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An accident can end a life. The same accident can begin one. Three lives collide in the wake of an unforeseeable tragedy. When a bridge collapses in the Highlands of Scotland, dozens of commuters vanish into the freezing river below, swept by the currents toward the sea, and only an amateur video and the bridge's security camera record their last moments. A woman tourist, whose car was filmed pulling onto the bridge seconds before it fell, is assumed to be among the missing. But in desperate need of money, she had sold the car only hours before. Now she can begin life over. Her path leads her to a spartan cabin on the bank of the river where, as Annabel, she is reborn, free from her past. Here she lives with Silva, an illegal immigrant whose predicament is compounded by the disappearance of her husband and their child. She waits for them each day, clinging to hope against overwhelming evidence. The two women are befriended by the boatman Ron, and together they create a fragile sanctuary in the shadow of the bridge that has changed their lives. They keep secrets from one another, yet also connect in ways none of them expects. Lost souls all, they struggle to survive, to trust, and to love even as the consequences of the past prove inescapable. A masterly novel about the invisible ties that bind us to our identities, to our histories, and to one another, Among the Missing soars with the peerless voice of the author described by P. D. James as an "exciting talent." Morag Joss, with the psychological penetration and the finely wrought prose that are her hallmarks, spins a brilliant tale of damage and reparation, suspicion and salvation.From the Hardcover edition.
The town of Bath has taken on a new melody: murder The elegant but sedate city of Bath might not be an obvious place for an international musician to settle down, but Sara Selkirk finds herself drawn back to the town. It doesn't hurt that the dreamy DCI Andrew Poole, Sara's friend and only pupil, lives there. In this, the second of Morag Joss's Sara Selkirk Mysteries, Joss's Bath is once again the city that readers want to get lost in. Sara's attraction to Andrew leads her to do something a musician of her caliber would never normally do: She joins him in the Circus Opera Group, Bath's community opera society. This isn't Covent Garden. The interpersonal politics of aging divas, two vain composers, and an overeager protégée are plenty for Sara to deal with--murder, on the other hand, is something else entirely. As the investigation preoccupying Andrew hits closer to home for Sara, it is up to her to find the pattern in the killings before it's too late.
IN A CITY OF BEAUTY AND HISTORY, A LITTLE NIGHT MURDER IS BEING COMPOSED... For world-class musicians, Bath is no mecca. But to cellist Sara Selkirk it is home, now invaded by an unbearably sexy Czech composer and his unheralded protégée, who is scoring an opera for a local company. Between the notorious composer and his untried student, Sara does not expect great music. Nor, however, does she expect murder.... With Sara caught up in a stormy relationship with a music-loving and very married police officer, she is privy to the investigation into the first killing. The next victim she knows personally, and Sara is sure of a connection. Alas, someone has composed a perfect score for murder. And she who can detect its melody first--will be the next to die.... From the Paperback edition.
After an aging musician becomes the chief suspect in a murder investigation, only her former pupil can save her Sara Selkirk lives one of the most complicated lives in Bath. When she isn't performing to rave reviews as a cellist, she must navigate the troubled waters of small-town life, a complicated relationship with the newly single amateur cellist DCI Andrew Poole, and the occasional murder. Another problem is heaped on when she discovers her former teacher Joyce Cruikshank trapped in the clutches of alcoholism. Sara decides to take her in and help her get the therapy she needs in the idyllic English spa town of Bath. Dr. Golightly, the charismatic director of the Sulis Clinic, a magnet for the rich and supposedly unwell, claims that its mix of rest, art therapy, and organic cuisine is a potent one for well-being, and Sara arranges for Joyce to be admitted. But when Joyce is implicated in the murder of a Japanese tourist who is found dead in a cupboard in a Bath pub, Sara's relationship with Andrew comes under strain. Then the Sulis patients begin to die, and Dr. Golightly's reputation is on the brink of collapse. Sara is drawn further into the investigation--and into danger.
When a world-renowned cellist stumbles across the still-warm body of a museum director in the natural pools, the entire town of Bath takes notice Life has been difficult for cellist Sara Selkirk. Since her partner's death, she has lost none of her technical virtuosity, but her playing has missed that essential element--passion. Because of this, she has stayed out of the limelight, giving only one performance for a private charity event at the beautiful and ancient Pump Room in Bath. The director of the Roman Baths Museum is the contentious and offensive Matthew Sawyer, a man who makes enemies everywhere he goes. When Sara returns to the Pump Room the morning after her performance, she finds Sawyer's body in the Sacred Spring that fills the baths. Grudgingly conducting the case is her music student, the attractive detective DCI Andrew Poole. Now Sara must figure out who among the former director's many detractors would end his life.Funeral Music proves to be an accomplished and atmospheric debut for author Morag Joss.
