Author: Anne Allen
Published: August 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Category: Contemporary, Romance
Two violent deaths. Separated by time, but with a fatal connection… A man loses his father. A young woman loses her mother. Both in tragic circumstances that lead, when they meet, to surprising revelations from the past.
At the heart of the two deaths lie stolen jewels. Valuable enough to kill for. Twice.
Malcolm Roget was born in Canada to where his mother fled after her fiancé, Malcolm’s father, was murdered just before the start of WW2. He has been a successful hotelier and now wants a change of direction. Having spent a considerable time in India exploring the concept of making life style changes though meditation and relaxation, he travels to Guernsey, his mother’s birthplace, to open a spa hotel and sanctuary at what was his father’s beautiful island home. While renovation works are in progress, human bones are discovered buried in the grounds. The remains prove to be those of Roland Blake, Malcolm’s father, and Malcolm’s search begins to see if his father’s killer is still alive and so bring him to justice.
Several meetings later and they were firm, if unlikely, friends. Paul agreed to help Malcolm improve his health – providing Reiki healing, personal meditation sessions and a foul tasting herbal concoction, all of which left him feeling better than he’d done for years. He became a firm believer in what he’d once thought to be codswallop and had nothing but respect for Paul. He could understand why people might want to visit a centre that offered such healing and asked Paul if he’d be interested in working for him if he were to invest in a centre.
Louisa Canning, recovering after a botched attempted burglary caused her mother’s untimely death, decides she must honour her mother’s dying wish and try to find the father she has never known. Her search takes her to La Folie, a health spa in Guernsey and brings her much more than she would ever have imagined. She and Malcolm both learn valuable lessons about life, love and family.
Louisa and Malcolm are both troubled by buried secrets and past events and, as their relationship grows, they begin to discover, not only their warmth and affection for each other but also the threads of the mystery and intrigue that binds their pasts together.
The blossoming relationship between Malcolm and Louisa is realistically drawn and, although I did find some of the dialogue a little unconvincing at times, the hopes and fears expressed are just as I would imagine. The vividly scenic descriptions of Guernsey paint a beautiful picture and bring the island to life, the beaches, the countryside and the fabulous sounding restaurants, evoking fond memories from my visit to the island many years ago and making me long for a return visit.
Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby. She was born in Rugby, to an English mother and Welsh father. As a result she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learnt to love the sea. Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.
By profession Anne is a psychotherapist but has long had creative ‘itches’, learning to mosaic, paint furniture, interior design and sculpt. At the back of her mind the itch to write was always present but seemed too time-consuming for a single mum with a need to earn a living. Now the nest is empty there’s more time to write and a second novel is gestating, but novels take a lot longer than children to be born!