The aftermath of an English summer storm reveals a grotesque secret that had been held for years. As mud and water cascade through the twin villages of Germans and Whyncombe St Giles they unearth the human remains of Melanie Staples, an eleven-year-old schoolgirl who had been lost to her parents for over a decade. This compelling read provides a wealth of rich characters – a withdrawn stonemason, a church-goer with a hidden fetish, a Sri Lankan student who has never felt quite part of the village, and a vicar prone to keeping secrets. But are any of them capable of murder? As a second schoolgirl goes missing on the same day as Melanie’s body appears, police resources begin to stretch and we glimpse the dark underbelly of rural Oxfordshire, as the great and the good of the village close ranks.
Caroline Jaine, author and founder of Askance writes “DJ Wiseman’s second novel, appearing so quickly after his first confirms his position as one of the best page-turning authors of recent years. In “A Habit of Dying” (2nd edition published by Askance) he masterfully drew readers into the world of family historian Lydia Silverstream – and despite calls to write a sequel, Wiseman has resisted. Instead he has unleashed a complex story with a fresh array of characters who equally compel the reader. ”The Subtle Thief of Youth” offers far more than a hint of untimely death as a filthy flood reveals not only a dead girl – but a first class writer.”
The Subtle Thief Of Youth was published in October 2012 by Askance Publishing.