A Place of Hiding
An isolated beach on the island of Guernsey in the English Channel is the scene of the murder of Guy Brouard, one of Guernsey’s wealthiest inhabitants and its main benefactor. Forced as a child to flee the Nazis in Paris, Brouard was engaged in his latest project when he died: a museum in honor of those who resisted the German occupation of the island during World War II.
It is from this period of time that his murderer may well have come. But there are others on Guernsey with reason to want Guy Brouard dead: his wives, his business associates, his current mistress, the underprivileged teenagers he mentored—any of whom might have harbored a secret motive for murder. As family and friends gather for the reading of the will, Deborah and Simon St. James find that seemingly everyone on the history-haunted island has something to hide. And behind all the lies and alibis, a killer is lurking. In order to bring this person to justice, the St. James must delve into Guernsey’s dark history—both past and present—and into the troubled psyche of someone who may have exacted retribution for the most unspeakable crime of all.
In A Place of Hiding, bestselling novelist Elizabeth George marks new territory in the darker landscapes of human relationships. She tells a gripping, suspenseful story of betrayal and devotion, war and remembrance, love and loss...and the higher truths to which we must all ultimately answer.
Fans disappointed by George's atypical story collection, I, Richard (2002), will be relieved to find the bestselling transatlantic author back at the top of her form. This exquisitely plotted mystery bursts with well-developed characters, notably forensic scientist Simon St. James and his photographer wife, Deborah. Lured by the free airline tickets and the $5,000 fee, China River, an old friend of Deborah's, and her half-brother, Cherokee (their mother was into the hippie counterculture), agree to fly from sunny California to rainy England to deliver a package containing architectural drawings to Guy Brouard, a rich landholder on the Channel island of Guernsey. The drawings are for a museum Brouard plans to build on the island honoring those who resisted the WWII German occupation. When the philandering philanthropist gets murdered and the police arrest China, Cherokee turns to Simon and Deborah for help. Curiously, for all the victim's wealth, no one seems to benefit from his death. The theme of hiding of hopes, of the past, of secret places underpins this intricate story about friendship, anger, loyalty and betrayal. Comic touches provide some relief as the suspense builds to an unexpected and explosive climax. With her flair for language, George reinforces her reputation as one of today's finest mystery writers.