I have now enjoyed all of Anne Allen’s novels, and I’m becoming a big fan. She is a very ‘lively’ writer who seems to enjoy giving her readers a wonderful set of characters in a soft, almost velvety setting. Her books also offer a strong historical element, most often World War Two when the Germans invaded the island.
In the sixth novel in the set, Fiona and her twin brother, Nigel, discover hidden artwork in the walls of an antique shop. They attempt to discover whom it belonged to but, when Nigel ‘supposedly’ kills himself, Fiona attempts to discover the truth.
I must say that The Betrayal has a very different feel to it than the other novels in the set. The island is still lovingly described, the characters just as interesting and well developed, but the underlying mystery is so prominent in this story; in fact, in parts, it is almost a thriller. The pacing is faster right from the opening chapter with Teresa and Leo deciding whether to run from the invading Germans or not. And the ending is just as exciting. All in all, totally unputdownable!
To sum up, this is a wonderful novel, with tons of pace where pace is needed, and a setting so lovingly described, it is almost a character in the book. I am happy to recommend this story, in fact, all of them, to anybody who enjoys a well-plotted mystery populated with convincing and always credible characters.
A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review
"I have read all of the books in this series and this one did not disappoint. Whilst each book is a standalone novel, there are characters which appear in all of the books, but it's not a necessity to read them in order. The amount of detail which Anne puts into her books is extensive, yet the books are easy to read but hard to put down as they are captivating.
This book centers around Nigel and Fiona, twins who have bought an antique shop on Guernsey after Nigel's MS diagnosis. Fiona was originally an art researcher at the V&A, so when they find a painting in a previously unknown basement in the shop, Fiona takes it to London to have it authenticated as the Renoir she thinks it is.
Whilst she is away, Nigel is murdered at the shop, by someone who wants the painting. The police think Nigel committed suicide but Fiona thinks otherwise and employs a private detective to help her find the killer but also the owner of the painting.
During her quest, Fiona is drawn into a story from the 2nd World War and the original owner of the antique shop, Leo Bichard.
An absolutely riveting read which I could not put down, much like the rest of Anne Allen's books. Well worth a read".