The Woman in the Sea by Shelley Smith

It begins with a gruesome discovery…

While on an outing to the beach, thirteen-year-old Meg and the other children find what at first sight looks like a pretty piece of seaweed, but turns out to be the body of a woman floating among the rocks with a gunshot wound to the head…

Mr Bertram Robinson is a man in the middle of his life, marriage had never been something he was attracted to.

He once had the affections of a lady called Marion, however after she left him, he felt he could never love again.

Years later however, he married a young lady called Zoë and now an elderly man with failing health, Zoë takes care of the children as well as Mr Robinson himself.

Zoë is an exuberant person and enjoys the affections of younger men, often buying them gifts.

As her actions escalate, she meets a young teenage boy called Arthur Emery and although he is inexperienced with women, he becomes infatuated with Zoë who only encourages his feelings by playing with him…

After Zoë kisses Arthur, he falls completely in love with her and repeatedly asks her to choose between him and her husband, Mr Robinson whom she will not leave.

In her attempts to maintain her idyllic fantasy, Zoë soon finds herself embroiled in a grim tragedy in which she becomes the centre-piece.

Following a long trial that proves mentally taxing for all involved, the relationships will never be the same again…
But who is really to blame?

Nancy Bodington was born in 1912. Under the pen name of Shelley Smith, she wrote 15 crime and detective novels between 1942 and 1978. Smith is best known for The Ballard of the Running Man and its 1963 film adaption starring Laurence Harvey and Lee Remick.

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