Helena Trant is an idealistic young woman of 18 being educated at a convent-school in Germany. One day she gets separated from her friends during a picnic in the forest, and finds herself lost in the mist. She is rescued by a dashing young man on horseback, but instead of taking her back to school he takes her to his hunting-lodge. Helena manages to resist his advances, for form's sake (though not too happy at having to do so!). A year or so later he, Maximilian, meets her again during a local festival and asks her to marry him. A hasty wedding is arranged, and they enjoy four blissful days of honeymoon. At the end of it though Max is called away to see his sick father, and Helena soon finds that everyone she knows is denying the marriage ever took place. That in fact she has been suffering from amnesia during those few days, and that Maximilian never existed.
When she finds that she is pregnant they tell her that she was in fact assaulted during the festival, and that her fantasy of the wedding and the honeymoon was only her mind blotting it out and healing her in its own way. Helena refuses to believe this awful explanation, and knows in her heart that Maximilian really existed. All vintage Victoria Holt has its dark elements (some feel she sometimes strayed over acceptable boundaries) and this story is no exception. But for a large proportion of the book this is actually a first-rate thriller, with Helena struggling to hold onto what she believes really happened, even when the evidence against her version is overwhelming. The pace flags a bit sometimes, and you get periods where nothing much really happens, and some of the mysteries aren't that mysterious, but this is still a page-turner, and Holt also shows some sharp perceptions of human nature in this one.