Hunts Post book review: Fear in the Sunlight by Nicola Upson.

Hunts Post book review: Fear in the Sunlight by Nicola Upson.

Fear in the Sunlight

Published by Faber.

THIS is Cambridge author Nicola Upson’s fourth thriller inspired by the life of Josephine Tey, a celebrated novellist and playwright of the 1920s and 1930s.

In this book, Josephine meets Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma who want to make a film of her book A Shilling for Candles. He made it as the film Young and Innocent. As with much of his work, the movie was so different from the book that the authors didn’t have to feel violated.


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In real life, the meeting may well have been scary. Alfred Hitchcock enjoyed playing cruel tricks on people. In the novel, their summer rendezvous in the holiday village of Portmeirion in Wales is riven with ritualistic murders.

The book continues the lives of the characters created for the first three novels, including the (until now) unresolved Lesbian love affair between Josephine and her friend Marta. Though Nicola Upson’s stories are set in an earlier age, they are perfectly right for this one. A gay affair doesn’t mean colourful dresses and tea.

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Once again, with fine writing and an intricate, lacework plot, Miss Upson has created a world of intrigue that is so engrossing you are reluctant to leave it. Her denouement twists are always exciting and surprising. I felt sad after I finished the book because I missed it.

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