Windsor Red

Jennie Melville

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04 June 2015
186 pages

Charmain ran down the stairs and out into the yard.

'What is it Anny, what's up? Why were you screaming?'

'The sack,' muttered Anny, not looking up. 'In the sack.'

Charmian walked over, dragged open the sack and looked inside. The smell that rose up at her alerted her to what she was going to find. Flesh. Dead flesh of some kind. A butcher's throw-out parts perhaps. Then she took in what she was seeing. The gorge rose in her throat. 'God!'

Charmian Daniels is on sabbatical from the police force, living in Wellington Yard, Windsor, researching into feminist crime with a group of women criminals.

Her sabbatical is disturbed by the disappearance of Anny's daughter Kate and her violent boyfriend. Dismembered limbs from an unidentified body are discovered in a rubbish sack. A child is snatched from its pram. Headless torsos are found outside Windsor. Is there a thread connecting these events to the group of women she is working with?

The special Melville touch, acupuncture dialogue, feline insights, stealthily mounting suspense.


Snatched bodies, headless torsos and odd behaviour of a gaggle of recidivist girls puzzle Chief Inspector Charmian Daniels, the thinking man's policewoman, as she grapples with a thesis on feminist crime. Transfixing dreamy quality makes the dotty entertainment entertainingly plausible.

Matthew Coady - Guardian

Appetising, enterprising, ambitious cop Charmian Daniels on eventful research sabbatical in Windsor . . . Melville in scintillating, bounteous form.

John Coleman - Sunday Times