Edwin Stafford is a bright and rising star in Britain’s parliament and a cabinet member when he falls in love with a suffragette. In 1910 the idea of women voting is controversial, he must choose between his passions, he cannot have the woman he loves and keep his career. On the day he turns in his resignation she spurns him with no explanation. Why? In 1977 Martin Radford, a discredited history teacher, is asked to answer that question by a mysterious man on the island of Madeira. Robert Goddard writes intricate plots with beautifully elegant prose. He will keep you guessing.— Deon Stonehouse
At a lush villa on the sun-soaked island of Madeira, Martin Radford is given a second chance. His life ruined by scandal, Martin holds in his hands the leather-bound journal of another ruined man, former British cabinet minister Edwin Strafford. What’s more, Martin is being 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 by Strafford’s story, by the man’s overwhelming love for a beautiful suffragette, by her inexplicable rejection of him and their love affair’s political repercussions. But as he retraces Strafford’s ruination, Martin realizes that Strafford did not fall by chance; he was pushed. Suddenly Martin, who has not cared for many people in his life, cares desperately—about a man’s mysterious death and a family’s terrible secret, about a love beyond reckoning and betrayal beyond imagining. Most of all Martin cares because the story he is uncovering is not yet over—and among the men and women still caught in its web, Martin himself may be the most vulnerable of all….
About the Author
ROBERT GODDARD was born in Hampshire and read History at Cambridge. His first novel, Past Caring, was an instant bestseller. Since then his books have captivated readers worldwide with their edge-of-the-seat pace and their labyrinthine plotting. His first Harry Barnett novel, Into the Blue, was winner of the first WHSmith Thumping Good Read Award and was dramatized for TV, starring John Thaw.
“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 novel 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