Every Contact Leaves a Trace, By Elanor Dymott


The gardens of Oxford's Worcester College provides the crime scene for Dymott's suitably erudite debut examining the darker side of student life.

Not long after graduating, Alex and his wife Rachel return to their old college for a dinner. At the end of the evening, Rachel takes a turn around the college's moonlit lake. Minutes later, her badly bludgeoned body is found in the wet grass.

Drawing inspiration from the Donna Tartt school of intrigue, Dymott's novel follows Alex as he tries to reconstruct his wife's student past – a time of "lost afternoons" and intense friendships.