The climate is tense in 1870s Europe as mistrust and suspicion rule the day. When the wife of Baron Harsanyi--a well-connected military attachi--is found murdered, it is only the first in a series of evil acts committed by a shadowy enemy bent on destroying the baron. As nations ready for war, the baron must uncover the truth as he and his two adult children are launched straight into the maelstrom that will engulf the continent.
When the wife of a baron with military connections is found murdered in 1870s Paris, the baron must uncover the truth to preserve his country.
Paul Robertson is a computer programming consultant, part-time high-school math and science teacher, and the author of The Heir, Road to Nowhere, and According to Their Deeds. He is a former Christian bookstore owner (for 15 years) and lives with his family in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Baron Ferdinand Harsanyi, an Austrian diplomat stationed in Paris, gets control of his wife's valuable mines after her mysterious death. The mines produce mercury, a product sought by both France and Prussia as they hover on the brink of war in 1870. Harsanyi's two adult children have their own concerns: Rudolph reluctantly attends military school as his father wishes despite his own desire to attend the Sorbonne, and Therese takes up with a dashing French captain, Auguste de l'Imperator. The outbreak of war is only one of the complications that affects the family's relationships. European history buffs will appreciate this well-researched story featuring a number of real figures and events of the period. A sense of Paris under siege is nicely cinematic. But readers looking for a human story should go elsewhere; the characters evoke little empathy, and the plot gets a little slow and convoluted in its attempt to disguise the villains. The author is better at history than psychology. (July) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.