A refugee from Nazi Germany finds that he can't escape the shadow of war or the insidious reach of the Third Reich.
Capt. David Ashby found his way to the headmaster's post at Grantley's, a Cornwall boarding school, by a circuitous route that's revealed in snippets. A decorated American soldier during the first world war, he stays in Germany as long as he can abide the rise of Nazism, marrying a German woman and having a child with her. In 1934, he escapes to England with Karen, his young daughter. The story of Ashby's escape, and of his wife Christina's subsequent actions, are clouded in mystery and revealed in stages. Members of the German intelligence service are very concerned indeed about his defection. Christina wants to get her daughter back, a plan that sounds fine to rising Nazi star Werner Beck, who's planted a pair of undercover operatives at Grantley's with murderous orders. Karen, far from reconciled to her new life, lashes out at Ashby's friend Hilary Bowker-Brown's offer to help her learn English. Ashby's new relationship with the self-reliant Daisy is dashed when she's found dead near the edge of a cliff. Once her death is ruled a murder, rumors ripples through the small community, and Ashby is a suspect. The tale moves fluidly between England and Germany, revealing nefarious wheels within wheels.
Janes, author of the prolific St. Cyr & Kohler World War II police procedurals (Carnival, 2014, etc.), weaves a subtle, character-driven plot, stylishly written and long on twists.