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Twins Dorabella and Violetta Denver are as different as morning and midnight. Fragile, frivolous Dorabella is impetuous, while Violetta is sturdy and practical -- and quite uneasy about Dorabella's impulsive marriage to Dermot Tregarland. Then, just after the arrival of her first child, Dorabella disappears, believed drowned and swept out to sea. Violetta refuses to accept this explanation. She comes to stay with Dermot to help care for the baby, hoping to find out what really happened to her sister. With the help of a handsome neighbor, Jowan Jermyn, Violetta reaches closer to the shocking, dangerous truth, a legacy of love, loss, and madness come full circle . . . .
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Carr's venerable Cornish-based series of suspense/romances, with an initial setting in the Tudor period, has arrived at the pre-WW II era, and there is, at first, a nasty Nazi scene in Munich. But to the relief, undoubtedly, of Carr's followers, soon enough the heroine is coping on the wild Cornish coast with death and doom and mystery. ``When I look back I can see it all began one morning at breakfast...'' is Carr's opening siren call to fans, and young Violetta, twin to impulsive Dorabella (Carr's wayward sisters are apt to cause a peck of trouble), narrates. The twins travel to Munich for a brief holiday. They'll witness terrible violence, but it's also there that Dorabella will meet her husband to be-- Cornishman Dermot Tregarland. Then it's on to the Tregarland mansion--an impressive house perched on the edge of a cliff, but Violetta feels, of course, ``an air of menace.'' Head of the house is crippled, suspiciously amused James, Dermot's father; also in residence are pleasant housekeeper Matilda, a distant relative, and her son, strong, domineering Gordon, who manages the estate. Some chilly revelations follow: Dermot had another wife, who, although she was a good swimmer, drowned; and now there's mention of a curse. Violetta learns of the curse and a long-ago drowning from a nice neighbor with whom the Tregarlands, carrying on an ancient feud, do not speak. There are deaths and scary near-misses shortly after the birth of Dorabella's baby, whose life also is in danger. (And where is Dorabella?) Experienced Carr readers may spot the murderer and anticipate the surprise close, but most of the pleasure is the trip from ``menace'' to ``all clear.'' Old-hat gothic--and somehow it's just right. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Plodding and predictable, this novel set in pre-WW II Britain sports the classic gothic trappings of a castle wherein stalk madness and murder, but little of the brooding tension needed to make such elements thrilling. Violetta and Dorabella Denver, aristocratic 17-year-old twins, are visiting friends in Germany when they meet a romantic Cornishman named Dermot. Frivolous Dorabella marries Dermot and takes up life in Tregarlands, his somber mansion on the isolated Cornish coast. But it is Violetta, the practical twin and narrator, who learns of the gruesome legend that haunts Tregarlands and discovers that Dermot's pregnant first wife mysteriously drowned. After Dorabella bears a son, disappears and is believed drowned herself, Violetta sets out to solve the riddle of her sister's fate, with a solution quickly becoming obvious to readers. Carr's ( The Changeling ) latest suffers from an uninspired plot, stilted and repetitious dialogue, colorless and unsympathetic protagonists, the absence of a compelling hero and anemic love relationships. Doubleday Book Club selection; Literary Guild alternate.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Ivy Books, 1995. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0449148750
Book Description Ivy Books, 1995. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110449148750
Book Description Ivy Books. MASS MARKET PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0449148750. Seller Inventory # 4239