THE ROAD TO PARADISE ISLAND by Victoria Holt
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THE ROAD TO PARADISE ISLAND

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Settling into one of Holt's pro-paced period romantic suspense exercises is like an annual commute to the family summer cottage--there are always those surprise detours, but the route is fairly predictable and the ending sure to be happy and worth the trip. Here a late-19th century English lass, armed with scandalous knowledge about a century-old family murder, travels to Australia in search of a brother who's on a quest for a mysterious lost island off Australia. Annalice Mallory, raised with brother Philip by feisty ""Granny M.,"" discovers in the family cemetery the untended grave of an 18-year-old Ann Alice Mallory, who died in 1793. Then one night a bolt of lightning demolishes a wall in the Mallory house, revealing a most feminine bedroom, concealed for over a century--and further a journal by the vanished Ann Alice, written in 1790-3. There, the current Annalice will read of the predatory governess who married Ann Alice's father; the unsavory advances of sinister Desmond Featherstone; the robust Scandinavian map-maker Ann Alice was to marry, Magnus Perrensen; a lost brother; one murder accomplished, and one on the way. In the present, Annalice will find the map, drawn by Magnus, of a rich and wonderful island, known to him alone. The 1890's Annalice will also lose a brother, who goes off with Magnus' map; and leaving behind a suitor with curious connections to the Mallorys, Annalice will travel with Felicity, a bride-to-be, to Australia, where shell witness a marital disaster, a probable murder, and on a strange island, meet a man who introduces himself as ""Magnus Perrensen."" She'll fall in love with the ""white chief"" of a sugar plantation, and will she survive a murder attempt? Guess. As always a reliable leisure diversion, from a veteran in the genre.

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 1985
Publisher: Doubleday