The Wages of Desire: Book summary and reviews of The Wages of Desire by Stephen Kelly

The Wages of Desire

A World War II Mystery (Inspector Lamb)

by Stephen Kelly

The Wages of Desire by Stephen Kelly X
The Wages of Desire by Stephen Kelly
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  • Published Aug 2016
    352 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

In the late summer of 1942, as the war deepens, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Lamb must risk his life to sort out the links between a series of killings - past and present - in a Hampshire village brimming with buried secrets.

In the late summer of 1941, as the war in Europe drags on, long-buried secrets begin to surface in the Hampshire village of Winstead, when the body of a young woman – a former conscientious objector - is found shot to death in the church cemetery. The woman's only connection to Winstead seems to be that she lately had joined a group of conscripted workers who are building a prisoner of war camp on an abandoned farm near the village. But Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Lamb, who is called in to solve the case, has his doubts.

The mystery deepens when workers at the farm find the remains of a child in the foundation of the old farmhouse, and a tramp who had been squatting in the wood near the church turns up dead. Lamb soon begins to suspect that the crimes might be related to a tragic event that occurred in Winstead more than twenty years earlier – the suicide of a village woman who took her life in despair after her husband abandoned her and took their young twin sons with him. As Lamb pieces together the connections between the crimes, he draws closer to the source of evil in Winstead's past and present and, in the end, must risk his own life to uncover the truth.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Fans of the TV series Foyle's War, which similarly addresses the role of the police during WWII, will be pleased." - Publishers Weekly

"Kelly adds something perversely novel, and potentially divisive, to the decorous conventions of his golden-age models: abrupt shifts in point of view, sometimes within a single scene, between characters who seem right out of Agatha Christie and those with considerably darker doings on their minds." - Kirkus

"The war is more matter of fact than oppressive presence in this second Lamb mystery, as decades-old secrets are wrapped up in a satisfying conclusion." - Booklist

This information about The Wages of Desire was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Stephen Kelly

Stephen Kelly is an award-winning writer, reporter, editor and newspaper columnist. His work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post and Baltimore Magazine. He has a Master of Arts degree from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars and has taught writing and journalism at Hopkins, Towson University, in Baltimore, and Sweet Briar College, in Virginia. He lives in Columbia, Maryland.

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