Clare Curzon turns aside temporarily from Inspector Mike Yeadings and crime in today's Thames Valley to bring us to Edwardian England. In this tale of bygone evil and present-day deceit, Curzon demonstrates that she is as adept as delivering a page-turner in a different time period as she is in spinning a tale of crime in present-day Wales.
This is a story about two titled women, Lady Isabelle Delmayne and Eugenie, Countess Crowthrowne, who share a dark past. Implicated in two vicious murders seven years earlier, they both have histories of naked ambition, duplicity, moral blackmail and betrayal. Inescapably locked together in their knowledge of one another's secrets, they struggle desperately for the upper hand, each aware that a betrayal of the other's past could bring them her down along with her enemy.
The tension climaxes when a summer storm breaks the terrible heatwave of 1908 and the body of a foreigner, bludgeoned to death, is found in the river near the home they unfortunately share. The discovery and the ensuing police inquiry opens the floodgates of their joint and separate pasts, with all its dangerous ghosts and new evidence of a similar death that took place when they were together on a tour of Europe.
In the face of these shocking revelations, police and family members contend over whether the women can be held accountable at this date, or whether, as the family wishes, the whole sorry picture can be conveniently swept under the carpet. It is in this infighting, as well as the crimes that come to light, that Curzon holds the reader's attention until the very last page.