© All rights reserved Alison Taylor 1999-2018

Alison Taylor

Child’s Play

The Hermitage is an exclusive girls’ boarding school outside Bangor from where seventeen year old Sukie Melville goes missing.  Two days later her body is washed up on the Aber foreshore near Caernarfon.


Freya Scott, the school’s charismatic headmistress, tries to convince McKenna’s team that Sukie killed herself.  The autopsy shows otherwise, but Scott will do anything to preserve the glossy façade obscuring the dark and dangerous ethos she promotes and the passionate, brooding resentments that torment her pupils.  She tries to compromise McKenna when new tragedy strikes a girl whose life was defined by her friendship with Sukie.


The investigation proceeds, labyrinthine as the dense woodland surrounding the school.  Scott begins to lose her stranglehold on staff and pupils.  McKenna thinks he sees some light.  Then fourteen year old Daisy is killed, right under DC Evans nose.


The story is set in Bangor and the surrounding area.


Unsafe Convictions

When Trisha Stanton Smith dies in an arson attack on her Derbyshire home, her ex-husband goes to prison for life.  When his alibi is unexpectedly confirmed by a priest returning from abroad, the conviction is overturned and the police officers who investigated the murder are suspended from duty.


McKenna and his team are assigned to investigate the suspended officers, their relationships with Trisha’s family, and whether her ex-husband was the victim of a malicious conspiracy.


The team faces relentless hostility from the police force under investigation.  A journalist after the big story pursues McKenna, muck-raking through his background and marriage.  The charismatic local priest puts one obstacle after another in their path.  Young Julie, once the local tart, beguiles with the old secrets she refuses to tell.  Convinced Trisha’s ex-husband is a psychopath, her family and friends press for the murder to be reinvestigated.  Stanton Smith hides behind the high walls surrounding his wealthy new wife’s house, eventually emerging to ask McKenna to redeem his other sins.


Priest.  Psychopath.  Prostitute.  Policeman.  Who would you accuse?  Who indeed?


The story is set in the fictional Derbyshire town of Haughton.