'The airless cottage stifles me, and I cannot breathe. The glass reveals another world, but it entombs me. I am captive, but I have seen the outside. It is November 1826 and I am thirty-one years old... There is a storm brewing.' New Year 1851 Rector James Coyte arrives at his bleak Suffolk destination. Full of apprehension, he expects his first post to be provincial and unchallenging. But Polstead is a village with a secret. A young woman murdered in a frenzied attack, then buried in a shallow grave in The Red Barn. She was just twenty-seven, and only six weeks before birthed an illegitimate baby. Based on true events which shocked the nineteenth century Britain, TheJames Version is set in 1851 when Ann Marten, nearing the end of her life, reveals the story to the novice Rector. Through their meetings, the truth of the murder is gradually uncovered to its shocking climax.
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