It is 1940. The world is at war and the lives of two English boys are about to be changed forever. Jonathan Hicks, heir to the Cornish estate of Goonzoyle, and Ted Johns, son of the estate's groundskeeper, find themselves floating in an icy Atlantic Ocean, clinging to the wreckage of the doomed SS City of Benares. The ship was carrying British evacuee children to a new home, but as it made its perilous way to the USA it was torpedoed by a German U-boat. Jonathan and Ted have been thrown together in spite of their different backgrounds, but as the chance of rescue ebbs further away, it becomes clear only one can survive. It is 2001. At her home in Cornwall, bestselling writer Jessica Mann is busy researching her book about the wartime evacuation of children, Out of Harm's Way, when she is contacted by Connie, Ted Johns' sister, who has recently bought the derelict manor house at Goonzoyle. Jessica is drawn into playing detective to discover what really happened aboard the SS City of Benares, and why that brief moment in history is the key to present events.
Matters take a decidedly sinister turn when human bones are discovered at Goonzoyle, and Jessica is hurled into a race to uncover the secrets that bind the Hicks and Johns families together.
JESSICA MANN was an acclaimed author, journalist and broadcaster who appeared on various radio and television programmes including Question Time. She was on the board of South West Arts, a committee member of the English centre of PEN and the Honorary Secretary of The Detection Club. Jessica sadly passed away in July 2018.