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Fox Evil

When elderly Ailsa Lockyer-Fox is found dead in her garden, dressed only in nightclothes and with blood stains on the ground near her body, the finger of suspicion points at her wealthy, landowning husband, Colonel James Lockyer-Fox. A Coroners inquest gives a verdict of natural causes but the gossip surrounding James refuses to go away. Why? Because hes guilty? Or because resentful women in the isolated Dorset village where he lives rule the roost? Shenstead is a place of too few people and too many secrets. Why have James and Ailsa cut their children out of their wills? What happened in the past to create such animosity within the family? And why is James so desperate to find the illegitimate child – his only grandchild – who was put up for adoption when she was born? Friendless and alone, his reclusive behaviour begins to alarm his London-based solicitor, Mark Ankerton, whose concern deepens when he discovers that James has become the victim of a relentless campaign which accuses him of far worse than the death of his wife. Allegations which he refuses to challenge… Why? Because theyre a motive for murder…?


‘Walters, perhaps more than any other crime writer today, possesses the gift of conveying tension and menace in the most humdrum scenes. Everyday conversations become suffused with feelings of unease. Ordinary people acquire an aura of being on the edge, with mental and emotional disintegration imminent. The countryside itself becomes an enemy of goodness. Walters’s world is dark and unambiguous; FOX EVIL is the work of a writer at the peak of her confidence and supreme ability.’ Marcel Berlins, The Times

‘Minette Walters patrols the darkest areas of the human heart. Her writing demonstrates an acute grip on psychological truth at the point where violence meets domestic gothic, plus an unrivalled capacity to conjure up evil and terror that almost punches you in the face . . . At heart an old-fashioned murder mystery, FOX EVIL has a tightly constructed narrative and is fleshed out with beautifully drawn characters, but its language, sensibility and setting shine a disturbing light on who we are now.’ Daily Mail

‘Minette Walters is clearly on a roll. Each novel differs from the one before in style and subject matter but remains the same in the sheer verve of the writing and the thrills she provides. Engrossing’ Observer 2002 Round-up

‘Walters has woven together a tight, psychological tale of greed, evil and fear. Yet it is also a story of hope and the unbreakable ties of family. From start to finish, the suspense is unrelenting. The author goes from strength to strength. FOX EVIL is outstanding.’ Romantic Times

‘With compelling characters and an exceptionally surprising ending, this is one of Walters’ best works. I couldn’t finish the book fast enough and yet didn’t want it to end.’ Book Tales (USA)

‘… compulsive page-turner… Walters… is an expert at ratcheting up suspense while she portrays credibly confused and terrified characters meeting their fates. Great psychological activity in a hair-raising suspense story.’ Booklist

‘Walters latest thriller includes a fantastic plot and brilliant character development… an enjoyable story… good fiction’ Melbourne Weekly

‘This novel is pure Minette Walters at her best. I thought it would be impossible for her to repeat the success of ACID ROW, but I have been proved wrong again… thank goodness for us, her fans!’ Armidale Express, Australia

‘This psychological thriller… should satisfy both aficionados of the traditional English cosy and readers who prefer mysteries with a grimmer edge … [Walters’] many fans will thoroughly enjoy this hefty, stand-alone mystery’ Publishers Weekly

‘Walters’ characters vibrate with the envy and spite of their pent-up grievances.’ New York Times Book Review

‘FOX EVIL, is a wonderful story of our times…a sometimes complex story with differing strands, but one which Minette Walters unravels like a true and sympathetic expert.’ Bob Cartwright, Shots Magazine