This story combines all the best ingredients of a novel: romance, mystery and adventure. (The WW1 battle scenes are horrific.) A young American travels through Europe in the 1970s attempting to trace his kinship to an heiress missing since 1917 and so inherit a fortune. The love story of the heiress (Imogen) and her benefactor (Ashley), is told in flashback. Written in styles which suit the relevant periods. A great and unusual debut novel.
One of the shrapnel balls pierces Ashley's throat two inches above his right clavicle,passing between his trachea and his esophagus and starting a substantial hemorrhage. At the same time Ashley's right thigh is perforated by four shrapnel balls, and though these wounds are not deep, vivid crimson blood begins to gather in pools atop his trouser leg, soaking the khaki fabric in growing blotches. He crumples to the ground, blood coursing from his mouth. The color of the blood seems to Ashley perversely bright. He looses consciousness almost immediately.