Publishing year: 1982
I’ve read a handful of books by Ken Follett, and he’s definitely one of my favourite authors.
In this novel, we are introduced to Lord Walden, who is a conservative and doesn’t want anything to do with Winston Churchill. Yet, Churchill turns up at his home, with a message from the king, so Walden has no other option than to receive him. Churchill tells him about the imminent war with Germany, and England’s only option is to have Russia as an ally. To do that, they need Walden to talk to Prince Orlov, who is his nephew by marriage. Walden is married to Lydia, who is Russian in origin, and they have a child, Charlotte, who is about to come out in society.
When all this developing, Russian revolutionaries are not happy about these plans, so they plan to kill Prince Orlov in England. The man who volunteers to do that is Feliks, who is a really awful character, who has no respect for morals or the law. Feliks enjoys stealing and committing crimes. He gets to England to plan the murder, and he finds out that the time to do that would be when Walden and his family go to Buckingham Palace with Orlov. I wonder what will happen. Will Feliks kill Orlov? I have the suspicion that maybe Feliks knew Lydia in the past; she often recalls a man who she loved passionately before getting married. Could this man be Feliks? I hope not because I don’t like Feliks at all. Otherwise, will Charlotte and Feliks come into contact somehow? Charlotte is quite unconventional for the period; she is rebellious and wants to know more about life that she is allowed, so in a way she is quite naive as well.
Intense start, and I’m sure the novel will be as passionate as it progresses.