Doubleday Books 26th July 2018
London 1948: Eve Forrester is trapped in a loveless marriage.
Out of the blue she receives a solicitor’s letter. A wealthy stranger had left her a mystery inheritance, and in order to find out more she must travel to the glittering French Riviera.
But while she rubs shoulders with film stars and writers under the heat of the sun, rivals to her unexplained fortune begin to emerge. Rivals who want her out the way.
Alone in paradise, Eve must unlock the story behind her surprise bequest – before events turn deadly…
Sometimes you pick up a book and realise you are reading the perfect book at the perfect time and for me that is exactly what happened with Fatal Inheritance. Set in post war France – the glorious and exclusive French Riviera to be specific, this book captured the time and place perfectly. Along with the reader, Eve is absorbed into the glamour of the Cote d’Azur in stark contrast to her SW London life, where she is rationed not only in material objects but also in love. Determined to uncover the reason behind her inheritance, Eve discovers that beneath the glitz of the Cannes set is secrets and lies including the truth of her own history.
I loved the glamour of this novel – the parties and celebrity references – a glimpse of Coco Chanel, set in this most idyllic of locations which the author captured so tangibly in the very bones of this tale. But beneath all this are darker pasts, the recent war and the Nazi occupation leaving a legacy of questionable loyalties and shady secrets.
This combination of hot and seductive glamour combined with dark secrets, plus the hint of more, made for a great reading experience. With a mix of characters from the plain and somewhat naïve Eve, the rich but hostile Lesters, an alluring film star and a louche author the stage was set for an enthralling read and this did not disappoint. The descriptive detail was captivating with the contrast between the grey London life and the richly colourful South of France played out to its full.
As well as the glorious descriptions of the scenery and the terrific characterisation, the plot was sound. With allusions to mystique, hints of nefarious activity and a romantic undercurrent this book was difficult to put down. With the sun shining hot in my garden I had the perfect excuse to sit back, beverage in hand and read myself to the glistening Mediterranean on a glamourous journey to establish the origins of the fatal inheritance. Perfect summer reading, highly, highly recommended by me!
Thank you to Alison Barrow for the review copy, publication day is 26th July – perfect timing for a holiday read.