Dangerous to Know

( 5 )

Overview

That is why the police are profoundly baffled when Sebastian Locke is found dead at his country estate under mysterious circumstances. Has he been murdered? And if so, who would have wanted to kill the world's greatest philanthropist? Could such an upstanding man have had enemies?

As in all of her previous bestsellers, Barbara Taylor Bradford engages you from the very first page in this startling new novel. From Connecticut to Provence, Paris, London, and Africa, Bradford ...

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Overview

That is why the police are profoundly baffled when Sebastian Locke is found dead at his country estate under mysterious circumstances. Has he been murdered? And if so, who would have wanted to kill the world's greatest philanthropist? Could such an upstanding man have had enemies?

As in all of her previous bestsellers, Barbara Taylor Bradford engages you from the very first page in this startling new novel. From Connecticut to Provence, Paris, London, and Africa, Bradford masterfully steers you through the turbulent emotional gamut of Locke family life — the love, lust, and passion, the ambition, jealousy and pain.

The author of A Woman of Substance returns with her New York Times bestseller, Dangerous to Know. Charismatic millionaire Sebastian Locke is a man renowned for his charm and intelligence. When Locke is found dead at his country estate, Vivienne Trent, a journalist and Sebastian's ex-wife, sets out to find the truth about his death--and life--and uncovers startling revelations that will turn her life around.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061092084
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2007
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 539,577
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Taylor Bradford

Barbara Taylor Bradford was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, and was a reporter for the Yorkshire Evening Post at sixteen. By the age of twenty she had graduated to London's Fleet Street as both an editor and columnist.

In 1979, she wrote her first novel, A Woman of Substance, and that enduring bestseller was followed by 12 others: Voice of the Heart, Hold the Dream, Act of Will, To Be the Best, The Women in His Life, Remember, Angel, Everything to Gain, Dangerous to Know, Love in Another Town, Her Own Rules and A Secret Affair.

Of these titles, ten have been made into television miniseries or are currently in production. Her novels have sold more than 56 million copies worldwide in more than 88 countries and 38 languages. Barbara Taylor Bradford lives in New York City and Connecticut with her husband, film producer Robert Bradford.

Biography

Barbara Taylor Bradford was born and raised in Yorkshire, England. A voracious reader since childhood, she took her first job at the age of 15 with the Yorkshire Evening Post and by the age of 18 was the newspaper's women's page editor. Two years later, she headed for London and became a reporter for the London Evening News, Today Magazine, and other publications.

After meeting her husband-to-be, Robert Bradford, in 1961, she relocated to the United States. Continuing in journalism, Barbara created the syndicated column "Designing Woman," which ran nationwide for 12 years. Children's books and 8 works on decorating followed.

In 1979, Bradford published her first novel, A Woman of Substance, introducing the Emma Harte saga and beginning an almost uninterrupted string of bestsellers. Her work has been published in more than 90 countries in 40 languages, and total sales of her books now surpass 75 million.

Barbara now lives and writes in New York City with her husband, Robert. In addition to her work as a writer, she is active in a number of major charitable organizations, including the Police Athletic League, Girls Inc., City-Meals-on-Wheels, and the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation.

Good To Know

Queen Elizabeth bestowed the Order of the British Empire on Barbara in October, 2007. The news was announced on the author's website with the following headline: "BTB Gets Her OBE from QEII."

Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Bradford:

"All 20 of my original manuscripts are stored by the prestigious Brotherton Library at Leeds University in England, next to the works of the Brontë sisters."

"My first job was working as a typist for the Yorkshire Evening Post at the age of 15."

"When I'm not writing, (which isn't often) I love to read. Biographies are my favorite genre, though I do like to read fiction to see what others are putting out on the market. Authors whose books I always make time for are Patricia Cornwell, Mary Higgins Clark, and Bernard Cornwell."

"I love to travel whenever possible. Paris is my favorite city to visit, though some of my favorite holidays are spent back in England."

"My husband, Bob, has a vote for the Academy Awards, so I get to see a lot of movie screenings."

"I'm involved in a number of charity organizations on both sides of the Atlantic. From the Police Athletic League and the Literary Guild in America to PACT (Parents and Children Together Again) in the U.K., I devote a fair amount of time to these causes. And as an advocate for world literacy, I am a member of the Madison Council to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C."

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      Christ Church Elementary School and Northcote Private School for Girls in Yorkshire, England
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Dangerous to Know

Chapter One

Vivienne Loyalty

The first time I met Sebastian Locke I fell in love with him. He was thirty-two years old. I was twelve. I had no idea at the time that he was my mother's lover. Nor did I know then that ten years later I would marry him.

Now he was dead.

He had died in somewhat mysterious, even suspicious, circumstances. It was not yet known whether he had died of natural causes, committed suicide, or been murdered.

We were divorced. I had not seen him for almost a year, until last Monday, when we had lunched together at his request. Obviously the police hoped I might be able to throw some light on the matter of his death, but I could not. I was as perplexed as everyone else. However, they had just arrived to see me. I was appalled. That Sebastian was dead was only just registering with me. I glanced around my library. The familiar room looked exactly the same as it always had. The two walls of books were balanced by an eclectic mixture of antiques, my grandmother's horse paintings, and her Victorian lamps. But somehow it was out of kilter. So was I. Pulling myself together, I buzzed the intercom and told my secretary Belinda she could show them into the library.

A split second later I was shaking hands with Detectives Joe Kennelly and Aaron Miles from the Major Crime Division of the Connecticut State Police.

"We're baffled, Mrs. Trent," Detective Kennelly said as we all sat down. "Until we get the autopsy report we're working in the dark. As you already know, the circumstances are suspicious, so we can't rule out foul play. But who would want to kill Sebastian Locke? Surely such agood man didn't have enemies, did he?"

