Alliance, 2002, 22.00, 288 pp.
Amherst History professor Dr. Malcolm Bride knows Americans raised him with love, but London is where he was born in 1945 and he needs to learn about his birth mother. In London, he finds the record of twin boys born to Bridget Allison and the death certificate of his sibling. He visits nearby cemeteries searching for his brother's resting-place. One evening while Bride is nearby, a woman visits a graveside. She accidentally drops something before fleeing. Malcolm finds a nineteenth century Cartier Pillbox so rare that most in existence are owned by a museum or the Royal Family. He realizes the visitor had to be Princess Catherine and he makes contact with her, not easy to do with a royal.
At the same time, a bomb kills most of the leaders of the Conservative Party. Prince George, heir to the throne occupied for a half century by his ailing mother, cuts a deal with the Conservatives that allows him to run for Prime Minister, unheard of in the long history of this proud country. Meanwhile, Bride and Catherine fall in love while he unravels a mystery over five decades old that if revealed would derail George's precedent setting power play.
This political thriller wrapped inside a delightful heritage mystery and containing a warm humanizing romance is a royal treasure. The fast-paced story line grips the reader, but uses coincidence to first accelerate the plot. Bride is a great moral protagonist whose stubborn need to find the truth (paralleled by a reporter) will grip the audience. George is an ideal villain doing good deeds only when it further his public image. Cameron Kent provides a sure fan favorite with this winner.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner