All hands in this romantic-suspense saga set in Texas before the U.S. entry into World War I do indeed have a sizable batch of secrets to keep. In the novel's first half, lovely Electra (once a poor oppressed child in a small town) tells of her early love for another sad youngster, Emory Cabot--of the no-account Cabots. Emory disappears one day (age 16), but years later, his memory of the only kindness ever shown him--Electra's--causes the now-rich Emory to search out Electra and marry her. Gradually Electra teases out some of Emory's shady past--the saloons and brothels--and the grim facts of his present. Emory, it seems, is up to his handsome head in Mexican politics and copper mines and is selling material to Germany with the help of San Antonio banker Tetzel. But Electra never understands the reason for the tie between Emory and his clerk Nathan, the sour young man Emory seems to keep in bondage. That discovery will be made by Tetzel's secretary, bouncy Camille, who narrates Part II. At the encouragement of her suffragette mother, Camille takes on an espionage assignment for a patriotic group, helps to cancel out Tetzel's Mexican/German connection (after two deaths) and uncovers the sad secret of Electra's early life. Although the chunks of info about international finance and politics slow the sleuthing, the rapidly effervescing series of popping secrets will keep many readers turning the pages. By the author of Galveston (1976).