This is an historical thriller sent in the period after the Second World War in the terrible winter of 1947 when Britain was suffering from the after effects of the war and life was hard going in those days.
The story is centred on Newcastle – on – Tyne where a beautiful young German girl is on trial for murder. Jack Raisbeck, the owner of a struggling shipyard, where Elsa worked, is convinced that she is innocent but finds himself helpless as he is unable to prove her innocence.
Jack is physically scarred facially following the torpedoing of his destroyer during the war, but he has fallen in love with Elsa. He must, however, rely on Elsa’s barrister to prove her not guilty.
Alexander Galbraith, her defence lawyer is doing his best, having been funded by Jack, but has problems of his own as his wife Virginia has found out that he is having a homosexual relationship with his young assistant.
Jack also has problems as the murdered Dutch victim was designing a new type of dredger that Jack’s shipyard is building for a wealthy Dutch shipping magnate and the project is behind on its completion due to the terrible winter which is causing the delays.
The story is set over the period of the trial and we get flashbacks that tell us Elsa’s previous life and the hard times she suffered before getting to England.
A good story with scenic descriptions of the awful weather conditions and what it was like living in those times. I enjoyed the book but was not too happy with the ending as I always like to see a happy ending!