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Margaret Murphy - Page 1
Margaret Murphy
Darkness FallsDarkness Falls
Dying EmbersDying Embers
Past ReasonPast Reason
Caging the TigerCaging the Tiger
The Desire of the MothThe Desire of the Moth
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About the Author (Photo (c) Murf)

First British Edition Hodder & Stoughton (2002)
Buy at Darkness Falls
Margaret Murphy’s new novel is her masterpiece - and an unputdownable brew of suspense and terror.
Clara Pascal had everything: a high-flying barrister and devoted mother, she was envied and admired by her peers. Now, robbed of everything that gives her life meaning, she lies chained to the stone wall of a dark cellar - without food, without warmth, without sleep, without even the most basic communication - for her kidnapper will not even tell her what he wants from her.
As Clara passes from fear to anger to despair in her dark prison, Detective Inspector Steve Lawson leads the Cheshire police team working to find her. Is her abduction the work of a random maniac? A released criminal taking his revenge on the lawyer who sent him to jail? An obsessed stalker? Is it a last, spectacular bid for freedom by Casavettes, the ruthless drugs baron she was prosecuting? Even her husband is not above suspicion.
The police team frantically knocks on doors, follows up wisps of leads, bullying, cajoling, begging witnesses for help, but it seems that Clara Pascal has disappeared without trace.
And Clara, at last, begins to suspect why her jailer has kept her alive so far.

`Darkness Falls is a model of what the modern suspense thriller should be - tense, scary, page-turning and stomach-churning - because we care most of all about what happens to the characters. Set aside a day - you won't be able to put it down once it has you in its grip’ Val McDermid
`Just what British crime writing is crying out for - a compassionate, grass roots British novel with the pace, energy and impeccable research of an American thriller.’ Mo Hayder
'Murphy creates terrific menace and tension' Marcel Berlins, The Times

First British Edition Macmillan (2000)
Buy at Dying Embers
See Review by Martin Edwards - creator of the highly acclaimed, Liverpool based Harry Devlin Mysteries
See Review by Cath Staincliffe - Author of the highly acclaimed Sal Kilkenny Mysteries set on the Mean Streets of Manchester
‘Ryan heard the ambulance klaxon and stirred briefly from his stupor. He should be afraid. He knew, in theory, what he should feel, but instead he felt nothing…’
The start of the school week usually comes as a welcome relief for teacher Geri Simpson, for the weekends serve only to highlight her crumbling home life with boyfriend Nick. But this Monday morning, the tension in the air at St Michael's School is palpable. For popular sixth former Ryan Connelly has gone missing.
Ryan's girlfriend Sian is convinced that he is in danger ? and that fellow pupil Barry Mandel knows more than he is letting on. But when Ryan's badly burnt corpse is finally discovered the explanation seems all too simple: the young footballer died while experimenting with drugs.
Except Geri cannot accept the official verdict. The facts just don't fit the level?headed and sensitive boy she knew. If anyone can help her understand it is Ryan's best friend Frank.
But something ? or someone ? is making Frank very scared ...

`A multi-layered novel, exceptionally well-written.’ Julia Wallis Martin, Crime Time
`An accomplished psychological thriller.’ Cath Staincliffe, Manchester Evening News
`Gripping crime novel… not for the fainthearted.’ The Big Issue in the North

First British Edition Macmillan (1999)
Past Reason
See Review by Val McDermid - Gold Dagger winner & creator of Lindsay Gordon, Kate Brannigan & Tony Hill
See Review by Gill Kenington
'Death came easily, after the pain, the initial shock of violence, her futile struggle against such fury... She was not even aware of the slow darkening from the edges of her vision ...
Jenny Campbell had promised her husband Fraser that they would take a break from fostering. But the plight of a small boy found wandering the streets of Garston in just his nightclothes proves impossible to ignore.
So far the child has refused to speak, and the police have no clues as to who he is or where he comes from. Only one fact is clear - something, or someone, has left him terrified...
And Jenny's concern grows as she grapples with more unanswered questions. Why is the boy so anxious around Fraser, And why, in turn, is Fraser so unsettled by the eight-year-old's presence in his housel And just who is Mr Hunter, whose cryptic phone calls repeatedly strike at the very heart of Jenny's own pain?
As a nationwide appeal is launched to uncover the boy's identity, it seems the dreadful events that have left him so traumatized are about to invade Jenny's secure and loving world – and rip it apart…

