by Minette Walters


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Twelve hours after Kate Sumner’s broken body is washed up on a deserted beach on the south coast of England, her traumatized three-year-old daughter is discovered twenty miles away walking the streets of Poole, alone. The police are puzzled.

Why weren’t mother and daughter together? Why was Kate killed and her daughter allowed to live? More curiously, why had Kate boarded a boat – apparently willingly – when she was scared stiff of drowning at sea? Who had tempted her to her death?

The police suspect a young actor, a loner with an appetite for pornography, who lies about his relationship with Kate and whose sailing boat, Crazy Daze, is moored just yards from where the toddler was found…

As the investigation proceeds, the police discover a gaping hole in Kate’s husband’s alibi. Was he really in Liverpool at a conference the night she died? Was Kate the “respectable woman” he claims she was?

And why does their daughter scream in terror every time he tries to pick her up…?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781447207931
Publisher: Pan Publishing
Publication date: 05/28/2012

About the Author

The broadcast of the brilliant film adaptations of her novels on Showcase has crowned Minette Walters the new Canadian queen of British mystery writers. Her career has been little short of astonishing: With her debut novel, The Ice House, she won the British Crime Writers’ Association John Creasey Award for the best first crime novel of 1992. Her second mystery, The Sculptress, won the U.S. Edgar Allan Poe Award for the best crime novel published in 1993. In 1994, she achieved a unique triple when The Scold’s Bridle was awarded the CWA Gold Dagger for the best crime novel of the year. Her fourth novel, The Dark Room, received further critical acclaim when it appeared in 1995. The Echo, her fifth novel, was said by many reviewers to be her best, most intriguing mystery to date. Her sixth novel, The Breaker, was similarly praised and her seventh, The Shape of Snakes, was published to rave reviews. Minette Walters lives in Dorset, England.


Dorchester, Dorset, England

Date of Birth:

September 26, 1949

Place of Birth:

Bishop¿s Stortford, Hertfordshire, England


B.A. in French, Dunelm (Durham University), 1971

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The Breaker 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You can allmost smell the sea and hear the sailboat rigging tapping against the masts in this twisting turning story of murder and deceit.Her Characters are so lifelike you feel as if you know them all personally. And if you come from this part of England , and I do, you understand perfectly all the nuances of these characters that make them so special. I could not put it down and read it in three sittings.I am now looking for her other books.
Bookmarque on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Spoilers at the end.I¿ve read that Minette Walters was a good writer and now that I¿ve read one, I have to concur. She reminds me in a way of PD James. That impression is probably due to the fact that this first book is set in a coastal English town, which is similar to more than one PD James novel I¿ve read. Some of why I think that is how the facts are revealed ¿ slowly and one at a time but in such a way that I stayed interested throughout. One major difference between Walters and James is that Walters has multiple cops solving the crime and James only has Dalgliesh. At first, I did think that Steve the actor did it. The evidence was pretty compelling although circumstantial. Then when the focus turned to the husband William, a pretty good case was made out that he did it, too. Finally in the end Steve¿s friend Tony comes under the microscope and I start thinking that he was the one. Especially when he seems outraged about Steve¿s posing for pictures with underage girls and wanted Kate¿s attention for himself. It seemed plausible that Tony would have killed Kate and framed Steve for it for revenge and some kind of twisted social justice.In the end, Steve turns out to be guilty. It was a more subtle guilt though given the fact that he was sociopathic without extreme violence.
jayne_charles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this mainly because I know the town where it is set very well. Unfortunately this was the only enjoyable thing about it for me. A really weak mystery that left me wondering what the point was.
debs4jc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At the heart of this story is a complex riddle--who killed the naked young woman found washed up on the south shore of England? On the case is Nick Ingram, local constable, and John Galbraith, inspector. Their lives as well as the lives of the suspects in the case are delved into and the reader (or listener) is kept guessing as to how the complex relational tableau is going to play out. Since the suspense relies more on the interplay of the characters and the underlying secrets of them it can take a while to really get interested in it, but once you do the story really engages your brain. Give it a read if you like psychological puzzlers.
Romonko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Minette Walters books, and have come to expect great characterization with at least one very creepy character in the story. This book doesn't really have a creepy character, and I found it hard to try to care who raped and killed Kate Sumner. I didn't find that there was much tension in the plot, and I knew right from the beginning who did it. I liked Constable Ingram and that is why I gave the book 4 stars. Oh well, I look forward to the next one because not for nothing has Ms. Walters won so many awards.
picardyrose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very well-written, but equally disturbing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago