With time on his hands, his only commitment is to write a sonata, Chris pursues his curiosity about what took place in Kilnsgate. He is also diverting his mind from the painful memories of Laura’s illness and death.
At the same time the book contains excerpts from Grace’s trial and later her journal of wartime experiences as a nurse. The wartime entries are striking in their power.
Chris seeks out information on the lives of the Fox family. In particular, he longs to learn more about the beautiful Grace. What could have happened in her life?
In her trial the forensic evidence is actually ambivalent on whether the high level of potassium in the body of Ernest Fox was caused by an injection of potassium or the result of a natural heart attack. There is evidence that his heart was not in good condition.
In real life today I doubt there would have been a trial. There is no conclusive evidence of murder.
Robinson does present a convincing picture of early 1950’s
, with a puritanical streak, that would prosecute a woman considered immoral on weak forensic evidence. England
I hearkened back to the poisoning cases I had read about in The Invention of Murder – How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime by Judith Flanders from the 19th Century where several women were convicted and hung on flimsy evidence of poisoning. 150 years ago experts, actually incompetents, were eager to find evidence of poisoning. Robinson’s book would suggest it was little different 60 years ago.
In his personal life Chris makes a comfortable adjustment back to
. He is attracted to the lovely Heather, his real estate agent. England
Yorkshire is a rugged land with unpredictable weather, usually bad, in the fall and winter. For a Canadian the descriptions of snow and cold were alittle overdone. It is definitely cold in the middle of the English winter but it is a long way from the -40 much of endures in mid-winter. Canada
Chris thoughtfully follows the evidence he assembles. It is not an overtly dramatic investigation. He is an average man on a quest. Tension does build as Chris learns information that leads him to question the guilt of Grace.