The New York Times Book Review calls multiple-award winner Peter Dickinson "a stylist of subtle brilliance". Always surprising and incisive, the author of The Yellow Room Conspiracy and dozens of other unique novels returns with his first new book in five years; and proves again that in his masterful hands, powerful drama and devastating secrets can be found at the heart of even the smallest mysteries.
For nearly her whole life, through most of the twentieth century, Rachel Matson saw the world through the lens of a camera, and produced stunning photographs that not only captured the moment but hinted at a greater truth. Now the ninety-year-old widow lies paralyzed, in the final stages of a debilitating illness. Yet while Rachel's body may be useless, her spirit remains indomitable, her mind razor sharp, and her eye, the trained eye of an artist, still picks up the most telling details. Together with her vast collection of photographs, these gifts are about to help her meet an extraordinary challenge, as she confronts a shattering mystery that harkens back over the decades...
On a television program that showcases heirlooms, an antique pistol that belonged to her late husband, Colonel Jocelyn Matson, turns up, leaving Rachel bewildered and then profoundly disturbed. How could the prized Ladurie -- one of a matched pair of dueling pistols she had given to him to commemorate his return from the horrors of a Japanese POW camp -- appear hundreds of miles away in the possession of a stranger?
Determined to learn the fate of Jocelyn's gun, Rachel falls back on the one thing left to her -- her intellect -- and soon begins the painful process of teasing the past from the shadows. Whatemerges from the vivid shards of her memories is a mesmerizing tale of honor, passion, and betrayal that stretches from colonial India to modern-day England ...a tale of a loving marriage interrupted by war, of a once-proud reg