review by showhost March 2014
I saw the picture of the front of this paperback in a charity shop and had to read it - it's a picture of Camel Rock, Porth Hellick.
It's a mystery set around the shipwreck of HMS Association in 1707, the emerald & diamond ring which was cut off the finger of Sir Clowdisley Shovell , a murder 30 years later and the drowning of a journalist diving on the wreck in 1999.
Tim Harding is living & working in Monaco as is Barney Tozer & associates. Barney Tozer his friend and an ex-Penzance man has asked Tim to go to Penzance to oversee his estranged brother who wants to bid for the emerald & diamond ring, which is being auctioned and which they claim was stolen from their family centuries ago.
The auction is taking place at the house of their estranged uncle in Penzance whom they claim stole it from their father.
While there, Tim befriends the housekeeper Hayley, whose face is familiar to him, and they form an attachment. Also, while Tim is there he finds out secrets about Barneys past. Barney was on the dive of the wreck in 1999 when his co-diver Kerry died. Some say it was an accident and others say Barney murdered her.
When the ring is stolen before the auction Tim starts to ask questions, the questions take him to the Isles of Scilly, London, Germany & back to Penzance. During this time he discovers that it isn't only Barney who is keeping secrets and faces deception & conspiracy everywhere he turns, including Hayley.
Things start to escalate when his friend is murdered and Hayley is blamed for his death.
It's a complicated tale with many characters.
I didn't like this book as much as his others. I still don't know who killed his friend Barney and I thought the reason for the divers death very weak. There were perhaps too many things going on which made it very disjointed. Also, not as tense as his other books