Fans of Steve Robinson's loner of a genealogist, Jefferson Tayte, are going to be thrilled to bits with this second novel of which I had a preview copy. JT is researching on behalf of an American lady who has just found that she was adopted. His short stay in England on her behalf dredges up a family mystery which has had profound echoes down the years. A close-knit family is torn apart by misunderstandings and by the behaviour of a member whose reason for her misguided actions was to keep them together. What he uncovers puts his own life in danger.
This is a tense thriller which takes us back to 1944/5 so that at times, we know what Tayte is still to discover. Steve Robinson doesn't just tell the reader the story, he drops us into the scene so that we can smell the zest from the Christmas orange, feel the chill from the crystalline frost. The characters are real, believable and not all by any means likeable! Mena, our `lost' girl, has a harridan of a mother and a weak father but you can join with her in her young and growing affections. I like to think of the contrast between the modern story and that of the past as counterpoint. It's like one melody moving against another and each highlights something from the other.
I felt that the story was strong and the family interactions very credible. I was working towards the conclusion which the author gave us but only at the very end. This is a great read and very well worth the 5 stars I give it. I will happily read more from Steve Robinson. He is a talented writer.
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