New England, 1887. The millionaire William Knight is brutally murdered and the only witness is his grandchild, Richard, who himself disappears, and is presumed dead. Eighteen years later, Richard is "recognized" in Switzerland in the person of Alexander von Reisden, and William Knight's only son, Gilbert, is convinced that this man is the long lost child. Reisden, himself, has no memory of any childhood, and his own growing obsession with finding the real Richard is leading him closer to a shattering thruth. And to a killer, still at large....
"A most satisfying tale."
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
From the Paperback edition.
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Set in turn-of-the century Boston society, a compelling, gothic tale of a two men attempting to solve a 20-year-old murder. This is a New York Times notable book - and rightly so. Enigmatic and entertaining. The sequel, THE KNOWLEDGE OF WATER, is set in Paris and centers around strange doings in the art world; this book is also a New York Times Notable book.
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Twenty years after someone killed William Knight and kidnapped William's eight-year-old grandson Richard, Baron Alexander von Reisden reluctantly agrees to impersonate Richard in order to solve the mystery of what happened back in 1887. Reisden, still mourning the death of his wife in a car he was driving, is lured away from his biological research when he's taken for Richard by Knight family physician Charles Adair, concerned because Richard's uncle Gilbert, neurotically unwilling to declare Richard dead, is thereby preventing the family fortune from passing through him to his callow adopted son Harry, who's engaged to promising blind pianist Perdita Halley. But Reisden doesn't agree to pass himself off as Richard in order to jolt Gilbert into action; he merely enters Gilbert's household insisting he's not Richard and lets him think whatever he likes. As Reisden puzzles over the old mystery- -was William really shot by his illegitimate son Jay French, as Charlie Adair testified, or was Charlie too far away to see who pulled the trigger?--and finds himself falling in love with Perdita, new mysteries multiply: Is the skeleton found in the barn evidence of Richard's murder, or of Jay's? Did Charlie really kill Jay himself? Is Reisden actually Richard after all? The news that William regularly beat his grandson paves the way for a solution to some of these riddles, but others are still floating unresolved at the final John Fowles-ish curtain. Smith (the computer-readable King of Space, plus academic nonfiction) paints a canvas reminiscent of Robert Goddard's well- upholstered period thrillers, though more tonily inconclusive at every stage. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Arrow, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099410796
Book Description Arrow, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 99410796