Ripples on a Pond
The well-heeled English village of Temple Minnis, placid, privileged and picturesque, presents a facade as smooth and calm as its deep, dark lake. But what guilty secret is it hiding so well?
Thirty years earlier, the villagers of Temple Minnis conspired to plan and conceal a murder. It takes tough words and a touch of magic from the charismatic Tanzanian vicar, to persuade local novelist, Melissa, to write her story.
As the villages face up to the past, their lives change irrevocably. Love turns to fury and erupts into tragedy, when Simon - a farmer hampered by a surfeit of caring, and Bela - precariously straddling two cultures, are caught up in the revelations.
Ripples on a Pond - Prologue
The woman turned and walked slowly towards him and for a moment of misplaced optimism Simon thought that she had changed her mind and forgiven him, but then he looked into her eyes and saw that he might lose her. She had judged him, found him guilty and accepted her loss.
Simon watched her, loving the sight of her and longing to comfort her, while she fumbled in her bag. Moments later he was amazed to see that she was holding a revolver. She looked absurd and he wanted to laugh. Perhaps he did. He half rose, dazed with disbelief, as the muzzle swung towards him.
‘No! Bela! For God’s sake...’
He felt incapable of movement as he saw her finger tighten on the trigger. There was no pain as he spun around, only a total loss of balance. The report exploded in his ears as he fell back onto the floor. As if in a dream he saw Bela leaning over him and felt her tears splashing his face. The gun was pointing towards him, her mouth was open, but her eyes were closed as she fired again and again.
His mind wandered. He seemed to be watching from a great distance.
He had heard that a dying man might see his entire life passing in a series of images, but for Simon his life only began when he met Bela in the woods, in the moonlight, on a frosty winter’s night.
And so begins this novel which takes readers through a multi-levelled plot of passion, jealousy and revenge to a twist in the tale at the end.
“Fine narrative, strong characterizations, and a layered plot
mark this intriguing tale of psychological suspense by Madge Swindells.”
— Starred review from the US. Library Journal Review
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