Touchstone by Laurie R King.
Paperback: 560 pages
Publisher: Bantam;(December 30, 2008)
Hailed for her rich and powerful works of psychological suspense as well as her New York Times bestselling mysteries, Laurie R. King now takes us to a remote cottage in Cornwall where a gripping tale of intrigue, terrorism, and explosive passions begins with a visit to a recluse upon whom the fate of an entire nation may rest—a man code-named . . .
It’s eight years after the Great War shattered Bennett Grey’s life, leaving him with an excruciating sensitivity to the potential of human violence, and making social contact all but impossible. Once studied by British intelligence for his unique abilities, Grey has withdrawn from a rapidly changing world—until an American Bureau of Investigation agent comes to investigate for himself Grey’s potential as a weapon in a vicious new kind of warfare. Agent Harris Stuyvesant desperately needs Grey’s help entering a world where the rich and the radical exist side by side—a heady mix of the powerful and the celebrated, among whom lurks an enemy ready to strike a deadly blow at democracy on both sides of the Atlantic.
Here, among a titled family whose servants dress in whimsical costumes and whose daughter conducts an open affair with a man who wants to bring down the government, Stuyvesant finds himself dangerously seduced by one woman and—even more dangerously—falling in love with another. And as he sifts through secrets divulged and kept, he uncovers the target of a horrifying conspiracy, and wonders if he can trust his touchstone, Grey, to reveal the most dangerous player of all ….
Building to an astounding climax on an ancient English estate, Touchstone is both a harrowing thriller by a master of the genre and a thought-provoking exploration of the forces that drive history—and human destinies.
I decided to do a reread of a book I haven't read since 2007!.. that's when I received and advance reading copy of the book Touchstone by Laurie R King. The very same author who writes all the Mary Russell (Holmes) books! After I read this the first time.. I saved it. That means I knew I'd want to reread it one day... and it finally happened! And I enjoyed it as much as the first time. When I began the book I quickly remember it had political overtones.. yuck.. the only political books I enjoy are not fiction!.. hmmm, but I saved the book.. so .. I continued to read. And it wasn't long until I was hooked once again!
Although Harris Stuyvesant is the investigator, and main character, my heart instantly went out to Bennett Grey. Not only was he heart-wrenching, he was a living time bomb waiting to explode! (there's a pun in there, but you'll have to read the book to understand it!)
Stuyvesant is an American working for the government, who travels to England to find a man he suspects has set off a number of bombs in America, one of them all but killed his brother, and this was a personal matter. He has come at a turbulent time in England with miners striking and Unions ready to wage war.
He is led to a man named Major Aldous Carstairs.. whom you will dislike immediately! And not without reason!.. With Carstairs "help" he is introduced to Bennett Grey (who will steal your heart in one way or another). With Grey's help Stuyvesant believes he can infiltrate the group of people surrounding a man named Brunson, who he believes is the bomber. Grey introduces him to his sister Sarah, (a noticed beauty to Harris), who in turn introduces him to Laura Hurleigh, daughter of a Duke, mistress to Brunsen, and a very highly intelligent and political person herself.
I can't begin to tell you all the different turns this story takes! The homework Laurie King must have done to describe every moment in England and every detail of the House of Hurleigh must have been horrendous, because, trust me on this.. you think you are there!
I won't even mention the twists and turns that happen at the end of this book! I highly doubt you will figure it out along the way! If you are even remotely interested in suspense thrillers, this book is for you!