Burning Is a Substitute for Loving

Jennie Melville

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04 June 2015
166 pages

Charmian Daniels, the tenacious and attractive policewoman detective, keeps a card index on the inhabitants of Deerham Hills, a village forty miles from London which has little petty crime: when things break out there they are serious.

Jennie Melville's novel is concerned with closeknit, dangerous, human relationships. Very far from a whodunit, the story develops tensely and yet inevitably like the formula for a genetic code. Underneath is a problem of identity. What makes up a person? Charmian Daniels has to handle an explosive situation in which her own emotions are involved. She must uncover the identity of the victim as well as the real nature of the crime.