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He returns to Oxford that winter and, through the shroud of his shock and grief, tries to piece together the mystery surrounding his wife s death. Playing host to Alex s winter visit is Harry, Rachel s former tutor and trusted mentor, who turns out to have been involved in almost every significant development of their relationship. Alex also turns to Evie, Rachel s self-centered and difficult godmother, whose jealousy of her charge has waxed and waned over the years. And then there are her university friends Anthony and Cissy, who shared with Rachel her taste for literature and for the illicit.
As he delves further into the mystery surrounding her death, Alex discovers in Rachel s wake a tangled web of sex and jealousy, of would-be lovers and spiteful friends, of the poetry of Robert Browning, and of blackmail. Brilliantly written and suffused with eroticism, mystery, and a hint of menace, Every Contact Leaves a Trace introduces a stunning new voice in contemporary fiction."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-04-01
- Reviewer: Staff
Part meditation on grief and memory, part literary thriller, Dymott’s complex debut is thoughtful and rich in mood. London attorney Alex Peterson is mourning the loss of his wife Rachel, killed six months ago during a visit to the Oxford college where they met as students. The combination of the depth of his sadness and his legal mind draws him into the questions surrounding her unsolved murder, so when he is contacted by Rachel’s former English professor, Harry, who they were visiting the night of her death, Alex thinks the prof might have some answers. Harry relates a long and meandering tale about Rachel’s relationships with her two closest college friends and her guardian, and his own complicity in her death. Alex uses that information to piece together an explanation that reveals the slippery nature of truth and memory. Dymott’s tale is disappointing as often as it is engaging, hampered by Alex’s bland narration and too many levels of mediation, and by a slim, questionable story, but patient and forgiving readers of Gone Girl and The Secret History will be drawn in by its contemplation. Agent: Zoe Pagnamenta, the Zoe Pagnamenta Agency. (May)