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The well-heeled village of Temple Minnis presents a smooth and calm facade, but all is t as it seems. When Simon Shepherd goes to investigate the smell of smoke late one night, he comes across the beautiful and mysterious Bela who has taken refuge on his land. Why is she there? But there are greater mysteries in the village - thirty years earlier, the villagers conspired to plan and conceal a murder, but only the local velist, Melissa, dying of cancer, suffers the pangs of conscience. It takes tough words and a touch of magic from the charismatic vicar to persuade her to write her story. but as the villagers face up to the past, their lives change irrevocably. Love turns to fury and errupts into tragedy when Simon and Bela - precariously straddling two cultures - are caught up in the revelations.
Madge Swindells was born and educated in England. As a teenager, she emigrated with her parents to South Africa where she studied archaeology and anthropology at Cape Town University. The author of numerous novels, her work has been translated into nine languages and has reached bestseller lists across the world. She currently lives near Dover in Kent.