Wednesday, 16 November 2016
A High Mortality of Doves
Kate is a friend of mine, and so you would expect me to be favourably disposed to her work, as I am. For a good many years, I've believed that she is a writer whose ability to develop the traditional detective mystery story in interesting ways is under-valued. Years ago, I thought the same about some of my other favourite writers - Peter Robinson, Ann Cleeves, Ian Rankin, and Andrew Taylor .That quartet are all bestsellers now,and deservedly so. I look forward to Kate joining their ranks.
A High Mortality of Doves marks a departure for her. It's set in the aftermath of the First World War, and the backdrop is Derbyshire, a gorgeous county, home of lovely landscapes (and unlucky cricketers). I know that, in researching the book, Kate visited the military hospital exhibition at Dunham Massey, a marvellous National Trust property near Altrincham, which told the story of how wartime casualties were treated. I visited Dunham Massey too, and found the whole experience very moving.
I don't want to say too much about the plot of the book, which boasts a dramatic revelation at the end. I didn't see it coming, even though I'd anticipated one aspect of the solution. When the book has been widely read, I look forward to debating the craft involved in coming up with that particular twist. In the meantime, watch out for A High Mortality of Doves. I suspect that it will be Kate's breakthrough book.