Everyone has secrets, some very dark and some very dangerous. So Julia Graye learns on her visit to Tiboo, one of the Mantuan Islands. To her dismay the secrets she accidentally uncovers bode ill for her friend's family and herself. A death from the past haunts the isolated mansion and it's residents are caught up in snares set by an enemy who wears the face of friend.What did I tell you? It is full of twists and turns and Julia is never quite sure who is the enemy so she keeps some information to herself. A man named Long keeps popping up in the strangest places trying to warn her away from the islands but Julia came because her best friend asked her to come for her wedding. But, the next day Julia goes down to the beach to look around and sees a body in the ocean. She goes out and gets the body and when she can't get him to wake up she runs for help. But, it is too late, and the big shocker comes when they learn that his was going to be the groom!
There seems to be no place of safety after Julia makes the horrible discovery of a body on the beach. A second death soon follows and Julia is accused of murder by this person's friends. So convinced are they of her guilt, they plan to kill her. Faced with the terror of dying at their hands, Julia must use her wits to make a bid for freedom. But another person has other plans for her.
Julia can't escape a deepening involvement in other people's affairs. A stranger asks her to spy for the island governor, another who makes her want to know him better warns her to be careful, a man who wants to marry her and a beautiful woman who hates Julia on site are among those who entangle her in the webs of political plotting and deceit. A broken statue, the diary of a dead woman and lies help lead Julia to a place where death awaits.
In the battle of wits with a killer on a cliff, Julia is very nearly the loser. Even after she thinks she might reach safety, she realizes it is an illusion. Death continues to stalk her.
Complicated characters with strong motives and stronger emotions clash as the law versus the unlawful prepare to battle for control of the islands. Julia is caught in the middle and doesn't know who to trust. She must keep focused on self control if she is to survive, something that doesn't seem likely.
The whole house that Julia is staying in is tense and alot of fighting is going on. Seems that Julia's mother married a man who had a child from another marriage and she had two also from a previous marriage. Then they had a daughter together who tragically killed herself over love for a man she loved but did not love her back. That tragic death all those years ago is what sets the stage for everything going on now. She is warned by the captain of the ferry boat who takes her to the island to turn around and go home. She won't listen and now she may find herself in the position of no longer being able to leave the island of her own free will.
Julia had been warned to leave and not get involved with the island, but she declines and from that point on things keep getting worse. She is wary of her friend's brother who has really fast mood swings where he can be hateful and mean and then all of a sudden they are gone. And he turns into his old charming self. I thought to myself that it sounded like he had issues with just about everyone on the island. He only comes back every so often and mainly lives in San Fransisco. He is so jealous over everything and keeps being very pushy with Julia, which turns her off completely. That I think is where she made her first mistake. I would have never had anything to do with him after he embarrassed her on several occasions out in public. But who could she trust? Had to find somebody quick before her body lands in the water dead!
The author has been kind enough to offer one reader their own copy of the same book that I just read. Open to the U.S. only. Good Luck!