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The Shape of Snakes

November 1978. The winter of discontent. Britain is on strike. The dead lie unburied, garbage piles in the streets - and somewhere in West London a black woman dies in a rain-filled gutter. Known as "Mad Annie", she was despised by her neighbours. Her passing would have gone unmourned and unnoticed but for the young woman who finds her and believes - apparently against reason - that Annie was murdered.
Yet whatever the truth about Annie - whether she was as mad as her neighbours claimed, whether she lived in squalor as the police said, whether she cruelly mistreated the cats found starving in her house - something passed between her and Mrs. Ranelagh in the moment of death that binds this one woman to her cause for the next 20 years.

But why is Mrs. Ranelagh so convinced it was murder, when, by her own account, Annie died without speaking? Why does the subject make her husband so angry that he refuses to talk about what happened that night? And why would any woman spend 20 painstaking years uncovering the truth - unless her reasons are personal?


 

 

 
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