Nicola Marter was born with a gift. When she touches an object, she sometimes sees images; glimpses into its past, and of those who have owned it before. Born with this rare ability, Nicola sees it as something to keep hidden. But when a young woman arrives at the London gallery Nicola works at, offering a wooden carving for sale and claiming it belonged to Russia's Empress Catherine, Nicola faces a dilemma. With no proof of its past, Nicola's boss believes the carving - known as 'the Firebird' - is worthless. But Nicola has held it, and she knows that the woman, who is in desperate need of money, is telling the truth. Compelled to help, Nicola turns to a man she once left, and still loves: Rob McMorran, whose own psychic gifts are far greater than her own. With Rob to help delve into the past, Nicola travels from Scotland to Belgium, and on into Russia. There, in St Petersburg, the once-glittering capital, Nicola and Rob unearth a tale of love and sacrifice, of courage and redemption - a story which will change their lives for ever.
As a former museum curator, Susanna Kearsley brings her own passion for research and travel to bear in her books, weaving history with modern-day intrigue in a way that, in the words of one reviewer, 'tells the story of the past and illuminates the present'. She won the prestigious Catherine Cookson Fiction Award for her novel Mariana, and was shortlisted for the UK's Romantic Novel of the Year Award for Sophia's Secret. www.susannakearsley.com