A classic thriller with Goddard's trademark plot twists.
In Antwerp in 1939, a Jewish diamond trader flees Nazi Europe, leaving his priceless collection of Picasso paintings and diamonds with a friend who takes them to London. The boat he flees on sinks, leaving no survivors. Fast forward to 1976 when his penniless family tries to track down the missing paintings. A classic thriller with Goddard's trademark plot twists.
In this irresistible thriller full of deceit, duplicity, and vengeance, British author Goddard (Name to a Face) shifts effortlessly between 1976, when 68-year-old Eldritch Swan, thought killed in the Blitz, resurfaces from 36 years in an Irish prison, and 1940, when Eldritch, a cocksure secretary for an unscrupulous Antwerp diamond merchant, Isaac Meridor, prepares to leave for America. The older Eldritch, who appears as weird as his given name implies, assures his nephew, Stephen, he'd been framed in Dublin for unspecified "offenses against the state," though he admits to helping steal Meridor's Picasso collection. Eldritch needs Stephen's help to prove the collection rightfully belongs to Meridor's wife, daughter, and granddaughter, Rachel Banner. Bit by tantalizing bit the convoluted tale of Eldritch's unknowing involvement in high wartime crimes and misdemeanors during Britain's "finest hour" emerges, deftly counterpointed by Stephen's growing attachment to Rachel.