The crown jewels, neo-Nazis, and Holocaust survivors play their parts in a Montreal mystery.
It all begins when the publicity-obsessed mayor of Montreal calls his PR director, Martine LeDuc, into a meeting that could have far-reaching results for the city. Doctoral candidate Patricia Mason has made an amazing discovery in one of the hundreds of hidden rooms and tunnels that share the area under the streets with stores, restaurants, and subways. During World War II, Patricia explains, Great Britain sent gold reserves and bonds to safety in Canada. It also sent all the stones from the crown jewels, pried out of their settings and shipped in hat boxes, some of which may have been stolen. Patricia got some of her information from a college friend whose grandfather was sent to Buchenwald, where his expertise as a diamond cutter was used to re-create some of the crown jewels using less expensive stones. Now Patricia takes Martine to a room full of empty boxes, where they find an old corpse with a bullet in the skull and a few diamonds lying among the bones. Martine insists the police be called in the person of her friend Detective-Lieutenant Julian Fletcher, scion of a wealthy family well-enough connected to ignore the rules. Further investigation reveals a link to a neo-Nazi group that wants the jewels for the mystic power it thinks they provide. When Patricia is shot dead, Julian and Martine suspect a neo-Nazi leader who’s as deeply involved in mysticism as Hitler himself. Martine is torn between her investigation and a crisis in her own life: her husband’s ex-wife has asked him to take their children full-time while she works overseas. Martine must discover the truth quickly to prevent disaster from striking her blended family.
Martine’s second (Asylum, 2015) cleverly weaves real events into a mystery/thriller whose flashbacks contain the clues to solve the puzzle.