Treachery and theft lead to death – and love
1940. Teresa Bichard and her baby are sent by her beloved husband, Leo, to England as the Germans draw closer to Guernsey. Days later they invade…
1942. Leo, of Jewish descent, is betrayed to the Germans and is sent to a concentration camp, never to return.
1945. Teresa returns to find Leo did not survive and the family’s valuable art collection, including a Renoir, is missing. Heartbroken, she returns to England.
2011. Nigel and his twin Fiona, buy a long-established antique shop in Guernsey and during a refit, find a hidden stash of paintings, including what appears to be a Renoir. Days later, Fiona finds Nigel dead, an apparent suicide. Refusing to accept the verdict, a distraught Fiona employs a detective to help her discover the truth…
Searching for the rightful owner of the painting brings Fiona close to someone who opens a chink in her broken heart. Can she answer some crucial questions before laying her brother’s ghost to rest?
Who betrayed Leo?
Who knew about the stolen Renoir?
And are they prepared to kill – again?
The Betrayal is the sixth novel by Anne Allen set on the picturesque island of Guernsey, and while it was the first I read, this makes not a jot of difference as it acts very much as a stand alone. One thing’s for sure though, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up one of Anne’s previous five novels as I really enjoyed this book and the author’s writing.
I say this all the time, but duel narrative = big favourite of mine, and with two separate but connecting stories set in both the present, where Fiona’s brother is suddenly murdered following his discovery of a hidden piece of art by Renoir, and the past, during the German occupation of Guernsey, The Betrayal definitely hit the mark. Add in a whole heap of mystery and intrigue surrounding both time frames and this was definitely a winner for me.
I loved how the stories were interwoven, as in the present Fiona is determined to locate the owners of the Renoir and in the process discover the truth about her brother’s death. What she uncovers is a haunting story of betrayal from the past and the link the artwork gave the two stories merges to create a wonderfully compelling read.
Anne Allen also sets a scene wonderfully with beautiful descriptive prose bringing the island of Guernsey to life. It’s clear this is a place she loves. I also really enjoyed the gentle, subtle romance which blossomed in the present day, finding it tender and heart warming, bringing a good conclusion to both traumatic stories centred around the missing art work.
The Betrayal was a lovely, gentle read for me, but with enough intrigue and mystery to keep me reading just a little more. There’s no big shocker moments or twisty tricks but it doesn’t need them, instead focusing on beautifully descriptive prose and tender emotion to hold the reader. Thoroughly enjoyable, I’m certainly hoping to catch up with some of Anne Allen’s books soon.
About The Author
Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children, and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby. Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.
By profession, Anne was a psychotherapist, but long had the itch to write. Now a full-time writer, she has written The Guernsey Novels, six having been published and the seventh, The Inheritance, is due out in 2018.
Social Media Links – Website: http://www.anneallen.co.uk
Giveaway – Win a signed copy of The Betrayal by Anne Allen (Open Internationally) HERE