Sentence: Each time tonight, when her eyelids dropped
over burning eyes, she could see the scene again, lit by memory
as mercilessly as any performed under television arc-lights.
Actress Helena Fielding gave up her career when she became
the wife of actor Neville Fielding, star of a highly successful
television series. When Neville decides they should buy a
house in the remote village of Radnesfield, nothing is the
Talk about an intriguing opening. One, at first, can’t
help but wonder where the story is going, but you sense it
is well worth following the author’s path. You soon
realize the story actually begins in the middle of the character’s
narrative, than moves back to. Rather than this being distracting
or frustrating, it proves a fascinating way of learning about
the characters, the backgrounds, and potential motives. In
this case, it is incredibly effective and impactful.
The characters, both good and bad, are very effective. Templeton
captures perfectly the nature of a small, insular village
and the collective of gossiping church ladies. Mr. Tilson,
an observer of people and the village, is someone with whom
you would very much like to spend time. The dialogue between
him and D.S. Fielding is a treat… “He smiled.
‘Come and talk to me again. I collect people, you know.”
“’Like slugs in a jam jar,”’ Frances
quoted… [No, I don’t know the source. Anyone?]
Tilson’s assessment of people’s reactions to a
disturbing announcement is quite wonderful.
Templeton is a wonderful writer. There is an analogy that
is particularly memorable.
Last Act of All is an excellent read. It draws you
in and keeps you there, including a very well-done surprise,
and a killer I certainly didn’t see coming.