Cover image for Cause for concern
Cause for concern
Yorke, Margaret.
Personal Author:
First St. Martin's Minotaur edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, 2002.

Physical Description:
330 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"First published in Great Britain by Little, Brown"--T.p. verso.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



When Martin Trent calls home to announce his return from an assignment as a tour guide in Venice, his mother, Susan, is filled with fear-a fear based on what has happened before, and her dread of further violence.

She meets Martin, as instructed, at Rotherston station, but on the way to their house in Bishop St. Leon, Martin demands to be dropped at the local pub. Leaving after closing time, he is furious to discover that Susan is not outside, waiting for him in the car, and when he gets home he makes his anger clear.

Why does Susan put up with this treatment? She never mentions it, though neighbors suspect what is going on. Susan covers her bruises with make-up and pretends that nothing is wrong for, despite everything, she loves Martin.

Then Adam Wilson rents a room in the village. He is vague about his background, describing himself as a researcher. He knows where the Trents live, and as he becomes acquainted with various local residents, he is able to acquire information about them without revealing his interest. He meets Amy, who works in the same office as Susan. Roger, one of Adam's housemates, is a police officer, and he becomes anxious about Susan's safety. Before anyone moves to protect her, the horrific truth about the relationship between Susan and Martin is exposed...

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 2

Booklist Review

British crime writer Yorke has churned out another tautly constructed psychological thriller. In a quaint English village, lives intersect in a seemingly random fashion. Yet each character and every scene is a vital piece of a meticulously crafted puzzle. When a human skeleton is unearthed in the backyard of a woman physically and emotionally abused by her middle-aged son, the locals suspect it is the body of the husband who deserted her 40 years earlier. The tangled roots of a decades-old homicide and a startling recollection set an inevitable chain of terrifying events into motion. Another chilling and cleverly plotted yarn from an acknowledged master of suspense. Margaret Flanagan

Publisher's Weekly Review

British author Yorke (A Case to Answer, etc.), who's published a novel almost every year since 1957, offers another leisurely, psychological suspense thriller in which ordinary folks go about their business while danger hums quietly underneath. Much of the story is devoted to the sweet charm of the village of Bishop St. Leon and the neighborly interplay of its residents. For a long time life goes on normally and nothing much happens; the only hints of doom are the presence of a mysterious newcomer, Adam Wilson, who has a secret agenda, and longtime resident Martin Trent, who beats his mother, Susan. The entire community worries that Martin will kill Susan someday, but feels helpless to intervene since she won't acknowledge the problem. Meanwhile, Adam, a pleasant chap who makes friends easily but appears to have no job, displays an unusual interest in the former occupants of the house next door. Eventually, the two plot threads connect, of course, but in a way that reflects logic rather than coincidence. If the final chilling act of violence is completely predictable, given what we know of the people involved, it is also utterly unforgettable. Fans of edgier contemporary thrillers may be disappointed, but Yorke's faithful followers should be well pleased. (Nov.) FYI: Yorke won the 1999 CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved