The Lake Tahoe community has been hit by a series of art thefts. Popular local counselor Jonathan Craig privately admits to Kevin Bryce of the Placer County Sheriff’s department that he is the thief.
An arch-manipulator, Craig enjoys playing with the minds and emotions of others—this time Bryce is his plaything. Bryce believes he can trap him through Craig’s cousin Katharine, a sculptress visiting Tahoe briefly from abroad, and with whom Craig has an unusually intense relationship. But then a local art collector is killed in a particularly gruesome manner… and Katharine was the last to see him alive.
Was it an accident or murder? With a further violent death and a growing attraction to one of his main suspects, Bryce finds the investigation becoming both confusing and dangerous—for Tahoe may be hiding more than one killer.
Deborah Valentine’s unique and intriguing debut novel, written with a brilliantly discerning eye for the darker side of people’s natures and the complexities of human relationships, this is a subtle and chilling story.
Now available on Orion’s The Murder Room imprint. Originally published by Victor Gollancz in the UK and Avon Books in the US.
“The arty community around Lake Tahoe, Nevada, is shaken by a series of picture thefts, then by murder. A community aesthete admits to the thefts, but where are the pictures, and is he also a murderer?… Lively, scatty first novel with distinct wayward charm.” Julian Symons, Independent
“A neatly woven, two-stranded mystery.” Matthew Coady, Guardian
“Splendidly and originally peculiar. Ms Valentine looks capable of doing something quite different—something special—with the crime novel.” Stephen Walsh, Oxford Times
“Valentine wonderfully weaves violence in prose with a subtlety of style few could match.” Sue Wood, Oxford Mail