Mystery of the Month – Inheritance of Secrets

When Juliet’s grandparents are savagely murdered she is forced to consider the possibility her grandfather may have been a war criminal.

Juliet, a successful fiction writer, is left shaken and disturbed by the sudden, brutal murder of her beloved grandparents – the people who raised her. Her father died when she was young, her mother abandoned the family shortly afterwards and then her older sister ran away. Feeling totally alone, Juliet manages to track down her estranged sister, Lily, who is convinced the people who murdered their grandparents have been following her. They want Karl’s engraved signet ring, believing it has links to a Nazi leader.

Flashback to Germany, 1943. We meet Juliet’s grandparents, Karl and Grete, as they hurry to find shelter during an air raid. Told from Karl’s point-of view, we follow his journey as he escapes post-war Germany and befriends a man who encourages him to emigrate to Australia. Karl agrees, intending for Grete to join him when she is able to leave Germany. Things start to get really interesting once Karl is aboard the Fairsea –are all the passengers who they claim to be?

The dual narratives work successfully as Juliet pieces together what happened in Karl’s past that made him the target of someone very dangerous. Karl’s story moves more slowly, giving the reader time to absorb the historical details and imagine the hardships of post-war life – losing your loved ones and leaving everything behind for an unknown future in a strange land. Juliet’s storyline is fast-paced; she and Lily find themselves on the run, wearing disguises to evade the bad guys, desperate to find out the truth. The story culminates in an action-packed, nail-biting finale.

Sonya Bates, a published children’s book author, has written an impressive debut adult novel. Part historical fiction and part thriller, it’s full of unexpected twists and turns. Juliet is believable as the unlikely heroine who finds herself caught up in the dangerous past her grandfather tried so desperately to escape. Family ties, loyalty, greed, and the heart-breaking impact of war on future generations are thoughtfully explored in this solid page-turner that will have you eager for more.

The Inheritance of Secrets by Sonya Bates is published by Harper Collins.

Standout Simile:

My heart pounded with questions and emotions tumbling over each other like seaweed tossed in the surf, reaching out towards answers, then being tugged relentlessly back into the turmoil.

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