By Tracy Grant
Headline - April 2002
ISBN 0747269505 HB
Literary Fiction / Historical with Adventure
1819, London

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde, MyShelf.com
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If you want a roller-coaster ride of a novel, this ought to be right up your dark alley. Imagine Anne Perry mixed with Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe novels and you might come close to this nail-biting thriller, but Tracy Grant's debut novel is a lot more than just that. Charles and Melanie Fraser seem to have it all: looks, money, power, a loving marriage and two beautiful children. But when six-year-old Colin is kidnapped and they find they have to produce a priceless treasure that they don't know the whereabouts of in just a few days, their perfect lives are threatened. Their hunt for the Carevalo Ring unearths some secrets that have lain buried for many years and suddenly they find that there is nobody they can trust. Their search takes them into London's seedy maze of brothels, gambling hells and debtors' prisons and into their own hearts and those of the people they love. Nothing will ever be the same again.

This is Regency with a difference, but plenty of romance and sexual intrigue amid the sordid secrets, old crimes and tales of wartime treachery. If you like historical whodunits - and Regencies - and are hoping for something to really get your teeth into, this is surely it. Grant has created two strong characters that readers are going to empathize with in Charles and especially Melanie Fraser, and dropped them into a well-realized world of both high and low society with a teasing, fast-paced plot to boot. You won't be able to put this one down and it comes highly recommended.

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