Mary Willis Walker's first novel, Zero at the Bone, won both the Agatha and Macavity Awards and was nominated for an Edgar. Her second, The Red Scream, won the Edgar Award for Best Novel of 1994. Her third, Under the Beetle's Cellar, won the Hammett Prize, the Macavity Award, and the Agatha Award for 1995.
Now she returns with All the Dead Lie Down, an emotionally charged double mystery that puts her definitively in the class of other outstanding crime writers whose work has joined the ranks of bestselling mainstream fiction.
When true-crime reporter Molly Cates's father died more than twenty-five years ago, his death was ruled a suicide, and Molly's efforts to prove otherwise led to nothing but anguish and the breakup of her family. Now, with access to new information, she is determined to reopen the investigation, but the answers she finds are devastating and leave her with an even more difficult moral dilemma. To make matters worse, while caught up in her own misery, Molly becomes aware of a terrifying plot to kill everyone in the Texas state legislature--a conspiracy only she will be able to stop, if she can get there in time!
Once again, Mary Willis Walker has written an extraordinary mystery that will thrill listeners to the core. All the Dead Lie Down is as rich in character and emotion as it is in plot and heart-stopping suspense.
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Quotations from Mother Goose and Macbeth (as well as the Emily Dickinson snippet of the title) provide the chapter headings in this engaging novel of suspense. The apparent peculiarity of such juxtaposition brings home the brutality of those childhood rhymes and the dangers of obsession and revenge. Both serve Mary Willis Walker's purpose well in setting up this tightly constructed mystery in which investigative journalist Molly Cates's own obsession with her father's untimely death from 30 years before gets mixed up in a current and far more dangerous scheme to release chemical gases into the Senate chamber of the Texas Capitol. The two plots, the first a traditional mystery, the second more a tale of suspense, are unconnected except for Cates's involvement; she is obviously central to one and initially only tangential to the other. Such a device would have proved unwieldy in less skillful hands, but in Walker's case the disparate strands are brought together beautifully, and Cates has a suitable sense of her own fallibility and the difficulty of harboring hate for the better part of a generation.
Walker's previous three novels have won six mystery-writers awards among them. All the Dead Lie Down is solid enough to continue the tradition set by the others. Within it there is much to relish: sensitive consideration of homelessness, thought-provoking questions about gun control, and a wry appreciation for the charm and arrogance of the Lone Star State and its citizens ("Texans do not scrimp on stars."). Indeed, Walker's sense of place--from Lubbock's dust and dry desolation to Austin's trendiness and political maneuvering--is sure and confident. There are moments when the worst of the perpetrators of the chemical weapons scare is portrayed simplistically, but this is more than made up for by the complexity of the other characters: the vagrants who discover the danger as well as the ghosts, both past and present, who haunt Molly in her investigations of her father's past. An excellent read, for even the most jaded of mystery lovers.From the Publisher:
Rave Reviews for Mary Willis Walker:
Under the Beetle's Cellar:
"A knockout novel...will leave readers cheering, weeping and gasping for breath."
"Don't pick up this one unless you have time to read it all, because you are not going to be able to put it down."
The Red Scream:
"Like a vicious pit bull, The Red Scream grabs you by the throat and never lets go."
"An assured trip through that upper reach of Texas society where money mostly buys trouble...clever and readable."
--Los Angeles Times
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Book Description HarperCollins. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0006511325
Book Description HarperCollins, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 6511325
Book Description HarperCollins, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0006511325