The Breaker

Walters, Minette

Published by Macmillan, 1998
ISBN 10: 0333747127 / ISBN 13: 9780333747124
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SIGNED. Boards unworn and not bumped. 3 inch discolored thin line on edge of back board. 1/2 inch line on front cover edge. Spine square and tight. Corners sharp, pages bright and unmarked. Dust jacket glossy, unfaded and unclipped. Very minor edge wear on back cover corner. Shipped in bubble wrap. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Why was Mary killed, and her daughter, a witness, allowed to live? Why weren't they together, and why had Mary willingly boarded a boat when she had a terror of drowning at sea? Police suspicion centres both on a young actor, and the murdered woman's husband.

Review: The nude body of a 31-year-old woman washes up in a secluded cove on the Dorset coast; at the same time, her 3-year-old daughter is found wandering alone in the streets of a nearby town. The woman, Kate Sumner, was raped and choked before being thrown into the water, and traces of Rohypnol, the so-called date-rape drug, are found in her bloodstream. There are just three suspects in the crime: Kate's husband, William Sumner, a tortured and sexually frustrated man; a handsome, charming but also very disturbed young actor named Steven Harding; and Tony Bridges, a teacher whose friendship with Harding is complicated by jealousy and anger.

Out of these basic ingredients, Minette Walters--the reigning alchemist of the British psychological thriller--has spun another complicated story of passion and repression. In the introduction to the reviewer's edition, Walters says: "Each character is portrayed in depth, and the solution lies in understanding what goes on inside their heads." This is true, up to a point. But what Walters doesn't mention is the sly, slow, and occasionally devious way she doles out the information needed to reach that understanding. You have to weigh the evidence of tidal charts and forensic tests. You must also decide whether the little lies of the characters add up to a big guilt. It's a plausible ending, but you may feel a bit manipulated. Other examples of Walters's alchemy: The Dark Room, The Echo, The Ice House, The Scold's Bridle. --Dick Adler

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Breaker
Publisher: Macmillan
Publication Date: 1998
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Near Fine
Edition: 1st Edition

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Published by Macmillan (1998)
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