Only days before Britain declares war on Germany, Harry Clifton, hoping to escape the consequences of long-buried family secrets, and forced to accept that his desire to marry Emma Barrington will never be fulfilled, has joined the Merchant Navy. But his ship is sunk in the Atlantic by a German U-boat, drowning almost the entire crew. An American cruise liner, the SS Kansas Star, rescues a handful of sailors, among them Harry and the third officer, an American named Tom Bradshaw. When Bradshaw dies in the night, Harry seizes on the chance to escape his tangled past and assumes his identity.
But on landing in America, he quickly learns the mistake he has made, when he discovers what is awaiting Bradshaw in New York. Without any way of proving his true identity, Harry Clifton is now chained to a past that could be far worse than the one he had hoped to escape.
First look at the title and the cover and the cover is like an old classic tale overlooking the expanses of the city. The title is quite suggestive. It could have been a more alluring one with only a hint of excitement. The blurb picks up from where the first book left off and carries on the story of Harry Clifton and the Barringtons. The blurb is concise and strikes some particulars in order to get the readers going for a long journey.
The story is set off in New York & Bristol, where Harry has gone missing and a letter from Tom Bradshaw has come as a consolation for Emma & Maisie. But Emma is not ready to give up and she wants to find more about Harry's death. Meanwhile Giles is out there waging war against Germans but the family legacy is in tatters as Hugo and his spendthrift ways are causing enough troubles. So what is it going to be for Emma? Will Maisie resign to fate? What have Barringtons in store for themselves? That's what the story is all about.
Continuing the tussle the author himself has set very little margin for error. While highlighting the biggest odds stacked against Cliftons & Barringtons, the story has slowly grown into confidence and spilled over to the unknown territories. There are markings of brute power, will, sacrifice,unconditional love and honor. But then there are also lies, deceit, cunning and naive judgement which ought to raise the bar by few notches. Not to forget that the story just crammers up the past and serves the right ingredients to devour in this hickory-dickory dock kind of a new chapter in the story. There is loads of drama and dollops of suspense in this masterful fiction with a taste of the bloody old second world war.
The only possible downside of the story is that Maisie's role has been cut down to size when she could have played a sheet anchor role in keeping up the pressure. Her part has been resort to only guest appearances which looks a bit odd and completely awry when needed the most.
All in all there have been no let downs since the time this journey of Barringtons & Cliftons has started. There is at one hand the bitter truth and on the other hand a handful of deep dark mysteries which ought to destroy the very existence of both the families. Either ways it's a win-win situation for the readers as they experience a tale of fiction which looks as real as a sitcom on T.V channel. There are no soft tales here but its a brutal deliverance with a calm demeanor. A wishful tale of love, innocence,deceit and power.
4 OUT OF 5