Whatever it was that kept the Duke closeted in his secret rooms in the last hours of his life haunted his family too. Shortly after he died, his son, Charles, the 10th Duke of Rutland, closed them. In 1999, almost sixty years later, they were finally opened to outsiders. Today, only a handful of people have been inside them.
Had I stumbled across something? Was there a link between the missing war letters and whatever it was the family had wanted to hide?
Briefly, I explained what I had discovered: how, after 6 July 1915, until December of that year, there was a large gap in the family’s correspondence, and that the start of this void coincided with the date John’s war diary had stopped.
I focused on the three missing periods. There was the gap in the summer of 1915 when John had been on the Western front, and which had begun with the blank pages in his war diary. Then there was the one in the summer of 1909 – the year he was at the embassy in Rome. The third gap – in 1894 – was the most mysterious of all. The bought that John had felt compelled to cover up an event in his childhood was disquieting.
In order to avoid spoilers, I won’t add anything else concerning the Rutland’s family secrets.
The author made a meticulous research work involving the reader in this suspenseful book.
I am looking forward for her first book written, The Black Diamonds.