Published by Doubleday/Transworld Books
Available in ebook and hardback (26 July 2018)
| About the Book |
1948: an English housewife trapped in a dull marriage escapes to the South of France to claim a mystery inheritance. But rivals to her unexplained fortune begin to emerge, and now they want her out of the way …
She didn’t have an enemy in the world… until she inherited a fortune
London 1948: Eve Forrester is trapped in a loveless marriage, in a gloomy house, in a grey suburb.
Out of the blue, she received a solicitor’s letter. A wealthy stranger has left her a mystery inheritance but in order to find out more, she must travel to the glittering French Riviera.
Eve discovers her legacy is an enchanting villa overlooking the Mediterranean sea and suddenly, life could not be more glamorous.
But while she rubs shoulders with film-stars and famous writers, under the heat of the golden sun, rivals to her unexplained fortune begin to emerge. Rivals who want her out of the way.
Alone in paradise, Eve must unlock the story behind her surprise bequest – before events turn deadly…
| My thoughts |
Having loved the debut novel by Rachel Rhys, Dangerous Crossing, I was so excited to receive a copy of Fatal Inheritance. The cover, the blurb, the author – every single thing attracted me to it and oh boy, it didn’t disappoint. Can I just make my review really short and just say “it’s absolutely fabulous; go add it to your reading piles!”. No? – not tempted? – you want more?
Eve Forrester has a loveless and dull marriage with Clifford. Whilst he is not abusive, he seems totally unconcerned about her happiness and sucks all the joy out of life; there is no fun or spontaneous affection. He is very much a penny pincher and everything Eve has is old and worn. Eve is not an experienced or worldly person, although a previous relationship had shown her what love can be. She does not have a happy or loving relationship with her mother Mary and one of the reasons she married Clifford was to get away. Whilst wishing for more from life, Eve accepts her lot as the best she can expect and, rather sadly it seems, considers herself fortunate to find any man to marry her.
That is until she receives a letter out of the blue from solicitors. It appears that she has been left an inheritance by a man called Guy Lester but to find out more she must travel to the South of France. Eve has no idea who her benefactor is or what if any, his connection is to her or her family. Against Clifford’s advice, she decides to go and find out.
Set on the post war French Riviera in 1948, Eve finds a very different way of life. Having been used to rationing in England, the decadence and extravagance is completely alien to her. She finds herself mixing with the rich and famous – such a contrast from her life in Surrey with Clifford.
Life is not all sunshine and glamour though. She is resented and distrusted by the Lester family because she stands between them and their plans and it becomes clear that somebody wants her out of the way. As the outsider, Eve is unsure who she can trust. There is a sinister undercurrent; not just affecting Eve but also as a hangover from the war. Many French people in the area collaborated or colluded with the Germans during the war and as a result there is a lot of distrust by the French towards their own.
Fatal Inheritance is a beautifully written and captivating read with a nod to the glamorous parties and lifestyle of F Scott Fitzgerald. The locations are superbly described with sights and smells that evoke the senses. There are many strong characters which come to life and make the story so compelling, Gloria the Hollywood actress being just one. I was so engrossed that I read over half of the book in one sitting – I just couldn’t put it down until I’d finished. The main part of the story is told in the third person whilst a separate strand is narrated in the first person. The intriguing mystery that runs through the story kept me wondering and although I was convinced that I had worked out the who, I was completely stumped as to the why. When later on, certain events are revealed and loyalties are shown to be have been severely tested, I was willing Eve on to live the life that SHE wanted. Eve was an extremely engaging character and I loved seeing her gain in confidence.
Tammy Cohen has long shown her skill as a writer of psychological thrillers and suspense novels. Writing as her other persona, Rachel Rhys, she is clearly an extremely talented historical fiction author too. I adored this book and I can’t recommend it enough. It is just a gorgeous sumptuous read and will be one of my favourite books this year. Go get it!
My thanks to Alison Barrow of Transworld for the review copy and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the tour invite.
| Author Bio |
RACHEL RHYS is the pen-name of a much-loved psychological suspense author. Fatal Inheritance is her second novel under this name. Her debut Dangerous Crossing a Richard and Judy bookclub pick, was published around the world. Rachel Rhys lives in North London with her family.