Who’d want to murder Jewish WWII survivor Guy Brouard, a man devoted to his cancer-stricken sister Ruth, and the wealthiest resident on the isle of Guernsey?
Well, let’s see. Several ex-wives and discarded mistresses; a father whose nubile daughter he debauched; his disagreeable middle-aged son Adrian; an architect he promised work and then shunned; a war hero and his son who planned a war museum in partnership with him but were actually his gulls. The person the police have put in jail, Californian China River, visiting the island with her brother Cherokee, who’d been hired to deliver a package to Brouard, is the only suspect with no apparent motive. But eyewitnesses insist they saw her follow Brouard to the beach. Was it really China inside that hooded cloak? When Cherokee rushes to London to ask China’s old friend Deborah St. James for help, Deborah, convinced that China could never commit murder, insists on returning to Guernsey with him, accompanied by Simon, her forensic scientist husband, who’s not nearly as convinced. And now what began as a simple whodunit turns into an anatomy of lies stretching from a WWII quisling and the provenance of an Old Master painting to teenage hormones and the desperate longing for a surfboard.
George (I, Richard, 2002, etc.) never met a sentence she didn’t want to expand or an ending she didn’t want to douse in melodrama. But her latest extravaganza may make you think twice about telling even a little white lie.