Helsinki, December 1999. Nick Stone, ex-SAS, now a ‘K’ working for British Intelligence on deniable operations, is tough, resourceful, ruthless, highly trained – and desperately in need of cash.
Offered the lucrative freelance job of kidnapping a mafia warlord and delivering him to St Petersburg, it seems to Stone that his problems are over. In fact, they are only just beginning.
Stone enters the bleak underworld of the former Soviet republic of Estonia, where unknown aggressors stalk the bitter landscape, and he soon finds himself caught between implacable enemies. For Russia has embarked upon a concerted cyber-espionage offensive, hacking into some of the West’s most sensitive military secrets. American and British intelligence agencies are determined to thwart them. And the mafia are waiting in the wings with their own chillingly brutal solution.
In the tradition of Barbara Delinsky and Patricia Gaffney comes a wry and moving look at the friendships of four women who have reached middle age as a terrible secret threatens to destroy the bond they have built over a lifetime.On the eve of Mary Sue Prescott’s forty-fifth birthday, four childhood friends — The Girlfriends’ Club — gather at a lakeside cabin. It’s a bittersweet celebration as Mary Sue is scheduled for a mastectomy in the morning. When Mary Sue’s boyfriend finally shows up, she has already gone to bed. Drunk and angry, he trips, breaks his neck, and dies. Horrified, the three other women put him in his car and send it careening into the lake.
How these women deal with their awful secret parallels their lives and relationships to this point. Pamela is at the beck and call of her rich and boorish husband. Gretchen gave up a promising career to marry an adulterous man who eventually left her for his secretary. Dixie — also divorced — is involved in an extended long-distance affair with a handsome but married vineyard owner; as she plays the role of the dreaded “other woman, ” even her closest friends can’t know. And Mary Sue, the ebullient cheerleader, had lived an idyllic married life until she found her husband carrying on with a sexy widow. Shattered, she convinced herself to fall in love with a contentious and truculent drunk.
In addition to keeping their terrible secret, the women must continually deal with their ever-complicated lives and relationships. And it is these trials, and the struggle to find one’s place in a world where everyone is younger and prettier that is at the heart of this moving and ultimately triumphant novel.
After his friend is killed in a horse-racing accident, up-and-coming glass artisan Gerard Logan finds himself embroiled in a deadly search for a stolen videotape–a videotape that just might destroy his own life.
Patrick Kane is a man haunted by his past.
He has returned from his annual pilgrimage to a graveyard in Wales. Now he hopes to take refuge from his memories by heading an archeological dig in the village of Wytchlow. It is a simple project — checking for ancient relics before a land developer levels the earth — until a woman with an all-too-familiar face stumbles into the path of his car.
Bobby Redhead bears a striking resemblance to a woman he loved and tragically lost years ago. Bobby cannot understand the emotions she evokes in Patrick, but she can sense his deep suffering. What has he done that he cannot forgive? And why is Bobby so drawn to him?
As Bobby reaches out, Patrick retreats into silence and shadows, focusing obsessively on the dig. They are hunting ancient Roman mosaics, but there is something more tantalizing in the soil of Wytchlow. It is only a myth, a local folktale, a song sung one night in a pub by an otherwise mute man. The story goes that a Saxon girl called the German Queen has been buried close by. The only evidence is the old song, but it is enough to capture Patrick’s imagination as nothing has in years.
It has also captured the unwanted interest of a television producer fascinated with Patrick’s past. Yet nothing will deter Patrick from the project — not the television hype, nor the developer’s greed, nor the bittersweet relationship of working so close to Bobby.
As centuries fall away, the Saxon warrior woman lost to time is suddenly as vividly alive to Patrick as the woman standing beside him.
As Patrick struggles with the unforgivable tragedy he cannot forget, he senses a connection between Bobby and the lost queen and discovers his destiny is powerfully entwined with them both. Beneath the shadows of a timeless moon, under layers of earth that have protected her secrets, can the fragile bones of a royal matriarch heal the hearts of those who would dare free her?