New house, new school, new friends - but Matt Lanchester knows it won't all be that easy when he moves from Milton Keynes to Hay-on-Wye. Almost as soon as he arrives he is drawn into a mystery when he sees a roadside memorial marked by a little wooden cross with the initials M.L carved into it. His initials! Then he meets Robbo and Tig and Old Wil Jones and his wife, Gwynnie. There's history here and a well kept village secret - and Matt is desperate to find out more. His new acquaintances are keener on taunting Wil - Wil, the murderer. But that's not Matt' s style. Befriending Wil, and with a sense of a shadowy figure always close by, he learns about a tragedy in the past, helps set the record straight and finally lay to rest the ghost of boy he feels he's come to know. Linda Newbery effortlessly mixes the old with the new, the past with the present, tragedy with triumph as she writes about communities and individuals, facing challenges and being accepted.
Linda enjoys researching her novels and besides a great deal of background reading has travelled for research purposes to Dublin, the Wicklow Mountains, Normandy, and the First World War battlefields in France and Belgium. She's also jumped out of a Cessna aeroplane at 2,000 feet, boarded a wartime Lancaster bomber, and overcome a fear of heights to go climbing in the Lake District. Linda lives in rural Northamptonshire with her husband and three cats. Apart from writing, she spends time reading, gardening, swimming, going to the cinema and theatre, and walking, especially in mountainous places like Wales, the Lake District and the West of Ireland.