The first rocket will take five minutes to hit London.You have six minutes to stop the second.
Rudi Graf used to dream of sending a rocket to the moon. Instead, he has helped create the world's most sophisticated weapon: the V2 ballistic missile, capable of delivering a one-ton warhead at three times the speed of sound.
In a desperate gamble to avoid defeat in the winter of 1944, Hitler orders ten thousand to be built. Haunted and disillusioned, Graf - who understands the volatile, deadly machine better than anyone - is tasked with firing these lethal 'vengeance weapons' at London.
Outside a remote manor house in an idyllic wood, a baby girl is found.
The Harrington family takes her in and disbelief quickly turns to joy. They're grieving a terrible tragedy of their own and the beautiful baby fills them with hope, lighting up the house's dark, dusty corners.
Desperate not to lose her to the authorities, they keep her secret, suspended in a blissful summer world where normal rules of behaviour - and the law - don't seem to apply.
But within days a body will lie dead in the grounds.
And their dreams of a perfect family will shatter like glass.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Category: FictionNumber One bestselling author Philippa Gregory's new historical novel tracks the rise of the Tidelands family in London, Venice and New England.
Midsummer Eve 1670. Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames. The first is a wealthy man hoping to find the lover he deserted twenty-one years before. James Avery has everything to offer, including the favour of the newly restored King Charles II, and he believes that the warehouse's poor owner Alinor has the one thing his money cannot buy – his son and heir.
The second visitor is a beautiful widow from Venice in deepest mourning. She claims Alinor as her mother-in-law and has come to tell Alinor that her son Rob has drowned in the dark tides of the Venice lagoon.
Alinor writes to her brother Ned, newly arrived in faraway New England and trying to make a life between the worlds of the English newcomers and the American Indians as they move toward inevitable war. Alinor tells him that she knows – without doubt – that her son is alive and the widow is an imposter.
Set in the poverty and glamour of Restoration London, in the golden streets of Venice, and on the tensely contested frontier of early America, this is a novel of greed and desire: for love, for wealth, for a child, and for home.
‘A gripping read spanning London, Venice and New England, all beautifully observed by Gregory’ Woman & HomePraise for Tidelands, the first in the Fairmile series:
‘A gripping and intelligent portrait of a woman fighting to survive in a hostile world’ The Times
‘The first in a planned series . . . The author crafts her material with effortless ease. Her grasp of social mores is brilliant, the love story rings true and the research is, as ever, of the highest calibre’ Elizabeth Buchan, Daily Mail
‘Vivid and beguiling – Philippa Gregory at her best’ Woman & Home‘A compelling novel that shines a light on the struggles of 17th century women’ Daily Mirror‘The novel's power lies in Gregory's evocative portrayal of the tidelands and the everyday lives of those who are bound to them’ Sunday Express
‘Philippa Gregory returns with an English Civil War novel that excels in everything she does best. Historical events are written with breathless immediacy, keeping the reader enthralled even if they know the outcome’ Alys Key, The i
‘If this novel is the first sign of what's to come then readers are in for a treat’ Emma Lee-Potter, Daily Express
On an island off the windswept Irish coast, guests gather for the wedding of the year – the marriage of Jules Keegan and Will Slater.
The wedding cake has barely been cut when one of the guests is found dead. And as a storm unleashes its fury on the island, everyone is trapped.