A man loses his father. A young woman loses her mother. Both in tragic circumstances that lead, when they meet, to surprising revelations from the past.
Louisa needs to find the father she has never known, to warn him of possible danger - for them both.
Her search takes her from England to Guernsey.
Malcolm's journey is more tortuous: conceived in Guernsey, he travels to Canada as a baby with his bereaved mother. Many years later he arrives in India, and from here he is led back to Guernsey to open a health centre at La Folie.
This was his father's home, where Malcolm was conceived, but never lived and where his father was killed at the start of the Second World War.
At the heart of the two deaths lie stolen jewels. Valuable enough to kill for. Twice.
Finding her father brings Louisa more than she bargains for, and her life is transformed, while Malcolm learns that life is, after all, for sharing…
Guernsey Retreat is Book 3 of the Guernsey Novels by Anne Allen, and was published on 5 August 2014. I featured Finding Mother by Anne Allen here on Random Things in January of this year.
The story opens with a tragic incident that happened way back in 1939, just as the Second World War is breaking out. A violent murder that will have a long lasting impact on many lives over the years.
The reader is brought back to the present day and introduced to Malcolm, a wealthy businessman who is opening a high-class health spa on the beautiful island of Guernsey. La Folie is a new and exciting venture for Malcolm, but means so much more to him than just another business opportunity. The location was the home of his father, the home where he so tragically lost his life.
Louisa has also suffered heartbreak and tragedy. Her much beloved mother has died after an intruder frightened her in her own home. Louisa is determined to find out what the man wanted, and to try to solve the mystery of the priceless jewels that appear to be the reason for her mother's tragic death.
Louisa and Malcolm meet for the very first time on Guernsey. Malcolm is shocked to find that he has a daughter, and Louisa is saddened that they have missed so many years together. Together, they are determined that the men who have brought so much sadness into their lives will be brought to justice.
Guernsey Retreat is best described as a romantic mystery. The mystery takes the lead in this very well written story, but the romance bubbles nicely away in the background.
Anne Allen creates a cast of characters and a setting that are so easy to read about and are very believable. This story has quite a dark feeling at times, with the historical murder mystery at it's centre, and it is very easy to become totally caught up in the world of La Folie, it's staff and guests and the easy going pace of life of Guernsey.
Readers of the author's previous novel, Finding Mother will recognise some of the characters in Guernsey Retreat, and the setting of La Folie is a familiar one too.
An easy to read, well paced story with some great characters.
My thanks to the author who sent my copy for review.
For more information about Anne and her novels, visit her website www.anneallen.co.uk and follow her on Twitter @AnneAllen21