From the back cover:
The old family home in Access Road, where Lionel, Roly and Rowan grew up, is crumbling away - but after more than fifty years Lionel and Roly are back. Rowan, too, safe in 'upper crusty' Takapuna, is drawn more and more strongly 'out west'.
The past is dangerously alive. Clyde Buckley, violent as a boy, enigmatic, subterranean as an old man, returns to his childhood territory. What does he want? What crimes does he hide? And how is Lionel involved? Rowan must abandon safety if she is to find out...
I confess now that I have never read a Maurice Gee book before this one. I have no idea what his writing is usually like but I have to say I found this a compelling although dark read. I love the descriptive phrases he uses & this paragraph in particular "Clouds hung their bellies over the sea. The water was leaden and the waves slid up the sand like oil. I beat the rain home by several minutes but couldn't keep it out of the house. The sound on the iron roof was like a train in a tunnel."
His descriptive writing easily led me to imagine a small town on the outskirts of a large city & really could have been describing any small town in New Zealand. Maybe that was the pull of the book, it could happen anywhere in New Zealand. This darkness could actually lurk anywhere in New Zealand. The next thought from that is, is there a chance that by standing and watching these dark acts as a child, not telling anyone about them, could you really be letting a darker act follow later & therefore could you be partly responsible for that act? One character in the book clearly thought so & Rowan? Maybe she did to, after she was able to connect the dots, or find the resolve to connect the dots.
I have to say connecting dots has happened a lot to me in the last few years, luckily in nothing like as dark as this. Maybe that's why I felt a pull in this book, Rowan was discovering what it all meant & I have just been going through that process myself.
It was a good book to read & I enjoyed the descriptive prose that Maurice Gee used.