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Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by CreateSpace Independent
Publishing, 21 July 2017. ISBN: 978-1548644833
novel opens with the birth of Girard Corbichon in thirteenth century Normandy.
The First Crusade is drawing to a close, but militant Christians still preach
against Jewish and Muslim believers as well as those whose lifestylesare deemed to defile
Old Testament laws.Girard is born with albinism, and this is
enough to convince his superstitious father that the boy represents the curse
of a vengeful God; wife and son are abandoned and forced to move nearly three
hundred kilometres north to seek comfort with relatives in Froissy.
A few years later, in
Pembrokeshire, another boy, Mordiern Guyon, is delivered to parents who delight in
their newborn child.Mordiern’s proud
father, a devoted crusader soon to travel to Constantinople, dedicates his
son to follow in his
footsteps and become a knight when he has reached manhood.The vow will bring Mordiern and Girard
together as brothers of the Order of the Temple, a relationship that will
inspire Mordien to compose exquisite songs but that will also have harrowing
consequences for the men and their families.
In a parallel narrative
set in London just over 700 years later, The Early Music Balladeers are practicing
a melancholic song attributed to Mordiern.The beauty and pathos of the work allows senior chorister, Catherine
Ash, some merciful respite from a violent and abusive marriage.Clement, her narcissistic husband, works as
an estate agent in London’s now trendy Docklands.When Catherine arrives home, he informs her
that he is to run the firm’s office in the south of France.The couple relocate and find themselves
living in a ramshackle apartment, rented from the unpleasant Madame Rosa
Tavernier.Clement’s work at his new
office, Maisons du Soleil, is all-consuming, and leaves Catherine
isolated, disoriented and vulnerable, with only uncanny dream-visions of
Mordiern and his wistful ballads for company.When she meets Madame Tavernier’s elderly brother Leon she is intrigued
by the eccentric old gardener.The
mysterious Taverniers, however, are guarding grim secrets from the past, and
the dysfunctional English couple find themselves unwittingly drawn into deep
and murky waters under the warm French sun.
carefully constructed novel successfully straddles time and space.The mood becomes increasingly chilling as the
two narratives relentlessly swirl together and create a turbulent gothic vortex
into which the protagonists are irresistibly pulled.The book explores the fragility of love and
humanity as medieval Europe’s apocalyptic mindset gallops into the twentieth
century with brutal and destructive consequences.Having previously read Spedding’s The Yellowhammer’s Cradle I expected Behold A Pale Horse to be a thought-provoking journey into the
macabre.I was not disappointed and this
book will appeal to readers who, like me, enjoy haunting thrillers in dystopian
Sally Speddingwas born by the sea near
Porthcawl in Wales and trained in sculpture in Manchester and at St Martin's,
London. My work was detailed, accurate and in demand, but I began to realise
words can deliver so much more than any narrative sculpture or painting.
Sally’s first crime mystery, Wringland,
has a strong historical thread and is set in the bleak fenland around Sutton
Bridge. Cloven also invokes the past
while in A Night With No Stars,
published in January 2005, it's a fourteen year old murder which destabilises
the present. Prey Silence, set in SW
France, featuring an animal rights activist, was published in July 2006. Come and be Killed, set in the Malvern
Hills, came out in January 2007. Her strong familial connections with the
Pyrenees, Germany and Holland have provided her with themes of loss and
exclusion. The dark side of people, and
landscape. The deceptive exterior, the snake in the grass are all themes which
recur in her writing. Sally is married to the painter, Jeffrey Spedding.
Dot Marshall-Gentworked in the
emergency services for twenty years first as a police officer, then as a
paramedic and finally as a fire control officer before graduating from King’s
College, London as a teacher of English in her mid-forties. She completed
a M.A. in Special and Inclusive Education at the Institute of Education, London
and now teaches part-time and writes mainly about educational issues. Dot
sings jazz and country music and plays guitar, banjo and piano as well as being
addicted to reading mystery and crime fiction.