It was going to be a long hot summer …
And it all started so well for Marnie Walker at her beautiful canalside home, with a growing business, a settled relationship with Ralph and the company of her close friend and colleague, Anne with an ‘e’. There would be outings on her narrowboat, Sally Ann. She would be helping a summer playscheme for local children. There was even the offer of an exciting new project in Italy. A golden summer full of promise stretched ahead.
But would that promise be fulfilled? Change is in the air. Disturbing forces are on the move, bringing mayhem to the streets of neighbouring cities and threatening the community. A new colleague comes to join the firm to handle the Italian job, with a handsome lover in tow. A charismatic politician arrives in the area, whipping up uncomfortable feelings and prejudices. The long hot summer becomes explosive.
In the middle of all this, a strange boat arrives, unlike any they have seen before. It soon becomes clear that its owner has a mysterious and possibly sinister past, and they begin to wonder if he is involved in the troubles erupting around them.
Riots, bombings, street battles and inexplicable murders follow each other in rapid succession to make this a long hot summer that Marnie and her friends will never forget. Especially Anne.
And as usual the questions that have been hanging over them all are not finally resolved until the last page.
Leo McNeir is a linguist and lexicographer. As director of The European Language Initiative he compiled and edited twelve dictionaries in fifteen languages, including English, since the first one was published by Cassell in 1993.