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Titre : The Shape of Snakes. Signed copy
Éditeur : Macmillan, London
Date d'édition : 2000
Reliure : Blue/gilt hardback cloth cover
Signé : Signed by Author(s)
Edition : Limited Edition 246/600.
379pp. Signed by Author on title page (with her handwritten '246/600'). VG : in Very good condition with VG slipcase. N° de réf. du libraire 5702
Synopsis : November 1978. Somewhere in West London a black woman dies in a rain-soaked gutter. Her passing would have gone unmourned but for the young woman who finds her and who believes that Annie was murdered, for the police record the death as a simple RTA.
Critique: In 1978, a single black woman known locally as "Mad Annie" lies dying in the roadside. When a verdict of accidental death is recorded, residents of Graham Road, where she lived, breathe a collective sigh of relief. As far as they were concerned Annie Butts was a repellent alcoholic with a foul mouth. It is only Mrs Ranelagh, a young teacher who refuses to accept the court's decision. Something convinced her that Annie was murdered and 20 years later she returns from overseas with enough evidence to reopen the case.
Although the story is narrated by Mrs Ranelagh, the inclusion of much of the documentary evidence she has amassed including photographs, letters and e-mails, gives the reader the freedom to interpret characters and events for themselves. Motivation remains an endless source of fascination for Walters and the presence of several of Mrs Ranelagh's psychiatric reports, ensures that the reasons behind her commitment to the case also remain ambiguous.
Shape of Snakes is a masterful piece of writing that probes deeply into the mind of an isolated, bruised woman, showing remarkable psychological insight. Using her unrivalled talent for characterisation, Walters examines the ease with which we accept the public persona as an accurate representation of the true nature of an individual. In peeling back the layers of this public face, Walters has created a dark and uncomfortable novel--a compelling read that reinforces her position as one of this country's most skilful crime writers. --Sarah Crawford
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Description de la librairie : Since its opening in 1991 within the premises of a small model factory at Alnwick Station, Barter Books has grown well beyond original expectations. Starting off in what was the ticket and parcel office of the original Station, the bookshop has expanded down the platforms and through the waiting rooms, until it now covers over one-quarter of the whole Station site. This translates into an area exceeding 8000 square feet and containing over 350,000 books on more than three miles of shelving. Now houses the Famous Writers Mural - 40 feet long by 18 feet high. The bookshop also sells secondhand DVDs, videos and music (CDs, LPs, cassettes, sheet music), as well as a small but growing section of artists' prints. And then there are the shop's many extra features! These include an open fire in the winter, coffee and cookies, a model railway running above the book columns, a mini-cybercafe, generous seating and browsing areas, a children's room, and dozens of glass cases containing many of the more interesting antiquarian books. A final note: during the enlargement process the owners took (and are taking!) particular pleasure in restoring, as they can, various features of the Station. This so far includes the original North Eastern Railway cast iron fireplaces, two of the Station clocks, a drinking fountain, and various waiting rooms. Most dramatic of all, however, was the restoration of part of the glass roof. That was when we all stood about watching as the sun came streaming in for the first time in many years to bring the wonderful old Station visually back to life. The very latest addition has been a forty foot mural celebrating the names of those who worked at Alnwick Station in its railway days - over 400 names plus the coats of arms of the three railway companies involved.