“There was nothing outside the tower room that mattered, and nothing inside but [the children], their laughter, and the worlds their words conjured”.
Huang spins a riveting and complex mystery as three siblings unearth secrets of their pasts, and how that links to the murder of their atheist eugenics father.
There’s something reminiscent of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia in the prologue that introduces us to protagonists Alan, Roger, and Carolyn as children between the ages of seven and ten. Readers get a glimpse to their future selves as they play in the grandeur of Linwood Hall, hiding from their studies in the tower they have dubbed ‘Camelot.” Their innocence and joy is a brilliant set up for what is to come.
“They’d diverged from the paths Father had set down for them. They had all diverged.”
Jump forward almost twenty years later where the Linwood siblings gather at Linwood Hall with their mother, a police detective, and son of the local attorney for the reading of their adoptive father, Sir Lawrence Linwood’s will. Alan is an archeologist, Roger an engineer, and Caroline is a journalist.They had all been raised by Sir Lawrence with specific career goals in mind. He ruthlessly trained them to be objective to the end goal and excuses and emotions are unacceptable.
The siblings are shocked to learn that the will states that at their mothers passing the estate will be sold off and proceeds divided between the three siblings. Unless, Sir Lawrence’s life does not end naturally. In this case, the estate will go to the sibling discovering his murder.
And, of course, SIr Lawrence’s death turns out to be far from natural. The siblings must scatter to follow different leads in the murder case. Each of them discover clues, not about their own history, but about one of the other two siblings.
Unique characters, cliff hanger endings, and plot lines as twisted as V.C. Andrew’s classic gothic novel, Flowers in the Attic, this tightly written historical murder mystery is thoroughly engrossing.
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