To the ancient Romans, the healing waters of Bath belonged to the goddess Minerva. Today they belong to the gods of commerce, as tourists teem, shops prosper, and the incense of gourmet food rises to the English skies. Among the throng is Sara Selkirk, a world-class cellist who came undone in a Paris performance. For Sara, taking a break from performing has given her a chance to look at what's missing from her life- and even at a case of murder. ... The killing occurred in the famous Roman Baths, and the victim was the museum's director. Knowing several people close to the investigation-from a potential suspect to a detective who cajoled her into giving him cello lessons-Sara discovers a talent for making sense of things. But like a Bach fugue, the pattern she grasps is more complex than it seems. And as she moves down a trail strewn with secrets and damaged lives, a chilling story begins to emerge: of greed, envy-and a killer performance that may not be quite finished yet. From the Paperback edition.
To the ancient Romans, the healing waters of Bath belonged to the goddess Minerva. Today they belong to the gods of commerce, as tourists teem, shops prosper, and the incense of gourmet food rises to the English skies. Among the throng is Sara Selkirk, a world-class cellist who came undone in a Paris performance. For Sara, taking a break from performing has given her a chance to look at what's missing from her life- and even at a case of murder....The killing occurred in the famous Roman Baths, and the victim was the museum's director. Knowing several people close to the investigation-from a potential suspect to a detective who cajoled her into giving him cello lessons-Sara discovers a talent for making sense of things. But like a Bach fugue, the pattern she grasps is more complex than it seems. And as she moves down a trail strewn with secrets and damaged lives, a chilling story begins to emerge: of greed, envy-and a killer performance that may not be quite finished yet.From the Paperback edition.
Winner of the CWA Silver Dagger Award: A desire for a home can drive people to do things that they never thought possible Family is a powerful force. It's only when you don't have one that you realize how strong the bonds truly are. Michael, Jean, and Steph all have learned this the hard way. Michael, abandoned as a child, steals from churches just to make ends meet in his low-rent apartment. Jean lives as a lonely caretaker, watching over vast houses while their rich owners are away. Steph is pregnant and trapped in an abusive relationship. However, in an instant, a life can change forever. When Steph leaves her boyfriend, she finds a home and then a family with Michael, who is overjoyed. Meanwhile, Jean grows more and more comfortable in her current residence, taking proxy ownership rather than facing mandatory retirement. She begins telling stories of a son and soon places an ad in search of one. When Michael realizes what she is up to, he and Steph move in with her, and the three form an ad-hoc family. But reality is never far in this familial fantasy, and it is about to come calling.
Jean, Michael and Steph are three reluctant loners who are getting by. Damaged and fearful of life, they cannot survive alone for much longer. A mixture of deceit, good luck and misfortune draw them together to Walden Manor, a secluded and gracious country house that promises sanctuary, freedom from failure and impending destitution. Out of an invented past they shape a beautiful present, full of hope and happiness. And beguiled by the gentle passing of time itself, all three of them, for the first time in their lives, lose their dread of the future. If their sense of safety is built on a delusion, does it matter?When the idyll is threatened, Jean, Michael and Steph discover that because their lives are now worth living they are also now worth preserving, although at appalling cost. In this stunning novel, which explores what happens when the 'have-nots' strive to become the 'haves', Morag Joss combines thought-provoking, sometimes chilling moral complexity with humane and compelling story-telling. Half Broken Things is a dark story, richly told, about love and our need for it: the damage done when we go too long without it, and what people might be driven to do in its name.
On a blustery April day, the quiet, rather private wife of a doctor discovers that her husband has been having an affair. Moments later, driving along a winding country road and distracted perhaps by her own thoughts, perhaps blinded by sunlight, she fails to see Ruth Mitchell up ahead, riding her bicycle. She hits her, killing her instantly. And drives away. The hit-and-run driver is never found. But the doctor's wife, horrified by what she has done, begins to unravel. Soon she turns her attention to Ruth's bereaved husband, a man staggering sleeplessly through each night, as unhinged by grief as the killer is by guilt. Arthur Mitchell does not realize at first that someone has begun watching him through his windows, worrying over his disheveled appearance, his increasingly chaotic home. And when at last she steps through his doorway, secretly at first, then more boldly, he is ready to believe that, for reasons beyond his understanding, his wife has somehow been returned to him....
