At a lush villa on the sun-soaked island of Madeira, Martin Radford is given a second chance. His life ruined by scandal, Martin holds in his hands the leather-bound journal of another ruined man, former British cabinet minister Edwin Strafford. What’s more, Martin is being offered a job—to return to England and investigate the rise and fall of Strafford, an ambitious young politician whose downfall, in 1910, is as mysterious as the strange deaths that still haunt his family.
Martin is intrigued by Strafford’ s story, by the man’s overwhelming love for a beautiful suffragette, by her inexplicable rejection of him and their love affair’s political repercussions. But as he retraces Strafford’s ruination, Martin realizes that Strafford did not fall by chance; he was pushed. Suddenly Martin, who has not cared for many people in his life, cares desperately—about a man’s mysterious death and a family’s terrible secret, about a love beyond reckoning and betrayal beyond imagining. Most of all Martin cares because the story he is uncovering is not yet over—and among the men and women still caught in its web, Martin himself may be the most vulnerable of all….
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|Title of History eBook: Past Caring|
|Release Date: 05-20-2008|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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The spring of 1977 found me, newly past thirty, a bad case of wasted talent in a largely waste city—an unemployed, divorced ex-schoolteacher of foundered promise and dismal prospect. London, that grey month of March, seemed to echo my self-pity.
That morning, the echo was a painful one in my head, fused with the dull ache of last night's beer and a well-worn theme being pursued by my increasingly reluctant host in the kitchen of his Greenwich house. It was Saturday, so the throb of traffic from Maze Hill was muted, the light, too, decently suffused as it struck the table where I sat, sipping strong black coffee. Jerry sat opposite me, washed and shaved, dressed and clear-headed just four things he was and I wasn't—scanning the shares pages of The Financial Times.
"Millennium up again," he said.
"They would be," I replied. The last thing I needed to know was that my former employer was continuing to prosper, but it didn't surprise me. Millennium Properties had always been astute in their purchase and promotion of historic buildings, but their only concession to scholarship was to hire over-qualified menials like me to fudge together their tour booklets.
Millennium had given me the first half-decent job I'd had since leaving teaching. But, in an unguarded moment at a Christmas party, I'd confided my contempt for their historical standards—which were as transatlantic as their parent company—to completely the wrong person. After that, it had just been a question of resigning before they could sack me.
I'd been in debt even before that and the loss of a salary soon meant the flat in Richmon