'Margaret Murphy continues to impress.' Sunday Telegraph
'A talented crime waiter with the ability to become one of the best' The Times
`Shows how crime fiction can move and excite... getting inside the minds of her very different characters . . . always ratcheting up the tension.’ Natasha Cooper, Sunday Express
`Set vividly in Liverpool, this journey into psychological suspense should not be missed.’ Val McDermid, Manchester Evening News

First British Edition Macmillan (1998)
Caging the Tiger
See Review by Liz Lees
'No struggle, no panic. Only a push of breath, hands gripping the sheets, twisting them. the knife had been well honed…'
As Dr Helen Wilkinson stands over the body of her dead husband Edward, it is just as she had imagined it so many times before. He looks calm, asleep almost, his eyes are closed, his hands folded neatly on top of the fresh sheets. And yet something isn't quite right: in her fantasies there was never so much blood.
Edward had had few friends at St Werburgh's College, where he was Professor of Biology. He was a manipulative and sadistic man who delighted in the humiliation of others. Many wished him dead.
But Helen has fantasised, planned and committed the crime so many times in her head she doesn't know what is real any more. And now she is the prime suspect.
How can she convince the police that she didn't murder her husband - when she doesn't know herself...?

`Clever and chilling . . . sure to add to Ms Murphy’s growing reputation as one of the most promising new writers on the English crime scene.’ Canberra Times

First British Edition Macmillan (1997)
The Desire of the Moth
"Ann had known him immediately. Even in the dark. Even with the ski mask covering his face. More importantly, she had known why."
Dorothy Hardy and Ann Lee have two things in common. Both are social workers with connections to the Calderbank Children's Home. And both have been abducted . . .
Could their disappearances have anything to do with the child abuse scandal centred around the home? Is some sort of vendetta being waged against Calderbank Borough Council staff?
But there is another link between the two women - their former colleague Dr Christine Radcliffe, a sophisticated, self possessed consultant psychologist. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Jameson, in a race to find the women alive and well, cannot ignore this connection. Especially when their prime suspect, Philip Greer, is Christine's foster brother.
And when Christine herself is clearly nursing a dark, violent secret from her past . . ?

'Murphy creates terrific menace and tension' The Times
'Margaret Murphy's first novel was one of last year's most impressive debuts… a talented writer with the ability to become one of the best.' The Times
'Margaret Murphy continues to impress… A suspenseful thriller.' Sunday Telegraph
'Shows as much promise as her first, award-nominated thriller… She has a clear talent and manages to retain an underlying tension from page one right through to the end.' Liverpool Daily Post
'A taut, well-plotted thriller… it is a complicated web to unravel, but Murphy does it with skill and poise' Daily Telegraph
'Well-crafted, suspense-filled thriller form one of our most talented new crime writers' Wales on Sunday
'Thrilling reading' Woman's Own

About The Author
Margaret Murphy taught biology in schools in Merseyside and Lancashire before specialising in the teaching of dyslexic children. Until recently, she was head of the dyslexia unit in an independent school but is now studying Psychology at the University of Liverpool.
She writes psychological suspense novels, exploring how alienation of the individual may lead to violent crime, as well as the isolation experienced by victims of crime and is the author of five highly praised novels. Her first, Goodnight My Angel, was shortlisted for the First Blood award for debut crime novels, and her fourth, Past Reason, has been optioned for television. She lives on the Wirral.


N.B. dates and publishers in dark red indicate British First Editions. Dates and publishers in black indicate recent reprints.

  • Darkness Falls (Hodder & Stoughton, 2002)
  • Dying Embers (Macmillan, 2000)
  • Past Reason (Macmillan, 1999)
  • Caging the Tiger (Macmillan, 1998) Pan Pbk Sep 99
  • The Desire of the Moth (Macmillan, 1997) Pan Pbk 1998
  • Goodnight, My Angel (Macmillan, 1996) Pan Pbk 1997

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