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The Mystery Writerby Jessica Mann
Synopses & Reviews
1940. The world is at war and the lives of two English boys are about to be changed forever. Jonathan Hicks, heir to the Cornish estate of Goonzoyle, and Ted Johns, son of the estate's groundskeeper, find themselves floating in an icy Atlantic Ocean, clinging to the wreckage of the doomed SS City of Benares. The ship was carrying British evacuee children to a new home, but as it made its perilous way to the USA it was torpedoed by a German U-boat. Jonathan and Ted have been thrown together in spite of their different backgrounds, but as the chance of rescue ebbs further away, it becomes clear only one can survive. 2001. At her home in Cornwall, bestselling writer Jessica Mann is busy researching her book about the wartime evacuation of children, Out of Harm's Way, when she is contacted by Connie, Ted Johns' sister, who has recently bought the derelict manor house at Goonzoyle. Jessica is drawn into playing detective to discover what really happened aboard the SS City of Benares, and why that brief moment in history is the key to present events. Matters take a decidedly sinister turn when human bones are discovered at Goonzoyle, and Jessica is hurled into a race to uncover the secrets that bind the Hicks and Johns families together.
Utterly compelling and cleverly constructed as fact & fiction are combined and the author herself appears alongside her fictional characters.
???Sparking, sardonic and refreshingly original ??? a thoroughly accomplished piece??? ??? Sunday Times
It is 1940, and the world is at war.Britain is evacuating its children, to keep them 'out of harms way' and Ted Johns, son of the groundskeeper at the manor house in Goonzoyle finds himself in steerage aboard the evacuees' ship, SS City of Benares.In the first class cabins is the heir to Goonzoyle, Jonathan Hicks, but when the ship is torpedoed, the boys find themselves thrown together, clinging to the wreckage of a life raft.Many lives are lost that night, but one of the boys survives and begins a new life in California, returning to Cornwall after the death of his father, in 1951. Now in 2003, Jessica Mann is researching her new book Out of Harm's Way, the story of the children evacuated from Britain during WWII.In response to her request for information about survivors of the Benares disaster, Connie, Ted Johns' sister, contacts her.As Jessica digs deeper into the story Connie reveals, she realizes that the events of that fateful night in 1940 are haunting the present and when the two sets of human bones are found in the grounds of Goonzoyle the past and the present collide. Utterly compelling and cleverly constructed, The Mystery Writer is a tantalizing read that both haunts and intrigues.
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