Secrets of the Dead by Barbara Whitehead (book cover)

Secrets of the Dead (Constable 1996)

A young man is jailed for life for the murder of his mother in a drunken frenzy. But did he do it? On his release, he returns to the scene of the crime to discover the truth.

When Chris Simmers murdered his mother, the neighbours wondered why he hadn't done it years before. They's all had the benefit of her raucous, vulgar voice, her opinions and her prying ways. Poor downtrodden Chris had obviously reached breaking point.

It took them a while to see the other side of things. For the bloody, brutal and sordid slaying, Simmers was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Twelve years later, Chris returns to the decaying house, to the friendship of his neighbour Annie, and to the nagging blank in his memory of those drunken hours when the fatality occurred.

It is not long before a series of 'accidents' persuade Chris that someone is out to kill him. But why, and for what?

The mysteries, the connections, the painful intricacies of family history, which bore inexorably down on the life of a beleaguered man, as expertly and fascinatingly woven in to a contemporary drama of greed, murder and revenge.

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