The palazzos of the hauntingly beautiful city of Venice hide the malignant secrets of dying families.
English lawyer Revel Callender lives in Venice, where an Oxford classmate, now the British consul, provides him with odd jobs to help replenish his coffers. One of them takes him to the Palazzo Casimiri, where the elderly principessa, a member of a wealthy English banking family, needs help with her documents. Callender arrives to find that the principessa, now revealed as a hermaphrodite, has just died. Asked to organize her papers, he discovers Count Casimiri’s body hanging in a thorn tree. Callender can see the stab wounds, but the murder is covered up by the authorities, who are swayed by the powerful patrician Marzano. Meanwhile, Claude Monet, who has come to Venice to paint, asks Callender to go to France to investigate the murder of his wealthy brother-in-law. Although both murders are blamed on servants, Callender is sure they were the work of family members. Even so, he can do nothing in the French case but report his findings to Monet. His inquiries in Venice have made him the target in several murderous attacks, but he has fallen in love with Clara Casimiri and continues to dig until foul secrets are revealed.
An enthralling tale of depravity and injustice from Jakeman (The Egyptian Coffin, 2005, etc.) that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.