Like Barbara Vine’s A Fatal Inversion, reviewed on my own website, this is set mainly during the hot, hot summer of 1976, the stifling heat adding to the claustrophobic atmosphere of this unusual domestic mystery. The main narrator is a precocious and purposeful child, Grace Bennett, whose observations of adult behaviour and the goings in and out of neighbouring houses on a middle-class avenue give something of the flavour of a sitcom, like Are You Being Served? and The Good Life, both of which shape the weeks of Dorothy and Harold Forbes (the names, too, are redolent of constrained, conventional lives). But there are nasty stirrings beneath the respectability, as we gradually discover in the aftermath of a disappearance. Mrs Margaret Creasy, married to the apparently autistic John, has vanished without trace, and several residents of The Avenue have theories to air or secrets to hide. Ten-year-old Grace and her friend Tilly decide to devote the otherwise uneventful summer holidays to a search for both Mrs Creasy and God, who they trust will keep everyone safe.