As the title may indicate, this story is nicely nasty, right from the very first page. In the prologue, which takes place in 1944, Granny Iris wants to prune her roses in peace and quiet, but her lively and curious grandchildren keep disturbing her. Finally something snaps, and Iris grabs the secateurs and begins cutting off their fingers in the best (worst?) nursery rhyme tradition.
The present-time plot begins when Violet Chambers visits Daisy Wilson and offers to make her tea. Even the most innocent activity seems sinister in this story – and with very good reason.
“There were other plants in the garden as well, but she had less interest in those. They might have looked nice, but they had no practical purpose. They couldn´t be used to kill anyone.”
And then there is Mark Lapslie, the detective. Mark has been off on sick leave for some time because he suffers from synaesthesia, or the ability to taste sounds. When his colleagues find a body with no fingers, they decide they need his help, however, so Lapslie must try to conquer his handicap in order to catch a determined killer.
An intriguing plot which is a bit different than most crime stories; perhaps one could talk about a touch of gothic horror rather than strict realism.
Maxine sent the book on to me – thank you for a chilling and entertaining read!