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A freak tidal surge hitting a Welsh seaside town leaves devastation and three locals drowned. Yet when a fourth body is found in the debris it takes time for it to be identified as the respected Oxford writer Sara Meredith. A celebrity, an icon to an entire generation - what was she doing in such an unlikely place? And how had it ended in her death?
These mysteries overwhelm the lives of people Sara has left behind: estranged husband Josh, their volatile teenage daughter Eurwen and someone else - a stranger. Is this stranger now the only person who can reconstruct Sara's last few weeks, frame-by-frame?
a peg. Up a tiled step, resisting the urge to duck because the hall ceiling’s not much higher than the door lintel I’ve entered under, then a ninety degree turn, another step— I don’t know what I was expecting. Nothing, probably. Eurwen and I had shared various houses, none of them hers and during that time she never gave any hint of how she liked things. Hit by the rise in temperature, I loosened another layer of clothing while I stood in an archway and took in her latest home. The living space
twice as quick. She turned, her eyes ablaze, her lips forming, ‘Oh-h! That was only just!’ ‘Don’t think so— well clear, in fact. You’re keeping up with your A?’ ‘Do I look as if I am?’ ‘You look fantastic,’ I said. I was about to straddle the rickety top rail when it caught my eye as any movement will, a clay shape that was detaching from the sodden depression where it had lurked. Too low for horse— a bloated, near legless pony, maybe, struggling and stuck? Eurwen had mentioned the depth of
the story— you can’t find out. They say in Rhyl that the owner of the house just opened the yard gate and let the bird walk off. Rhyl was even smaller then and the countryside a lot nearer. Perhaps it made for the hills. But it was a six-foot-high black and white ostrich. You’ll find Reggie Cobb’s overgrown grave in the churchyard at St George, a village 6.5 kilometres ‘backaways’ from the coast. His brother-in-law and sister Anne Foulkes are listed as poultry dealers there. C How Sato Tomiko
assertion that Thomasina (she who had lost him his wager) was none other than Orlando Tansley. Not a girl, not her peerless girl, but an effeminate wastrel and swindler hung at Newgate’s Debtor’s Door, the year preceding the slander. How conveniently! Because he existed, Tansley, one of three unfortunates in View of anexecution before the Debtor’s Door of Newgate,the famous 1809 engraving by Fisher Nuttall. But no record of any Oxford connection has ever come to light nor any Tansley
of going after him, tug Sara’s case out. Both plastic bags got emptied onto the bedcover. Had Eurwen not wanted her mother’s necklace— or watch? A proper examination of said watch held directly under the bulb showed the gold to be very yellow, meaning pure. Spidery Arabic numerals were embossed on an oval mother-of-pearl dial and for inscription there was just a maker’s name, Girard-Perregaux. It was splendid and very much hers, something I could just see on her small wrist and when I wound the