No Birds Sang

John Buxton Hilton

13 September 2012
200 pages


A soldier is killed trying to save the life of a civilian who has no business to be wandering about an army battle range. The man is picked up and threatened by the local police, understandably angry.

Then on to the scene comes by chance Chief Superintendent Kenworthy, who is holiday with his brother-in-law, also a senior police officer and in charge of this district. At first unwilling, Kenworthy is increasingly baffled and intrigued by the long history of events that begins to unfold.

Why should a staunch citizen of faultless antecedents risk his life under a storm of live ammunition? Why does he seem unable to keep away from this forbidden abandoned village? An extraordinary incident in the Second World War comes to light; a man’s glimpse of a beautiful young woman, in a setting haunted by inexplicable activities; his pilgrimage to find her – and his involvement in a strange rural mystery that leads inexorably to murder.

The delight in watching Kenworthy’s devious methods is as great as it was in John Buxton Hilton’s earlier novel, Hangman’s Tide.

Here is a whodunit laden with character and atmosphere, strong echoes from the past, scenes of pure excitement, and a shattering conclusion.