham University), 1971
Website:
http://www.minettewalters.co.uk

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