Combining the atmosphere of Jess WaltersA?? Beautiful Ruins with the intriguing historical backstory of Christina Baker KlineA??s The Orphan Train, Deborah LawrensonA??s mesmerizing novel transports readers to a sunny Portuguese town with a shadowy pastA??where two women, decades apart, are drawn into a dark game of truth and lies that still haunts the shifting sea marshes.
Traveling to Faro, Portugal, journalist Joanna Millard hopes to escape an unsatisfying relationship and a stalled career. Faro is an enchanting town, and the seaside views are enhanced by the company of Nathan Emberlin, a charismatic younger man. But behind the crumbling facades of Moorish buildings, Joanna soon realizes, Faro has a seedy underbelly, its economy compromised by corruption and wartime spoils. And Nathan has an ulterior motive for seeking her company: he is determined to discover the truth involving a childA??s kidnapping that may have taken place on this dramatic coastline over two decades ago.
JoannaA??s subsequent search leads her to Ian Rylands, an English expat who cryptically insists she will find answers in The Alliance, a novel written by American Esta Hartford. The book recounts an American coupleA??s experience in Portugal during World War II, and their entanglements both personal and professional with their German enemies. Only Rylands insists the book isnA??t fiction, and as Joanna reads deeper into The Alliance, she begins to suspect that Esta HartfordA??s story and Nathan EmberlinA??s may indeed converge in FaroA??where the past not only casts a long shadow but still exerts a very present danger.
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