Gardners In 1970, Harold Stamp, a retarded, reclusive twenty year-old was convicted on disputed evidence and a retracted confession of murdering his grandmother - the one person who protected him. Less than three years later, he is dead, driven to suicide by despair. Jonathan Hughes, an anthropologist, is determined to re-examine this case.
Blackwell North Amer In 1970 Howard Stamp, a retarded twenty-year-old, was convicted on disputed evidence of brutally murdering his grandmother in her Dorset home. Less than three years later he was dead, driven to suicide by self-hatred and relentless bullying by other prisoners. A fate befitting a murderer, perhaps, but what if he was innocent? When thirty-four-year-old anthropologist Dr Jonathan Hughes re-examines Stamp's case for a book on injustice, his research into the written evidence leads him to believe that Stamp was wrongly convicted. But is the forgotten story of one friendless young man compelling enough to persuade Jonathan to confront the real murderer? One person believes it is. George Gardener, sixty, has been trying to bring Stamp's case to public attention for years and has unearthed new evidence that might exonerate him. But Gardener needs the young academic on board if it is to be used to maximum effect. On the face of it, there is no similarity between the illiterate Stamp and the highly educated Hughes, yet their lives resonate through their damaged childhoods, and their mutual sense of exclusion. With the threat of war in Iraq dominating British hearts and minds, there begins a battle closer to home: an attempt to prove a grotesque miscarriage of justice. But if a dangerous killer is still at large ... then Gardener must first help Jonathan defeat his own demons.