Andrew Taylor

Crime and Historical Novelist

An Air That Kills



It is the week before Remembrance Sunday...

It is the week when Jill Francis first comes to Lydmouth. Jill is an outsider in more senses than one. She's a journalist in a man's profession, an onlooker belonging nowhere. And she has her own tragic reasons for knowing that November is the month of the dead.

When workmen demolishing an old inn discover the pitiful remains of a newborn baby in a disused privy, Jill becomes an unwilling partner in Detective Inspector Richard Thornhill's investigation. Thornhill himself is an outsider, a man torn by desires he dare not articulate even to himself.

The case stretches back to a celebrated Victorian murder trial, and forward to the more recent past. Its ramifications spread like a cancer through the close-knit provincial community. Old wounds begin to bleed again, and suddenly there is another corpse.

Selected Reviews

"Andrew Taylor captures perfectly the drab atmosphere and cloying morality of the 1950s... Taylor is an excellent writer. He plots with care and intelligence and the solution to the mystery is satisfyingly chilling." Marcel Berlins, The Times

"There's no denying Taylor's talent, his almost Victorian prose exudes a a quality uncommon among his contemporaries..." Time Out

"Taylor subtly weaves the threads of this thoughtful, melancholy tale until they become an interlaced whole before the reader's eyes." Publishers Weekly

"Without struggling for literary effect, Taylor takes us into the dank, decaying houses and the ale-smelling pubs, acquaints us with sexy barmaids and estranged daughters... and he makes us believe it all. Los Angeles Review of Books