Provence, 1926. Scotland Yard detective Joe Sandilands is on leave, driving his way south to the Riviera while dropping off his niece at an ancient chateau.
A troubling crime committed at the chateau just before their arrival leaves a clear message that more violence is to come. To allay panic, Joe agrees to stay on and root out the guilty person. But, despite Joe's vigilance, a child goes missing and an artist's beautiful young model is murdered in circumstances eerily recreating a six hundred-year-old crime of passion.
Helped and hindered by a rising star of the French Police Judiciaire, Joe must delve into a horror story from the castle's past before he can tear the mask from the diseased soul responsible for these contemporary crimes.
Praise for Barbara Cleverly:
""Despite her mastery at vivid scene-setting, Cleverly never loses sight of the historical puzzle that is central to her story. Simply put, it's a stunner.""—New York Times
""Spectacular and dashing. Spellbinding.""—New York Times Book Review
""Excellent.... Golden age fans who appreciate deceptive storytelling enhanced by the kind of in-depth characterization lacking in Agatha Christie will be more than satisfied.""—Publishers Weekly Starred Review
""This series and its hero age well: the perspicacious Sandilands exhibits an arresting combination of Mary Russell's discernment and Chief Inspector Wexford's tenacious certainty.""—Booklist Starred Review
""Cleverly's crisp prose and solid cast of supporting characters ... make the book a delight to read.""—Denver Post
""Stylish and intricate.... Cleverly has perfect pitch for period and place, whether her hero is unearthing evil in India, England or France.""—Richmond Times-Dispatch
""A great blood and guts blockbuster.""—Guardian
""Atmospheric ... intricately plotted.""—Kirkus Reviews