Brenda Joyce, Author . St. Martin's $24.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-312-28449-7

A wealthy San Francisco do-gooder finds herself enmeshed in a mystery dating back to WWII in this romantic suspense novel by New York Times bestseller Joyce (House of Dreams, etc.). Claire Hayden leads a privileged and pampered life rescuing stray animals and hosting charity events. But beneath the perfect facade, Claire's marriage is falling apart. In a last ditch effort to save their relationship, she throws her husband, David, a 40th birthday party. During the party, Claire meets Ian Marshall, one of her husband's associates, and senses some tension between the two. When the party is over, Claire goes in search of her husband and finds him outside, with his throat cut. The police quickly link David's death to another murder as both victims were killed with a thumb knife—a weapon that hasn't been used since World War II. Claire tracks down the elusive Ian Marshall and after much prompting learns that David was blackmailing WWII spy Lionel Elgin and was planning to turn him over to Ian, a Holocaust research center investigator. Claire insists on joining Ian in his search for Elgin. The two travel to England to trace Elgin's roots and to speak with his remaining family. It soon becomes clear that Ian believes Claire's father, Jean-Léon Ducasse, or Jean-Léon's best friend, William Duke, to be Elgin. Claire refuses to believe his theory, but as she and Ian piece together Elgin's history and fall for one another in the process, Claire fears that she may have been raised by a killer. Joyce skillfully weaves together past and present to create an amazing story of intrigue, wartime passion and thrilling twists and turns. (July)

Reviewed on: 07/01/2002
Release date: 07/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
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