To Cassie Stacton, her beloved grandmother, Laura Conway, is a woman of enormous integrity. Scrupulously honest herself, she demands absolute truth from her family and friends. As Laura’s retrospective opens, Cassis is worrying lest Laura be offended by the white lies which she has been forced to tell her over the past eight months. But, then again, she thinks – what else could she have done ?
In her role as director of one of the country’s top ten television programmes, the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, Cassie has also been to Berlin, to work on a Continental edition. And while she was there she has stumbled across Laura’s long-missing bureau. Buying it from its current owner, she has brought it back to England so she can present it to Laura at her coming retrospective. Laura, she thinks, will be over-joyed. But, at the moment of unveiling, the piece de resistance, the prize of the party, causes Laura much more distress than joy.
Cassie is horrified by her reaction. What is the secret of the beautiful hand-crafted desk ? What is its connection with Laura’s past life in Berlin ? Was Laura’s young husband, Klaus Fleischer, really murdered by the Nazis, as Laura has always insisted ? And what is the link between Laura and the mysterious Jewish doctor Cassie has tracked down in Berlin ?
Laura’s hidden life is in danger of being exposed. And Laura has much to conceal – other secrets which she’s hidden from her family. Like the love that she has nurtured for the man her daughter married.
Joy Martin was born in Limerick. A former journalist, she is the author of eight novels. Her agents are Coombs Moylett Maclean, 120 New Kings Road, Fulham, London SW6 4LZ.
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