Marian is in her mid-30s and trying to get over the shock of her 18-year-old twins leaving her to live with their father in the USA. As a distraction she takes a job looking after a younger woman, Stella, on a coach tour to Greece. It seems to be the answer to all her worries - financial and otherwise - although there is some mystery surrounding Stella's background.
As the tour gets underway, strange things begin happen, including some serious accidents. People become suspicious, and nobody is at all sure whom they can trust. Marion becomes increasingly worried, both for her own sake and for Stella's, and at the same time tries to resist her increasing attraction to a friendly classics professor who is also on the tour. A suspenseful thriller, tense and concise, that builds interesting characters with ease.
Born near Cambridge, Massachusetts to Pulitzer prize-winning poet Conrad Aiken and his first wife, the writer Jessie McDonald, Jane Hodge was 3 years old when her family moved to Great Britain, settling in Rye, East Sussex, where her younger sister, Joan, who would become a novelist and a children’s writer, was born. Their parents divorced in 1929. From 1935, Jane Hodge read English at Somerville College, Oxford University, and in 1938 she took a second degree in English at Radcliffe College, her mother’s alma mater. She was a civil servant for a time, and also worked for Time magazine, before returning to the UK in 1947. Her works of fiction include historical novels and contemporary detective novels.
In 1972 she renounced her United States citizenship and became a British subject. For many years a believer in the right of people to end their own lives, Hodge chose to end her own by means of an overdose in June 2009. The Times obituary (pub. July 25, 2009) stated that she left "a letter expressing her deep distress that she had felt unable to discuss her plans with her daughters without risking making them accessories".
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Great story, pity about the narrator
A much better voice. This narrator, had a high-pitched tone that grated on the ears, her idea of an English accent was ludicrous, and her gaps between words was off putting.
Compared to Mary Stewart, early non Amelia Peabody titles by Elizabeth Peters
I didn't last the distance, the narration totally distracted from my enjoyment.
I went and found my old falling apart paperback to finish the story. I had been pleased to see that some of the JAH titles had been recorded. Do them again with a better voice.
- Bernie Sammon