When the distinguished Mr. Justice Stafford dies of opium poisoning, his shocking demise resurrects one of the most sensational cases ever to inflame England: the murder five years before of Kingsley Blaine, whose body was found crucified in Farriers Lane. Amid the public hysteria for revenge, the police had arrested a Jewish actor who was soon condemned to hang. Police Inspector Thomas Pitt, investigating Staffords death, is drawn into the Farriers Lane murder as well, for it appears that Stafford may have been about to reopen the case. Pitt receives curiously little help from his colleagues on the force, but his wife, Charlotte, gleans from her social engagements startling insights into both cases. And slowly both Thomas and Charlotte begin to reach for the same sinister and deeply dangerous truth.
Sometimes the personal story of a particular author seems almost as intriguing as the books they write. Such is the life of British author Anne Perry (aka Juliet Marion Hulme). As a child Hulme was very ill with tuberculosis and ended up being fostered out by a family in the Caribbean. She did get better, and the family moved to a private island in New Zealand, where she describes her life as a Swiss family Robinson type existence. She became ill again and during her bouts of illness through her teen years, she missed most of her childhood education. However, her mother had prepared her by teaching her how to read and write by the time she was four. Her heart always seemed to be in writing.
At the age of 15, Juliet and her best friend plotted and killed her friend's mother. The three went for a walk in the park and Hulme dropped a stone, causing the mother to bend over to pick it up, and her friend hit her own mother on the head with a half brick. They had planned on the strike killing her, but they had to strike her 20 times before she was dead. The girls were put on trial and each served five years in prison. It is said that they never saw each other again after being released. For many years, nobody connected author Anne Perry as the teen murderer, Juliet Hulme. In 1994, the film Heavenly Creatures, portrayed Hulme and her friend Pauline Parker with characters being played by Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey respectively.
Perry's genre of writing covers Victorian Era Detective fiction for the most part. Her novels have been centered around two main characters, Thomas Pitt and William Monk. She has published 47 novels and several collections of stories.
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