New England, 1887, a millionaire is murdered and the sole witness, his grandchild, promptly disappears. In Switzerland, 18 years later, a man with no memory is recognised as Richard Knight, the missing child. One man's obsession leads him to the truth and the killer.
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In 1887 eccentric millionaire William Knight was shot dead in his own New England parlour; his brutalised 10-year-old grandson disappeared the next day and was never seen again. In 1905, European aristocrat and research scientist Reisden is recognised as the lost boy. Reisden is sure that old Charlie Adair is wrong, though it is true that he has no memories of his early life and of the death of his parents in Africa, but is persuaded during an American trip to involve himself with the surviving Knights' affairs, to help them seek closure. He is still mourning his dead wife and finds himself endlessly protective of Perdita, near-blind musician fiancée of the new Knight heir.
She is in love with Harry Boulding, Reisden told himself, and engaged to Harry. I am in love with Tasy, who's dead. No, I was in love with Tasy, who died. He could not define what he felt for Perdita, only admit it. It was as though feeling was an island he had come to after a long voyage.
And suddenly he really does want to know what happened 18 years before and what the truth is; suddenly he has something at stake and it is not the Knight fortune. This first of Sarah Smith's much praised romantic thriller trilogy, The Vanished Child is a thrilling puzzle and a story of passionate emotions caught up in a clash of cultures; Reisden is the voice of a civilised Europe to whom these Americans' sense of propriety is mere barbarism. --Roz KaveneyFrom the Author:
This is a book about identity crisis.
This story unfolds around the lost identity of Reisden, a man who is supposed to be the heir of a great American fortune. Though the story revolves around Reisden's physical identity, I meant this to be a novel about one's other identity--by this I mean our position and aspect of the world we live in. The character of Perdita was written into the script as yet another soul in search of identity and place. I will say nothing more of this book except that it is a mystery, romance, and thriller. Enjoy:)
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Book Description Arrow, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099410796