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4.7 out of 5 stars50
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 12 October 2013
I do not usually read thrillers but a friend loaned me her copy whilst on holiday and I couldn't put it down. The plot was good and the pace fast. The background was detailed and accurate but never slowed the pace. It was like eating a good meal. When I came home I just had to get my own copy because, as she had said, it is a thriller you can reread and still get the same satisfaction as the first time.
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VINE VOICEon 9 November 2011
I only bought this because it came up as a recommendation since I had already bought Mariana and Sophia's Secret (my favourite, just LOVED that one..).

It is very different from those two books, no central romance and no time travel, for a start!

There is a story from the past though, as Kate tries to find out the secret of her grandmother's role during WWII, and investigates an alledged murder in wartime Lisbon.

There are far too many characters in it and I kept losing track of who was who. The first part of the book rattled along OK, but once the character of Matt appears, it all goes downhill a bit. The explanations of who was who and what was what back in the day are just far too long and wordy and I ended up skipping pages to get to the denouement, which was a bit of a let-down too.

The unrequited attraction between Deacon and Amelia is a very bittersweet tale and touchingly written, other than that, not a book I'd recommend to anyone, and unusually for me, I gave this to a charity shop rather than a friend.
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on 13 December 2013
I love Susanna Kearsley's books, this one is no exception.
A good thriller, full of suspense with believable characters.
Very enjoyable - would thoroughly recommend.
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on 24 September 2012
An interesting twist to the story with plenty of suspense and drama as the story develops- a good holiday read and you want to keep reading it
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This book starts so well quickly moving the narrative onto the crux of the mystery to be solved.

I first met Andrew Deacon on the morning of the day he died.
It bothered me, afterwards how little I remembered him. Someone who changes your life the way Deacon changed mine should, by rights, be remembered, imprinted indelibly onto your brain.
‘I have a story I could tell you,’ he said. ‘A Story of an old murder, but one still deserving of justice.

Kate is a journalist covering a trial at the Old Bailey for her paper back in Canada when she met Andrew Deacon on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral although at first she was dismissive, as he left he intimated he knew her Grandmother, she had to know more. Kate uses her journalistic training to track back through the years meeting the key players as she goes.

I loved the first third of this book, where Kate talks to her Grandmother Georgie and discovers the age old truth that she hadn’t always been old, in fact when she was young and had a role to play during World War II. There was a lot to enjoy and learn about especially as Georgie was recruited to work for the British Security Coordination in New York and the descriptions of her life as a young woman in an unknown country were fascinating.

Unfortunately for me, much of the remainder of the story was one of espionage with Whitehall heavily implicated in the mystery that Kate is determined to uncover. I had trouble believing that Whitehall would be interested in keeping secrets so many years after the event but those who like conspiracy theories will probably enjoy this section much more.

I’m not entirely sure what year the book is supposed to be set in but I’m guessing at the end of the nineties although the book was published in 2006. The portion of the book set in the past is inserted into each present day chapter as a recollection from the past rather than a dual-time line novel and this worked really well in linking the past events with the present.

There were some interesting characters but it was Andrew Deacon’s story which touched my heart as we followed him through time starting with his sudden death and then skipping back to his life as a young man working for the Intelligence service.

As well as switching time periods the book also criss-crosses countries featuring England, Canada, the US and Portugal with the main story told from Kate’s perspective told in the first person, with regular portions in third person narrative from Andrew Deacon and those who knew him.

An interesting story and although I didn’t entirely buy into the spy portion of this book, there was plenty to enjoy from some really wonderful characters counterbalanced with some despicable ones who’d used the war to further their own lives, seemingly oblivious to the sacrifices being made by so many. This is a book which has something for everyone, a historical angle, a thriller along with a sprinkling of romance.
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on 23 July 2013
Susanna Kearsley has become one of my favourite authors. Her books are all different and although I loved The Rose Garden and Marianna I found this one to be the best. Her vivid descriptions of both places and characters really kept me interested in what would happen next and I found the story both exiting and touching. A real page turner and an ideal holiday read.
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on 31 May 2013
Do not be put off reading this book by other reviews, I was and by doing so, have missed out on an excellent book until now.
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on 12 May 2015
What a gripping book. A different type of story to those I normally read but one I really enjoyed. Very well researched.
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on 12 September 2013
A very enjoyable read, kept me interested from start to finish! Can't wait to read more from Susanna Kearsley and have already purchased a second book!
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on 24 November 2012
This is a wonderful book and kept me absorbed until the end. I have not been able to forget it and have now bought it for a friend as I am sure she will enjoy it as much as I did. I would really recommen this to anyone who likes a bit of romance and intrigue and yet a beautiful touching story.
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