Award-winning author Morag Joss has penned a beautifully rendered, meticulously crafted, and terrifyingly gripping novel of suspense--ideal for the fans of Eowyn Ivey, Ruth Rendell, and Barbara Vine. One night, two strangers. A damage that cannot be undone. For thirty years, Howard and Deborah Morgan have poured all their energy and modest savings into Stoneyridge, a smallholding deep in the English moors. Howard putters with pottery, Deborah dabbles in weaving, and both struggle to tend sheep and chickens and live off the land. But what began with simple dreams of solitude and sunlit picnics in the hills has given way to a harsher reality. To help with finances, they decide to turn Stoneyridge into a bed-and-breakfast. But a sudden stroke leaves Howard incapacitated and Deborah overwhelmed. Howard's world, once so limitless, has shrunk to the confines of their crumbling house; Deborah's main joy now comes in the form of a brief weekly email from their successful son, who lives abroad. Then, late one evening, two men arrive needing a room for the night--and set off a chain of events that uncovers the relics of old tragedies. New wounds are cut deep, betrayals and cruelties intermix with tenderness and love. And through it all, Stoneyridge quietly hides the bitter and transformative truth. Evocative, intimately claustrophobic, and psychologically complex, Our Picnics in the Sun is a novel of stunning prose and knife-sharp insight. Morag Joss crafts a modern masterpiece of rising tension that binds and releases like a beating heart, propelling readers to a final page that resonates and haunts. Praise for Morag Joss's Among the Missing "This remarkable novel has an abundance of suspense at its core, put forth in beautiful prose that all but glows on the page. . . . [Joss] keeps a jittery tension going as the novel spins toward its violent, grand-scaled finale."--Booklist (starred review) "A haunting, harrowing punch to the heart, Among the Missing is flat-out brilliant. About the secrets we keep, the lives we are desperate to live, and the chances we miss, it's a psychological dazzler. Truly, one of my favorite books of this year--or any year."--Caroline Leavitt, author of Is This Tomorrow "Morag Joss is a writer who knows the old truth that genuine suspense comes not from car chases or gunplay but from the clash of conflicting hearts. Among the Missing is evidence not of a rising talent but of one already fully formed."--Thomas H. Cook, author of Sandrine's Case "A spectacular psychological thriller . . . Joss's beautiful, evocative novel is filled with tension and suspense."--RT Book Reviews
For one woman, no matter what has happened through the decades, the music will always linger Burnhead is an inconspicuous town on the Scottish coast, but for Lila Du Cann, it is the setting for an opera that will change her life forever. When Lila returns to Burnhead to bury her father, she thinks back to 1960, when she fell in love for the first time. Her parents are in a failing marriage. Lila's mother, Fleur, splits time between two hobbies: arguing with her husband about life and money and retreating to her music room to listen to Puccini's Turandot. Lila's family, however, is thrown a lifeline when her charismatic and flamboyant uncle arrives from London with a hare-brained idea: an amateur staging of Turandot. With Fleur in the title role and Lila as the slave girl Liu, the production's most intriguing casting is George's handsome young student Joe Foscari as the tenor lead, Prince Calaf. Lila quickly falls for him and hopes that he feels the same about her. As opening night looms, secrets are exposed, high hopes are torn apart, and Lila's painful coming-of-age brings with it devastating lifelong consequences.
The year is 1960. The place is a Scottish seaside town utterly devoid of culture and charm. Here, Lila lives as the third player in her parents' dramatically embittered marriage. Until her flamboyant, irrepressible uncle George shows up from London and her family decides to squander a windfall on the most preposterous of causes: a civic production of the Puccini opera Turandot. Lila knows nothing of opera and little of her uncle or the dashing young man he hires to sing the role of Calaf. But Lila does know passion. Because it's coursing through her veins--and rushing blindly, wildly all around her. Now a girl on the verge of womanhood is about to blunder into a grown-up world where secrets are kept and exposed, hopes soar and wither, and where crimes petty and great exact the most chilling punishments of all. Masterfully paced and spellbinding till its final, haunting scene, Puccini's Ghosts is a piercing look into the fierce darkness that lurks behind seemingly ordinary lives.
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