Published: 27/06/2006
ISBN: 9781905237739
eISBN: 9781848768819
Format: Paperback/eBook

"I enjoyed getting involved in the relationships of the characters, and found this book hard to put down."
Woman's Own Book Club

"A powerful novel ... concise organization of events and extremely vivid descriptions ... a page-turner and an enjoyable read."
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About the Author

Carolyn McCrae is a northerner, born on the Wirral (Cheshire) in 1950. After 35 years of moving around Kent, Berkshire, Cornwall, Worcestershire, Shropshire, the Isle of Wight and Devon she has now r... read more

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The Last Dance
The Iniquities Trilogy I
by Carolyn McCrae

The respectable façade of the Donaldson family in provincial Cheshire in the years following the Second World War is just that, a façade. Arnold married Alicia because she was 'perfect'. She married him to escape her family and because Charles was on the way.

Arnold has a child, Carl, by his mistress. Alicia has a daughter, Susannah. Only she and one other know that this is not her husband's child. Susannah and Carl are close from the very beginning of their lives. As the children become adult, Charles learns that Arnold is Carl's father. Realising the implications he has to stop Susannah and Carl being together before it's too late, and further damage is done to the family. Alicia could have put things right, but she lies when asked to swear that Susannah and Carl can't be together.

As a result of that lie, children are born who would not have been born, and a man dies who would otherwise not have died. Lives are altered irreversibly. But even when Carl learns the facts, he still cannot be with Susannah for he learns more truth than he needs -- or wants.

Max, the Austrian lawyer who seems to have far more interest in the family than can be explained by the fact that he was their lawyer; and Monika, the damaged refugee from France who is Nanny in the Donaldson household, assist and manipulate the various members of the family to their own ends.

And then there's Ted. He makes so many mistakes as the pieces of the jigsaw are found and come together that he has written this book to explain his actions, and those of others.

The Iniquities Trilogy, of which The Last Dance is the first volume, explores the interlocking pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that are the relationships in a damaged family.

Compelling, thought provoking and challenging The Last Dance confronts taboo subjects such as incest and inter-generational relationships. This is a satisfying, if not always comfortable, read.

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Carolyn enjoys writing - sticking with it through the hard times because she has stories to tell.
Hostage to Fortune is Carolyn's eighth title and the fourth in a series of 'history mysteries' where modern day mysteries (murder, abduction, fraud) are solved through an understanding of families' histories. Investigation into a missing keeper of a safe house leads Skye and Fergal (our historical consultants) to preventing a psychopathic killer adding to his tally.
A Second Strand, her seventh title is Carolyn's second murder mystery (though all other books involve some degree of mystery of one sort or another).
The main suspect disappears two days after he discovers his dying neighbour and before DNA tests indicate the victim was his father.
Is he guilty? If so why? If not who is? And what, if any, are the links to a previous murder, perpetrated in the same small town (Yarmouth, Isle of Wight) two years earlier.

Her Parents' Daughter A woman is arrested, gun in hand, standing over a murder victim. Was she as guilty as she appeared to be or had she been set up? And if set up, why and by whom?

A Set of Lies was published to mark the Napoleonic bi-centenary in 2015 is an alternate historical mystery covering two hundred years of a family's history. It introduces Skye and Fergal who feature in her new soon-to-be-published A Second Strand

The Iniquities Trilogy; The Last Dance, Walking Alone and Runaways
Each book stands alone but as a trilogy the reader learns more about the extended Donaldson family than they ever knew themselves. This is now being reworked as one book to be available in the Spring of 2018. (Well... musicians re-record their earlier works...)

Highly Unsuitable Girl In which a northern girl, who moves south, finally understands who she is and what she wants from life, eventually growing up (at the age of forty something).

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A very gripping read about the most dysfunctional family ever. It had me hooked from the start. A very original storyline. The relationships are quite complex, so best to read it in a short time. Good for a long journey or a holiday.

by Kate C


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