Shadows of the PastBook - 1996
From the author of 'Bitter Betrayal' and ' The Vermont Myth', a compelling new thriller st in England, France and Canada in the Second World War and the present day.
When Christopher Grayson, a young Oxford don, discovers by chance that his real grandfather was in fact a Frenchman who vanished mysteriously during the Second World War, he decides to trace his family history. His innocent enquiries about the de Mourvilles take him first to a ruined French chateau, where he learns that they were condemned as nazi sympathisers. Even worse, his grandfather, Jean-Pierre- a British Intelligence officer working withnthe French Resistance- was a traitor and deserter, accused of crimes against humanity.
Determined to find out what really happened, Christopher has little idea of the great impact this will have on his life, or how dangerous raking up the past can be. Because someone doesn't want him to ask any more questions. Someone is on his trail, willing to kill in order to keep both a shocking betrayal and a tragic secret what they have always been until now- shadows of the past.
As Christopher pieces together the events of fifty years ago, his quest leads him to Paris, Germany and Quebec, where it becomes clear that the prejudices of the past are still very much alive, disguised behind a wall of respectability. Fifhting to reveal the truth and clear the de Mourvile name at whatever cost, Christopher finds himself the target of a heated pursuit and lethal enemy, as he makes the most rewarding- and trrifying, discovery of his life.
Skilfully plotted, ingenious and full of suspense, 'Shadows of the Past' confirms Palma Harcourt's reputation as one of our finest thriller writers.
Palma Harcourt was born and brought up in Jersey in the Channel Islands. She read Classics at St. Anne's College, Oxford, and after her graduation, worked in British Intelligence. Since then she has edited magazines and taught at universities.
Palma Harcourt has travelled widely and lived in many countries, which have provided the background for her very successful series of 'diplomatic thrillers' of which the first, 'Climate for Conspiracy', was published in 1974. Since then she has written twenty-one thrillers, including the most recently 'The Vermonth Myth' (1994) and 'Bitter Berayal' (1993). Ms Harcourt's books have been published worldwide and translated into more than a dozen languages, including Icelandic and Japanese.
She and her husband, the crime writer John Penn, now lives in Jersey.
Also by Palma Harcourt:
'A Cloud of Doves'"Palma Harcourt belongs, with Helen MacInnes and Evelyn MacInnes and Evelyn Anthony, to a recognisable category of female spy-story writers".'Daily Telegraph'
'A Matter of Conscience'"An assured thriller, treading murky water, leaving uneasy ripples".'Sunday Times'
'Clash of Loyalties'"Palma Harcourt, our best woman spy writer, weaves a superbly plotted gripper. A cracking yarn, with a frightening, thought-provoking plausibility".'Gloucester Citizen'
'The Reluctant Defector'"The tangled web of truth and lies, bluff and double-bluff, is slowly unravelled in this absorbing read".'Jersey Evening Post'
'Cue for Conspiracy'"The subtle interplay is handled with a delicate and confident touch, elevating 'Cue for Conspiracy' to Harcourt's customary superior level".'Yorkshire Evening Post'
'Bitter Betrayal'"Well-paced, 'Bitter Betrayal' is an entertaining read with a twist in the tail".'Jersey Evening Post'
'The Vermont Myth'"A twister of a tale…a real tale of the unexpected".' Bolton Evenng News'