The solace of sin
From the first moment she saw the house on the moors north of Hexham, Conie Stapleton knew she could live there, despite its isolation, despite its lack of basic facilities, and despite her fear of loneliness. Her marriage, on the brink of disintegration, she had already decided to sell the large flat she and her husband Jim shared and she saw the move as a means of initiating the separation she knew was necessary; and now that their son Peter would soon be off to university, there was, she decided, no reason to delay the inevitable. Even if the winters at Shekinah, as the house was called, were as severe as her family had warned, she told herself she could always buy a flat in nearby Hexham. To buy the house, Connie was told that she must negotiate with the nearby O'Connors, one of whom, Vincent appeared to be their spokesman. However, she was somewhat surprised by his abruptness and by his insistence that the deal be closed forthwith; and further taken aback when he asked her if she would be able to sign the papers on the following day. Afterwards, when the house was hers and she had moved in, Connie was to discover that mystery was a way of life with Vincent O'Connor. Despite this, however, he was to have an increasing influence on her life as she settled into the new routine of days and nights at Shekinah. But then, as a result of circumstances over which she had no control, the shocking truth about the man with whom she had shared a life for many years came to light...
Set in the 1970s, The Solace of Sin is the story of a strong and independent woman whose life is transformed by new surroundings and new acquaintances. It is a richly satisfying novel, as powerful as any that Britain's premier author has written in her long and distinguished career.