TRAGEDY strikes a barbecue organised to reunite members of an antenatal class soon after the births of their babies, in this excellent thriller.

During a party at the luxury home of one of the new mums, one of the women plunges to her death from a balcony.

Everyone insists she fell rather than was pushed, because they're all great chums after meeting together for several months to learn about pregnancy, birth and parenting.

Of course they aren't! The class was a hotbed of secrets, rivalries and intrigues, and the leader of the class was – to put it politely – not the most sympathetic of teachers.

Some of these prospective mommies and daddies came to the class with secrets, some form secrets as the weeks went by, and quite a few no more than they're letting on about the day of the 'fall'.

The secrets are revealed gradually by MacGowan as she tells the story through the eyes of the various women, and switching between three timescales: the week-by-the class, the afternoon of the barbecue, and the police investigation.

The result is a twisty story that never gets over-complicated or confusing, McGowan gradually introducing us to the numerous characters and revealing just enough to keep you turning the pages.

Once you're through the first few chapters and have got used to all those characters, you'll won't want to put down will continue finished.

David Knights