A seaside Scottish village and a citrus plantation in South Africa are the settings for this incident-packed but thin-blooded excursion into 40 years of family angst and a continuing mystery. The death of six-year-old Susan Langley's grandmother Lillian, who fell (or was pushed?) from the village's cliffs that day in 1936, will not be explained until years later when a 45-year-old Susan uncovers the truth. And in the intervening years suspicions fall in assorted directions. Prime suspect #1: Rupert Sargeant, the man with whom Lillian's daughter Iris was about to go off to Spain. But then Iris, pregnant by Rupert, disappears along with Lillian's pearl necklace! And what about Lillian's sister Rosa (Susan's mother), whose flirtations are dangerously notorious? The years pass. Rupert is killed in the RAF. Rosa and Susan move back to the So. Africa plantation. Iris is lost--until she appears one day in South Africa, gaunt and ill, with her daughter Angela and Mischa Wolfe, a Jewish refugee who was once an internationally famed pianist. Finally, then, Mischa's life will be ended with a gunshot, the family will again scatter. . . and Susan will return to Scotland to unlock the mystery of her grandmother's death before settling down to life and love in South Africa with five-year-old Adam, cousin Angela's illegitimate son. Some intriguing twists--but rather too crammed and rushed for more than a tug or two of real interest.