The Stepmother

The Stepmother

3.3 (433 ratings by Goodreads)
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In the forbidding surroundings of the Old Bailey, the trial of Greta Grahame begins. The beautiful wife of MP Peter Robinson stands accused of the murder of Peter's first wife, Lady Anne. The prosecution case depends heavily on the evidence of one witness - Greta's sixteen-year-old stepson Thomas. Thomas - a dreamy, bookish boy - was present but hidden on the night two men broke into their ancestral home, The House of the Four Winds, and killed his mother. His testimony steadfastly links Greta to the crime. But family relationships are far from straightforward in the Robinson household. Is the obsessive Thomas telling the truth? Is Greta really a murderer, or simply a woman caught up in a young boy's revenge?show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 138 x 232 x 28mm | 458.13g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • Michael Joseph Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0718145755
  • 9780718145750

Review Text

Few trials have created such a sensation. The stunning wife of Sir Peter Robinson, the Minister of Defence, is in the dock. Her crime? Conspiring to murder the minister's first wife. Greta Grahame is a strong-willed woman, not lacking in inner resources, but they will be tested to the full. Her teenage stepson, Thomas, was present in the family home when criminals broke in and murdered his mother, and he is the principal witness for the prosecution. Through him, the prosecution have established a link to Greta, but there is much more to this tangled affair than meets the eye. This is the central premise of Simon Tolkien's novel, which in addition to larger-than-life characters and generous helpings of sex and intrigue boasts sympathetic and well-drawn relationships, particularly that between the woman accused of murder and her young and traumatised stepson. The setting is handled plausibly, even if the political detail doesn't always ring true, and the astringent, uncompromising narrative is bound to appeal to those capable of appreciating strongly written popular fiction that doesn't pander to its readership. You may not believe the plot, but you will find yourself reluctant to put this thriller down. (Kirkus UK)show more

Author information

Simon Tolkien is a barrister specialising in serious crimes. He lives in Chelsea with his wife and two young children. He is the grandson of JRR more

Rating details

433 ratings
3.3 out of 5 stars
5 11% (47)
4 29% (127)
3 43% (185)
2 13% (58)
1 4% (16)
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