I haven’t finished this yet, but thought I’d do a review beforehand then if anyone wants to read it, they can find out for themselves!
This is the only book I’ve read by Richard Madeley, and as to whether I’d read another, I can’t honestly say.
Set in the hottest Summer on record of 1976, our main characters are Meriel Kidd, an agony aunt and celebrity, and Seb Richmond, a news reporter/journalist.
Meriel is married to an egotistical abusive bully and her life is the complete opposite of the happily married bliss she portrays to her listeners and colleagues.
She finds an outlet for her hatred of her husband by keeping a diary, in which she writes the gruesome details of various ways he meets his demise at her own hands.
Due to the unforgiving heat, Seb is reporting on the number of inexplicable drownings, believed to be caused by colder bands of water beneath the warm surface which causes swimmers to go into shock and cardiac arrest, in turn causing them to drown.
The attraction between Meriel and Seb leads to them becoming lovers, and Meriel decides to tell her husband their marriage is over. She destroys her diary, and in a moment of contrition and remorse on his part, they go out on their boat.
He then delivers the blow that not only had he found her diary but made copies, and if she wanted to keep her career, she would become his sexual plaything at his beck and call, starting from that very night by her moving back into the marital bedroom.
He then goes for his habitual swim, leaving Meriel in mental torment onboard.
Following an argument over the time, Meriel throws his watch into the water, which he then dives to retrieve. He is soon in difficulty, and unable to swim herself, she throws him a lifebelt, but he drowns.
A verdict of accidental death by drowning is recorded, and Meriel and Seb grow closer, beginning to make plans for their future.
Seb loads the dishwasher whilst Meriel is out and blows a fuse. In locating the fusebox, he also finds the first copies of Meriel’s diary.
He’s stunned and shocked that she could have such violent thoughts, and begins to wonder if he ever knew her at all.
He decides to take them to the coroner of her husband’s case, who in turn says to involve the police.
Thus the real nightmare starts.
Seb tells Meriel what he found and what he’s done. She feels betrayed and tells him that if he had come to her first, she would have been able to explain, especially since after realising she was falling in love with him and had a real future, she had destroyed her diary, not knowing at the time that her husband had found it.
They argue, and she tells him to get out.
I have about 130 pages left to read, so guess that will be about her arrest and trial for murder, especially when she had also told her agent the real circumstances of her marriage. He has actually had little to play so far, but you can bet he will be called as a witness.
So the question is, how will it end? Happy ever after? Or another one bites the dust?
I can guess, but I haven’t read it, so will probably finish the book this afternoon whilst waiting for Hubby at the hospital.
Incidentally, it’s a very good cover, with someone standing on the bank looking down into the depths below. Is that the last thing a drowning person sees?
On what I’ve read so far, I’ll give it a good