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The author is the winner of the WHSmith Thumping Good Read Award and the CWA Diamond Dagger.
“A wonderful read…the satisfying climax weaves together the strands of past and present.…A poised telling of a complex tale.” Publishers Weekly
“Combines the expert suspense manipulation skills of a Daphne DuMaurier romance with those of a John Le Carre thriller.” New York Times
“One of the best novels I’ve read in a long time…I loved every one of its 500 pages” Washington Post
“A hornet’s nest of jealousy, blackmail and violence. Engrossing” Daily Mail
“A complex trail of blackmail and murder. Recommended” Daily Express
A BEST-SELLING NOVEL WHICH WILL HAVE YOU UTTERLY ENTRANCED TILL ITS THRILLING CLIMAX.
At a luxurious villa on the sun-soaked island of Madeira, unemployed historian Martin Radford is given a second chance. Martin is shown the leather-bound journal of another ruined man, former British cabinet minister Edwin Strafford.
Martin is offered a job—to return to England and investigate the rise and fall of Strafford, an ambitious young politician whose downfall, in 1910, is as mysterious as the strange deaths that still haunt his family.
Martin is intrigued. Strafford resigned at the height of his career, disappearing from the public eye. The woman he loved, for whom he was willing to sacrifice everything, suddenly and coldly rejected him. All the reasons for his fall from grace are shrouded in darkness.
Martin’s investigations trigger a violent series of events, throwing him straight into the path of those who believed they had escaped punishment for crimes long past but never paid for . . . And Martin himself may find that he must risk his life to discover the truth.
DON’T MISS THIS ABSOLUTELY BEGUILING TALE WEAVING PAST AND PRESENT. ONE OF THOSE BOOKS YOU JUST CAN'T PUT DOWN.
1882. When the creak of the garden gate one autumn afternoon sounds the arrival of an unexpected stranger, William Trenchard is puzzled, but not alarmed. He cannot possibly know the destruction this visitor will wreak on all he holds dear.
The stranger is James Norton, who claims to be the man William's wife Constance was once engaged to, and who was reported to have committed suicide eleven years ago. Trenchard fears the loss of his wife's affections, but he is forced to plumb the depths of his own despair before the dark secrets of the Davenall family can finally - shockingly - be revealed...
Some secrets are best kept hidden...
Nick Paleologus is summoned to resolve a dispute that threatens to tear his family apart. His father, Michael, is a retired archaeologist and supposed descendant of the last Emperors of Byzantium. Michael has received a hugely generous offer for the family home in Cornwall, but refuses to sell - and refuses to divulge why.
But soon the stalemate between Nick's siblings and their father is tragically broken. And only then do they discover why their father was bound to protect the house at all costs.
Their desperate efforts to conceal the truth drag them into a deadly conflict with an unseen and unknown enemy. Soon, Nick realises the only chance they have of escaping from their persecutor's trap is to hunt this ruthless adversary down. But the hunt involves excavating a terrible secret from their father's past. And once that secret is known, nothing will ever be the same again.
'The best literary storyteller in Britain' (Crime Time) is back!
Umiko Wada has recently had quite enough excitement in her life. With her husband recently murdered and a mother who seems to want her married again before his body is cold, she just wants to keep her head down.
As a secretary to a private detective, her life is pleasingly uncomplicated, filled with coffee runs, diary management and paperwork.
That is, until her boss takes on a new case. A case which turns out to be dangerous enough to get him killed. A case which means Wada will have to leave Japan for the first time and travel to London.
Following the only lead she has, Wada quickly realises that being a detective isn't as easy as the television makes out. And that there's a reason why secrets stay buried for a long time: because people want them to stay secret, and they're prepared to do very bad things to keep them that way...
One fateful summer evening, businessman Robin Timariot meets a strikingly beautiful woman while out walking. They exchange only a few words, but those words prove to be unforgettable. A few days later, the newspapers are full of the rape and murder of Lady Louise Paxton - and to his horror, Timariot realises that this was the woman he met just hours before her death.
A man is swiftly charged and convicted of the crime, but a series of bizarre events begin to convince Timariot that all is not what it seems. Against his better judgement, he is soon sucked into the tortuous complexity of the dead woman's life. But the closer Timariot gets to the truth, the more hideous and uncertain it seems to be. And far too late, he realizes that anybody who uncovers it is unlikely to live...
1931. The new, luxurious transatlantic liner Empress of Britain is on her eastward passage. Among the first-class passengers on board are two English confidence tricksters, making a discreet exit from a scam they have left behind them in the United States. A chance meting on deck brings them a tempting new target in the shape of the beautiful and wealthy heiress, Diana Charnwood.
