Abandoned as a child in a Bombay orphanage, Leo Kazan’s life takes an unanticipated turn when he becomes the protégé of Sir Lionel Pinecoffin, the city’s District Political Officer in Bombay. Under Pinecoffin’s tutelage, the boy, adept at learning languages and theft, is trained as a spy and becomes immersed in international espionage, revolutionary politics, and diamond smuggling. In 1918, during a visit to London, he has a brief but memorable affair with a young English woman Davina Dymond in London before leaving for Russia. Separated, their lives take different turns. As he matures Leo begins to question his family history, seeking to uncover the truth about his parents. A pregnant Davina is married off and exiled to Spain, where she gives birth to Leo’s daughter. They are fated to meet again in Gibraltar in 1936, their love rekindled. But a new war plunges Europe into crisis, the Spanish Civil War tearing them apart, leaving, Leo and Davina in a fight to reclaim their lives and their love amid the violent storms of war.
“An epic and enthralling novel of love and separation, betrayal and treachery, which sweeps the reader across continents from India and Russia to Spain and England. Individual lives are torn apart by the flood of war and political manipulation, yet even as they struggle in that drowning tide, Leo and Davina discover their own identities and place of belonging. Cinematic, with a rich tapestry of colour and characters.’
Karen Maitland Best-selling author and winner of Prix d’or for Best International Noir Novel, The Gallows Curse.