A bitter indictment of Britain's uniquely vicious history of homophobia and the inevitable results thereof—cunningly disguised as a cozy, cuttingly funny, hedgerow-piercing murder mystery with romantic m/m elements and a publican tour.Also, two cats named Merlin and Arthur. Obviously.The shame of the UK in this regard is well-documented—as is ours. But I find it especially poignant given the remarkable maturity and leftward-leanings of the current political milieu.They're pretty good about this stuff—now. But not always. Not in time for Alan Turing.So when I'm reading a book like this one, and I begin to notice that everything—nearly everything—hinges on the friction between the perception of homosexuality, and the reality—well, a boy takes notice.Tom's hip was crushed by a car. On account of running away from an angry mob of schoolboys. Led by the school jock.Who was in love with him, but couldn't be seen to be. Struggling with the dissonance between his heart's music, and the counter-time rhythm of his social circle—and bitterly angry about it—he quickly learns how to solve his problem:By turning his frustration—when this pressure comes to a head—upon the object of his fixation.By projecting it onto Tom.Which is some majorly fucked-up shit to find, innit, tucked between the lines of the sweet-natured Jessica Fletcher paperback you choose to read during your afternoon tea and biccies, is what I'm saying, here.Even the title is a crafty double-entendre, referring both to Plumber Tom's dowsy, water-whisperer ESP and the force that builds up inside a person who discovers that they are born into a life—before they even have words for what they are—firmly athwart their family, their social circle, and their own desires.Athwart the universe.Like poor Merry. About the saddest creature you ever saw.A priest. With fusty, 50s LGBT lit and some heartbreaking old letters in a shoebox under the bed, and—well, whatever—a gangbang fetish.What happens to him is no accident; it's clearly of Merrow's ultimate design, and a good illustration of her point.Which is then sneakily wrapped-up in a riotously funny light-romanze caper set in a country English village?And that's another thing: it is pretty funny, you know, despite the grim bones of the thing.So that is why I hereby raise a pint in Ms. Merrow's honor, for a job well-done, but also because:Highly recommended.