Bleeding Heart Square
Review: Andrew Taylor's stand-alone novel Bleeding Heart Square is a series of interwoven storylines that form a complex, but satisfying, mystery thriller.
It is 1934 and Lydia Langstone has left her abusive husband to live with her estranged father. Her mother, of course, would not approve of her leaving, but her parents have been separated since she was a child, but she's confident she's made the right choice. It's quite a change for her, from a life of privilege with servants attending to her every need, to a small apartment at #7 Bleeding Heart Square. The cobbled alley is small, too tight to even drive a car into, and legend has it that "the devil at one time danced in the square." Now there is a figure skulking in the shadows, who watches everyone as they enter and leave. He seems especially interested in Lydia, an aristocratic woman living with her drunken old father. What is his interest in the people of the square, and more particularly, Lydia herself?
Lydia is but one of the central characters of this most interesting story. Others include Miss Philippa May Penhow, who has not been seen since the spring of 1930. Though a journalist, Rory Wentwood, is suspicious of her disappearance, her common-law husband, Joe Serridge, who owns the building, insists she left him for another man, and is off in America, using a letter postmarked from New York City as proof. But someone has taken possession of Miss Penhow's diary, which details Joe's affairs with teenaged girls … and Joe is now receiving decaying hearts in the mail — revenge? blackmail? murder?
Bleeding Heart Square is in many ways an exceptional thriller with riveting characters, a fast-paced plot, and a moody, atmospheric setting. The tangled web of deceit and intrigue that draws Lydia into helping Rory investigate Miss Penhow's mysterious absence and Joe's hold over his tenants, including Lydia's father, also keeps the reader's attention and interest, up to the exciting conclusion.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Bleeding Heart Square.
Acknowledgment: Hyperion provided a trade paperback edition of Bleeding Heart Square for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
A Stain on the Silence
Hyperion (Trade Paperback), February 2010
ISBN-13: 9781401302849; ISBN-10: 140130284X
Location(s) referenced in Bleeding Heart Square: London, England
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Bleeding Heart Square by Andrew Taylor
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: January 2010
List Price: $15.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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