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On a cloud-shrouded night in November 1816, six-year-old Colin Fraser vanishes from the safe cocoon of his family's Berkeley Square home. For his father Charles, an idealistic MP, former intelligence agent, and grandson of a duke, and mother Mélanie, a beautiful war refugee and society's most charming hostess, it is a tragedy that will rip their extraordinary marriage asunder and force them to question everything they believe in. Colin's captors are demanding a bizarre ransom: an exquisite ring surrounded by the promise of power. The search for it will pull the Frasers into a maze of intrigue that winds through the lowest and highest levels of London secrets -- revealing layer upon layer of deception and betrayal, and a shocking truth that binds Charles and Mélanie inextricably together ... even as it threatens to destroy them both.
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Tracy Grant studied British history at Stanford University and received the Firestone Award for Excellence in Research for her honors thesis. She lives in northern California, where she is on the board of the Merola Opera Program, a training program for professional opera singers, coaches, and stage directors, and is managing director of h e l p: human elemental laboratory of performance. Daughter of the Game, the further adventures of Charles and Mélanie Fraser, is also available from Morrow/Avon.From Publishers Weekly:
Brit history maven Grant's debut novel aspires to be a historical thriller, an incisive study of the "spy game" and a revisionist, feminist take on pre-Victorian England, all rolled into one breathlessly paced 500-page package. Unfortunately, Grant's skills as historian exceed her talents as writer, and her graceful intentions are shanghaied by a welter of stale characterizations, unsurprising plot twists and clunky prose. (It's never encouraging when a book opens with a sentence like "It was the sort of night that cloaks a multitude of sins.") Centering upon M‚lanie and Charles Fraser, an upper-crust 1810s London power couple he's a member of parliament and the grandson of a duke; she's a flawlessly coifed social diva the novel kicks into gear when their beloved son, Colin, is kidnapped by thugs in the employ of a sinister Spanish antiroyalist. As the Frasers frantically investigate Colin's disappearance, they discover that the kidnappers are after the Carevalo Ring, a legendary object with Tolkienesque symbolic power, which may be in the possession of Helen Trevennen, a sly, erstwhile actress. The Frasers pursue the elusive Trevennen amid a barrage of revelations, most notably the less-than-shocking admission that M‚lanie is actually a former French spy. For the rest of the novel, the reader is plunged into a morass of uninspired action set pieces and maddeningly repetitive dialogues on betrayal, dishonor and forgiveness. Despite its many flaws, Grant's tale is at least swift-moving and fairly involving, leaving room for hope that her next endeavor will be more satisfying. Agent, Nancy Yost.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description HarperTorch, 2003. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0061032069
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