I was hooked from page one but must warn that some of the passages in this novel are explicitly for adults only. Banks’s mystery thriller opens with William Harvey snatching up property during the blitz in WWII London setting up a legacy of wealth for the Harvey family.
The beautiful young present day investigative journalist Charlotte Burke is invited on an international press tour by the Harvey property corporation, but Burke has a secret to protect from the Harvey family. She stopped using her real name, Victoria Baker to distance herself from her father Paul Baker who was imprisoned as a result of his own dealings as an employee of William Harvey.
The story is action packed and full of twists and turns as Burke slowly uncovers the underbelly of the Harvey family secret. However, her investigation is not without danger. For Burke and her colleagues, some of the danger comes from their entanglement in the twisted debauchery that William Harvey Jr. feeds upon.
The author wants readers to despise the antagonists and uses graphic sexual situations to drive those aspects of the story to the forefront. In the opinion of this reviewer, the story would have held it’s own without the graphic detail of these passages. The suggestion of debauchery and lurid sex would have been enough for readers to get the idea.
The two sets of secrets, the Baker’s and the Harvey’s collide in a suspenseful conclusion. For a debut novel, Riley Banks cranked out a good one. However, the mixing of the lurid sex and erotica into what would have made for a well crafted and well written mystery thriller might be off putting to some readers. I’m looking forward to reading another from Banks without the extras.