St. Martin's, Jan 2003, 24.95, 320 pp.
At the turn of the twentieth century, Nell Bray attends Somerville College at Oxford University with her best friends Imogen and Midge. The three female pals are also close to Alan, Nathan and Kit. So when Alan invites them to his uncle's home near Skiddow during the summer break, they gratefully accept. Also, going on the trip is Oxford Don Michael Meredith, a brilliant scholar who wants to take part in the group's planned philosophy discussions.
The villagers openly detest Alan's uncle with some believing he is a murderer because he shot at a mob on his property and one of the participants Arthur Mowbry turned up missing. One night when Nell takes a walk, she stumbles upon Alan's uncle's body, which is tied to his horse. Nell desperately wants to believe it was suicide or that someone she doesn't know killed him but she cannot close her mind to the possibility that one of the people she calls a friend is a murderer.
DEAD MAN RIDING is more than just a mystery; it is a story about the friendship and the lives that bind people together. At the same time the background is at a point in history when women realize that they are the equals of men and deserve the same rights. The heroine is the most intellectual of the group because she is determined to obtain answers despite the fact that she might not like them. Gillian Linscott is a talented storyteller who writes outside the sub-genre box.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner