A violent and ghastly death and a multi-million dollar will bring Miss Pink - not climbing this time but riding wild horses - to ferret out the dark secrets of a dysfunctional family against a backdrop of canyons, abandoned mines and ghost towns.'
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Gwen Moffat brilliantly utilises the fact that she is an acknowledged expert on mountaineering and the wilderness of the American West in Private Sins. As in her other psychologically acute thrillers, her characters move with a single-minded, ruthless motivation towards bloody climaxes in settings of immense natural beauty. Here, the locale is the Canadian Rockies, where wealthy, autocratic Charlie Gunn practises heartless practical jokes on his wife and friends, ignoring the problems of his family. His son is gay, but unable to admit it, and his daughter has never come to terms with the unexplained disappearance of her own daughter10 years earlier.
Moffat's protagonist, the intuitive and tough-minded Melinda Pink (aka, "Miss Pink"), is visiting a friend, Sophie, who is Charlie's sister-in-law. Pink soon finds herself in a highly dangerous situation when Gunn goes missing from his remote hunting cabin and meets a violent end. Attempting to solve the mystery of Gunn's death, she becomes involved in the bitter rivalries of Gunn's family, putting her personal safety in jeopardy. And when one of the principal suspects ends up in a river, the redoubtable Miss Pink tackles lethal wildlife, life-threatening subsidence and human mendacity on a trail that leads to a dark secret in an abandoned copper mine.
As so often before with Moffat, the dark psychopathology of murder is cunningly set against a breathtaking backdrop. From her sprawling cliff-top house, she divides her time between writing Gothic romances and involving herself, as she puts it, "on the fringe of one or two murder investigations". Her toe dipping into dangerous waters usually has her facing extreme violence at some point, but this is the first of her unorthodox investigations to completely remove the dividing line between so-called "male" and "female" thriller protagonists. Pink encounters physical rigours every bit as extreme as any male hero, making Private Sins a truly unusual and inventive thriller. --Barry Forshaw
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Book Description Constable, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 94801509