Margaret Yorke

Her first crime novels were whodunnits with an Oxford don, Patrick Grant, as detective. Then in 1974 came a very different book. No Medals for the Major is a quietly tragic story of how a manís decency leads to his downfall in a contemporary English village. Yorke excels at showing how many crimes spring from small flaws in the character, from apparently minor miscalculations, and from the blind operations of coincidence.

Her unflinchingly honest and finely plotted novels are remarkable not only for the tension they generate before their thoroughly convincing settings, usually small towns and villages.

Yorke never excuses the evil actions she describes, but she does much to explain them - and keeps her readers on the edge of their seats while she is doing it. Recent novels, such as Almost the Truth and Act of Violence, should be acquired reading for those who administer justice.

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