Cover image for The price of guilt
The price of guilt
Yorke, Margaret.
Personal Author:
Large print edition.
Publication Information:
Leicester : Charnwood, 2000.

Physical Description:
352 pages, ; 24 cm
General Note:
Originally published: London: Little, Brown, 1999.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print

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When journalist, Andrew Sherwood, meets an obviously frightened woman, and witnesses an assault on her by vandals on a train, it is not solely a sense of responsibility for her welfare that makes him curious to find out more about her. Indeed, Louise Widdows is on the run, from a tyrannical husband who has recently left home without explanation, and who could, she fears, return at any time.

Author Notes

Margaret Yorke was born Margaret Beda Larminie Nicholson in Surrey, but lived in Dublin until 1937, before moving back to England. During the war, she served in the Woman's Royal Naval Service as a driver. She then worked in the libraries of two Oxford colleges, and was the first woman ever to work in Christ Church library. She campaigned for Public Lending Rights for authors in Britain, and was also chairman of the Crime Writers' Association between 1979 and 1980.

Her first novel, Summer Flight, was published in 1957. She then turned to the subject of crime with Dead in the Morning, published in 1970. With No Medals for the Major published in 1974, she began writing novels of suspense, which include The Point of Murder, Serious Intent and Act of Violence.

In 1982, she won the Swedish Academy Detection award for the best translated novel, The Scent of Fear. Her books are published in 16 countries. In 1993, she won the Golden Handcuffs award, which is given in recognition of the popularity of the country's leading crime writer within the library service and to its borrowers.

Margaret Yorke died November 17, 2012.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

It's a mystery how Yorke keeps turning out these fine, carefully constructed psychological thrillers, but readers should be glad she does. Her latest, set (typically) in a small British town full of curious people, is especially cunning. Louis Widdows, on the run from a demanding and rather frightening husband, finds that life on her own is a lot tougher than she expected. That sounds simple enough, but Yorke's stories are never simple. Like her fellow British crime novelist Ruth Rendell, Yorke understands that the key to a really good mystery isn't plot; what happens is interesting, sure, but it's the people who make things happen that make a story work. Yorke's characters are so realistic that we find ourselves looking at them very closely, trying to figure out what's going on behind their eyes, and that's usually when we realize we're not reading the story as much as living it. David Pitt

Publisher's Weekly Review

Soon after inheriting a house and starting a new life in the village of Croxbury, Louise Widdows reads an Anita Brookner novel: "in elegant, measured prose the soul of a sad, solitary woman was skillfully exposed." So might it be said of this genteel English suspense thriller, whose hapless heroine attempts to make the most of an unexpected legacy while murder lurks in the background. Louise's husband, Colin, may or may not have driven the car that almost kills her in a hit-and-run accident. At any rate, after a loveless marriage, she has no regrets when Colin disappears the day of the accident with the contents of their joint savings account. Louise's thoughts turn to a long-ago affair, and to the illegitimate child that she had to give up at birth for adoption. Now that she's free of Colin, might she try to trace her lost son, who would be about the age of the kindly reporter who rescues her from beer-swilling yobs on the train to her new home? A fate full of irony awaits Louise in Croxbury, where a good deed--checking on an acquaintance's house while the woman is away--doesn't go unpunished. Like Brookner, Yorke is a master at making the reader care about meek and lonely middle-aged women. While the latter part of the novel largely fills in the motivations of minor characters in flashback, Colin's fate remains up in the air until the very end--and is as ironic as Louise's, if more just. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Louise Widdows suspects that the hit-and-run driver who put her into the hospital was not a stranger but her husband, Colin, who disappeared with their savings the night of the "accident." When she subsequently inherits a cottage, she timidly but with resolve not seen before begins a life free from his constant abuse and derision. After some bullies on a train spray her with beer, Louise meets Andrew Sherwood, and he and his son slowly become a part of her life. She then wonders if she could find the son she gave up for adoption years ago while Andrew begins to investigate some unsolved murders. All of these threads are woven into a psychological thriller that reveals the characters' actions and emotions so fully that one experiences immediacy and almost a sense of involvement. Yorke once again proves her mastery of the genre, complemented by Rula Lenska's dead-on narration; British dialects, ages, and genders are rendered impeccably. Highly recommended. Melody A. Moxley, Rowan P.L., Salisbury, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.