Detective Sergeant Wesley Peterson's first day in his new posting in South Devon finds him investigating the brutal death of a young woman on a cliff path while his new colleagues are searching desperately for a missing child.  Then Wesley's old friend from university, archaeologist Neil Watson, unearths the bodies of a strangled young woman and a new-born baby on the site of a seventeenth century merchant's house: though luckily for the overstretched police force the skeletons are centuries old.  But as the search for the missing child intensifies and the true identity of the body on the cliff path is established, Wesley begins to suspect a tragic link, spanning the centuries, between his investigations and Neil's: for motives of jealousy, sexual obsession and desperate longing are as old as time.  And when the dark secret of the merchant's house is finally revealed, Wesley must act swiftly to avert a further tragedy.


"Fascinating first novel...mixes a seventeenth century mystery with a present day one to good effect.  First of a series and I can see them becoming successful."    The Bookseller.

"Intriguing mingling of present day and archaeological whodunits in a Devonshire seaside village."  Yorkshire Evening Press.

"If you want a cracking good thriller with a historical or archaeological twist, look no further."  Kingsbridge Gazette.

"The plot moves along and the archaeology makes a change from the average crime novel.  Fun, different and compelling reading."  Leon Vincent.

"Good straightforward story-telling with lots of interesting characters, pleasant humour and a nicely done setting."  Birmingham Post.

"This novel is addictive and its lively narrative draws you in so that you feel you're there."  York Evening Press

The Merchant's House was also picked as one of the ten best summer reads by Woman's Weekly. 20.7.99.

First published 1998 by Piatkus

Hardback ISBN 978-0749904548
Paperback ISBN 978-0749952754
Published in USA by St Martin's Press (ISBN 0312205627)

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