A storm. A disappearance. A race against time . . .
Mustique is in a state of breathless calm as tropical storm Cristobal edges towards it across the Atlantic. Most villa owners have escaped the island but a few young socialites remain, unwilling to let summer's partying end. American heiress Amanda Fortini is one such thrill-seeker - until she heads out for a morning swim and doesn't return.
Detective Sergeant Solomon Nile is just 28 years old and the island's only fully trained police officer. He quickly realises he needs to contact Lord and Lady Blake, who bought the island decades ago and have invested time, money and love creating a paradise. Jasper is in St Lucia designing a new village of luxury villas but Lady Veronica (Vee to her friends) catches a plane immediately. Her beloved god-daughter, Lily, is on the island and this disappearance has alarming echoes of what happened to Lily's mother many years ago. Lady Vee would never desert a friend in need, and she can keep a cool head in a crisis.
When Amanda's body is found, a murder investigation begins. Nile knows the killer must be an islander because flights and ferry crossings have stopped due to the storm warning, but the local community isn't co-operating. And then the storm hits, and someone else disappears . . .
Glenconner (Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown) makes her fiction debut with a straightforward mystery set on the private island of Mustique in the West Indies, a sanctuary for rock stars, royalty, celebrities, and captains of industry. Lady Blake (aka Vee) has returned to the island in 2002 in order to prepare for her goddaughter Lily Calder's lavish 21st birthday party. Lily has been Vee's ward since her mother's suicide 16 years earlier. The day before Vee's arrival, beautiful New York socialite Amanda Fortini, Lily's childhood friend, disappears after a morning swim. Then other rich, young heirs and heiresses start turning up dead. Det. Sgt. Solomon Nile, "Mustique's only fully trained police officer," joins forces with Vee, whose connections among the affluent locals prove useful in trying to unmask the killer. Glenconner, who served as lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret, brings authenticity to the proceedings. Readers will have fun seeing just how different the rich are from other people. \n
I was surprised by just how good this was. An excellent detective novel with great rounded characters set in a world that I have only read about in newspapers. Gripping fiction on a background of non fiction from a world we only glimpse. The best thriller I have read in a long time.