Mary Hocking

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25 February 2016
0 pages

'In 1948 Melita Jory ran away with a stranger and was not heard of again. . .'

In Polwithian, Cornwall, strangers are always noticed. So when an unknown man arrives in the village enquiring about the Jory family, who have been living on the same farm for decades, news soon spreads. What is his interest in the Jorys, and Melita in particular?

It's not long before the attention of Silas Jory, Melita's abandoned husband, is caught. Still living with the consequences of her disappearance, Silas meets with the stranger to discover his purpose.

Eighteen years is a long enough time for scars to heal, but the stranger has not come to Polwithian without purpose and the effects of his presence ripple throughout the quiet community. Old wounds begin to feel newly painful, and long-forgotten ambitions resurface, disrupting everyone's lives and bringing about unwanted change . . .

Checkmate is a subtle, complex, deftly-worked novel . . . Her story has the excitement of a thriller and a great deal more-a wide range of unconventional characters and a sustained flow of quirky incident. This is a novel of quality.

The Scotsman

An effective and unusual romance-thriller

Times Literary Supplement