Play Dead

About the Book

Poppy Tasker, divorced and lonely, child-minds her small grandson Toby. She regularly takes him to the play-group in a West London park and gets to know and like the group of nannies who bring their charges there. One day a strange man is watching the park, seeming to take a particular interest in Toby. He tries to follow her home, but she shakes him off. Next day his body is found, strangely decorated, in the play-group's hut.


“Peter Dickinson has written a fine novel about childhood and aging, about actuality and art, about personal rvelation and public revolution. It also happens to be a gripping thriller. In other words, Play Dead lives up to our high expectations. Who could ask for more?”
Reginald Hill
“That man Dickinson is infuriating to his fellow writers - so versatile, so bloody brilliant at everything he tries. Play Dead is a fresh triumph, spanning the octaves with a virtuoso's facility, a simultaneous insight into kids and their minders, and emerging nations and the concept of freedom - all done with consummate storytelling skill.”
Peter Lovesey
“Dickinson's touch is so masterly here that he makes other fine domestic mysteries seem quite amateurish.”
Kirkus Reviews
“A stylist of subtle brilliance”
New York Times


The Bodley Head, UK - 1991
Mysterious Press, US - 1992
Open Road Media, US - 2015