'Lea Croft', set in Derbyshire, tells of a village in late Victorian times where the body of the farmer's son is found down a gully. Was he murdered or did he fall? That is the question.
Review of Lea Croft by Sharon Bennet Connelly
The book does an excellent job of evoking the atmosphere of country life in Victorian England. The locations are beautifully recreated and the language draws the reader back, not only to the era but to the location. Colloquial words are used sparingly, but are all the more noticeable as a result, such as 'snap' for a packed lunch - said to come from when the tin snaps closed - and 'trump' for flatulence.
The novel itself is a wonderful creation; the story of how a community reacts to a suspicious death within its midst, an event that may not have happened before within living memory. The simple, tight-knit community is suddenly suspicious and distrusting. How would you feel, knowing that someone in your midst is a murderer?
Despite the subject matter, this is not a dark, scary book. And Angela Rigley pulls off an incredible balance, between telling the story of a murder, and the everyday lives of the inhabitants, to give us a unique, unmissable novel.