It's a trick they've pulled before, with some success. Charm the daughter into an engagement to marry, then get the father to buy you off. So confident are they of success, in fact, that they make a pact: whichever of them wins Diana Charnwood's love will share his fortune with the other.
But a violent death is to interrupt their neat little scheme. And they find themselves stumbling into something much darker than either had suspected...
'The master of the triple double-cross' (The Times)
Spring, 1919. James ‘Max’ Maxted, former Great War flying ace, returns to the trail of murder, treachery and half-buried secrets. Having left Paris after avenging the murder of his father, Sir Henry Maxted, he is convinced there is more – much more – to be discovered about what Sir Henry had been trying to accomplish. And he suspected elusive German spymaster Fritz Lemmer knows the truth of it.
Now, undercover in Lemmer’s service but with his loyalty pledged to the British Secret Service, Max sets out on his first – and possibly last – mission for Lemmer. It takes him to the far north of Scotland – to the Orkney Isles, where the German High Seas Fleet has been impounded in Scapa Flow, its fate to be decided at the conference-table in Paris.
His mission: to recover and transport a document held aboard one of the German ships. But what that document contains will force him to break cover and race south, towards London. But can he survive long enough to deliver it?
It is a hot summer's day in the tourist village of Avebury. A man sits outside the Red Lion pub, waiting. He sees a woman with three young children, two of them running ahead while their sister dawdles behind. A child's voice catches on the breeze.
For want of anything more interesting to do, the man watches. He sees nothing sinister or threatening. Even when another figure enters his field of vision, he does not react. The figure is ordinary - male, short-haired, stockily built.But he is moving fast, at a loping run.
And then it happens. In one swift movement, the running man grabs the youngest child and carries her away. Still the man outside the pub does not react. Suddenly, awhite transit van bursts into view, its engine racing, its rear door slamming shut. The child and her abductor are inside. The child's sister rushes forward. The man outside the pub jumps up...
The tragedy begins at Avebury. But it does not end there.
On assignment in Vienna, photographer Ian Jarrett falls passionately in love with the mysterious and beautiful Marian. Back in the UK, Ian resolves to leave his wife for her - only to find Marian has disappeared, and the photographs of their brief time together have been savagely destroyed. Searching desperately for her, Ian comes across a quiet Dorset churchyard. Here he meets a psychotherapist, who is looking for a missing client of hers: a woman who claims she is the reincarnation of Marian Esguard, who may have invented photography ten years before Fox Talbot.
But why is Marian Esguard unknown to history? And who and where is the woman Ian Jarrett has sacrificed everything for?
'A cracker, twisting, turning and exploding with real skill.' - Daily Mirror
Harry Barnett is a middle-aged failure. Leading a shabby existence in the shadow of a past disgrace, he is reduced to caretaking a friend's villa on the island of Rhodes and working in a bar to earn his keep. Then a guest at the villa - a young woman he had instantly and innocently warmed to - disappears on a mountain peak.
Under suspicion of her murder, Harry stumbles on a set of photographs taken in the weeks before her disappearance. Obsessed by the mystery that has changed his life and determined to clear his name, he begins to trace back the movements and encounters that led to the moment when she vanished into the blue. The trail leads him back to England, to a world he thought he had left for ever - and a past he has tried desperately to forget.
For actor Toby Flood, Brighton is the final week of a long tour. One night he is visited at the theatre by his estranged wife, Jenny, who, visibly scared, thinks she is being stalked. She asks Toby, for old times' sake, to find out what is going on.
Alarmingly he discovers a sinister connection with Jenny's new partner. Spurred on by a desire to win Jenny back, Toby begins to ask some difficult questions. Before he fully understands the risks he is running, he finds himself caught up in a mysterious - and dangerous - tangle of family rivalries and murderous intent. Suddenly the prospects for his survival start to look very far from good...
1919. The eyes of the world are on Paris, where statesmen, diplomats and politicians have gathered to discuss the fate of half the world’s nations in the aftermath of the cataclysm that was the Great War. A horde of journalists, spies and opportunists have also gathered in the city and the last thing the British diplomatic community needs at such a time is the mysterious death of a senior member of their delegation. So, when Sir Henry Maxted falls from the roof of his mistress’s apartment building in unexplained circumstances, their first instinct is to suppress all suspicious aspects of the event.
But Sir Henry’s son, ex Royal Flying Corps ace James ‘Max’ Maxted, has other ideas. He resolves to find out how and why his father died – even if this means disturbing the impression of harmonious calm which the negotiating teams have worked so hard to maintain. In a city where countries are jostling for position at the crossroads of history and the stakes could hardly be higher, it is difficult to tell who is a friend and who a foe.And Max will soon discover just how much he needs friends, as his search for the truth sucks him into the dark heart of a seemingly impenetrable mystery.