The Water Clock

The Water Clock

3.38 (496 ratings by Goodreads)
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Time is running out for Philip Dryden...In the snowbound landscape of the Cambridgeshire fens, a body is discovered locked in a block of ice. The following day high on Ely Cathedral a second corpse is found, grotesquely 'riding' a stone gargoyle. Journalist Philip Dryden knows he's on to a great story when forensic evidence links both victims to one terrifying event in 1966. But the murders also offer Dryden the key to a very personal mystery. Who saved his life two years ago - and, more importantly, who left his wife to die? The answer will bring Dryden face to face with his own guilt, his own fears - and a cold and ruthless more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 25.4mm | 430.91g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • Michael Joseph Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0718145518
  • 9780718145514

Review Text

The mystery debut of water-traumatized reporter Philip Dryden, who must confront his demons and worse in the flood-ravaged Cambridgeshire Fens. Crashing through the ice in a childhood skating accident left Dryden mortally afraid of water. Years later, as his wife Laura slept in the back seat, he barely escaped when another car sent his tumbling 20 feet into the Harrimere Drain. Ever since, Laura has lain comatose in the Tower Hospital, where Dryden visits her every day, hoping for signs of movement. None come until he begins investigating the frozen body hauled out of the river Lark for The Weekly Crow (circ. 17,000 and falling). When he connects it to the desiccated corpse that's been languishing among the Ely Cathedral gargoyles for 30 years, the last time the roof was inspected, and ties both fatalities to the horrific "Crossroads" robbery of 1966 and dishonor amongst thieves fallen out, Laura begins moving. Is her apparent progress a subtle threat: Leave the story alone or your wife's a goner? Prodding DS Andy Stubbs for information and relying on minicab driver Humph for transport and backup, Dryden resolves old and new mysteries while the Fens are submerged under torrents and Laura lies deathly still in the Tower. Intriguing characters and locale and wryly believable newsroom background from Financial Times correspondent Kelly. One quibble: Why would water-phobic Dryden choose to live on a superannuated 1930s naval inshore patrol boat? (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Review quote

Philip Dryden is a senior reporter on the Crow, a paper based in Ely in the Cambridgeshire fen district. His life has been in disarray since Laura, his wife, was left in a coma following a bad car crash in which he could have drowned - an old fear from childhood. Now a body is discovered in a block of ice in the boot of a sunken car. The next day a corpse is discovered riding a stone gargoyle on the roof of Ely Cathedral. Forensic evidence links both victims to an event in 1966. Dryden is more involved than he realises, and eventually he faces a ruthless killer. It all makes for an exciting and unusual crime thriller. The atmosphere is brilliantly more

Author information

Jim Kelly is a correspondent for the Financial Times. He lives in Ely with his wife, the writer Midge Gilles, and their young daughter. This is his first more

Rating details

496 ratings
3.38 out of 5 stars
5 13% (66)
4 34% (170)
3 34% (169)
2 14% (70)
1 4% (21)
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