They both focused their eyes on me, and intently so.

Silently I stared back at them. I did not say a word. I could think of several enemies, and any one of them might easily have murdered him. However, I was not about to mention this to the police. That was a family matter, and, oddly enough, even though we had been divorced for eight years, I still thought of myself as being a member of the Locke clan, and was treated as such by the family—what was left of it.

Clearing my throat, I said finally, "Naturally, a man like Sebastian met a lot of people on his travels around the world, and from all walks of life. I suppose he might have made an enemy or two, unintentionally, of course. Powerful men often do inspire hatred in some, for no reason other than the power they possess."

Without shifting my steady gaze I pursed my lips, shrugged helplessly, and finished, "But I'm afraid I can't point a finger at anyone in particular, Detective Kennelly."

His partner said, "Was Mr. Locke in the habit of coming up to Connecticut alone?"

Genuinely puzzled, I frowned. "He was no longer married to Betsy Bethune, his last wife," I responded. "But I suppose he might have come to the farm alone. Unless he brought a friend or colleague along, or invited special guests to join him for the weekend."

"I meant was he in the habit of coming up to the farm when the servants were off?" Detective Miles clarified.

"No, he wouldn't do that . . . well, I shouldn't say that. Actually, I don't really know what he was in the habit of doing anymore. We had been divorced for a number of years, and I saw him infrequently of late."

"However, you did see him a week ago, Mrs. Trent, and only a few days before his death," Detective Miles reminded me.

"That's true. We had lunch together, as you most obviously know. From his appointment book, I've no doubt."

Detective Miles nodded. "Yes, we did see your name in his book, along with the other appointments he had that day."

"We spent a couple of hours lunching at Le Refuge on Eighty-Second Street on the East Side, just a few blocks away from my apartment," I volunteered. I had nothing to hide.

Detective Kennelly's tone was brisk when he asked, "How was Mr. Locke? What kind of mood was he in that day? Did he seem despondent? Troubled in any way? Worried perhaps?" The detective raised a brow quizzically.

I shook my head. "None of those things. In fact, just the opposite. He was very Sebastian Locke, very much himself. . . calm, cool, collected. That's the way I always think of him—" I broke off. I felt the tears filling my throat. Sebastian was dead. It didn't seem possible. I still hadn't taken it in; I found it hard to conceive that he was no longer alive.

Taking a deep breath to steady myself, I cleared my throat, and went on slowly, "That's the way he always was. Very much in control of himself and the situation. And his demeanor was perfectly normal at lunch."

As the words came tumbling out of my mouth, I realized this wasn't the truth. Not quite. Last Monday Sebastian had not been himself at all. He had been ebullient, excited, and certainly not as low key as he usually was. That somber streak of his had not been even remotely in evidence. In fact, he had actually seemed happy, a most unnatural state of affairs for him. But I did not confide this to the two detectives. What was the point? I was absolutely certain Sebastian had dropped dead of a sudden heart attack. He was no more the kind of person to commit suicide than I was. Nor was he a candidate for murder, for that matter. He did have a few enemies, such as political factions, at least so I believed, but looking at it rationally, I seriously doubted that anyone would go so far as to kill him.

"Yes, Sebastian was absolutely normal, Detective Kennelly," I reiterated, and with a degree of firmness. "There was nothing at all untoward in his behavior, and he spoke very positively about his plans for the rest of the year."

"And what were those plans?" Kennelly asked.

"He was going back to Africa again, to oversee a particular distribution of aid to the poor and the sick, and then he was going on to India. To Calcutta, to be exact. He said he wanted to pay a visit to Mother Teresa. He'd always been a big supporter of her clinic, had given her significant financial contributions in the past. He told me he would be coming back to the States in December, because he intended to spend Christmas here in Connecticut."

"And you didn't see him again that week?" Detective Miles leaned forward, zeroing in on me as he asked the question.

"No, I didn't, Detective Miles."

"What about up here in Connecticut this weekend?" he asked.

"I had a deadline to meet, and I was locked up finishing my story, first in the city and then here. In this very room, in fact, and I hardly left it for the entire weekend."

"I see." Detective Miles inclined his head in a small show of courtesy, and slowly stood up. His partner Kennelly also rose.

I said, "When actually did Sebastian die?"

"Time of death hasn't been determined yet, but probably some time on Saturday evening," Miles answered me.

It was Kennelly who said, "Thank you for your time, Mrs. Trent."

"I haven't been much help, I'm afraid," I answered.

"At least you've established Mr. Locke's mood for us, his frame of mind, and corroborated what everyone else has said so far, mainly that he was acting like himself right up to the time of his death," Kennelly said.

"I'm sure he died of natural causes. Jack and Luciana agree with me."

"We know that, Mrs. Trent. We've talked to them at length," Detective Miles volunteered.

I was fully aware of this, but I made no further comment as I walked the two policemen to the door of the library. "When will you have the results of the autopsy?" I inquired quietly.

"Not for a while," Detective Kennelly replied, pausing on the threshold, turning to look at me. "Mr. Locke's body hasn't been moved from the farm yet. But later, probably tomorrow, it will go to the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Farmington. The autopsy will be performed immediately, however, the final results are not necessarily quick to come in." He gave me a faint smile that seemed somehow apologetic.

"We'll be in touch, Mrs. Trent," Detective Miles added.

Sitting down at my antique French country desk, I picked up my fountain pen but merely stared blankly at the pages spread out in front of me. Earlier, I had attempted to edit the piece I had finished on Sunday night, but without much success. The news of Sebastian's death this morning and the arrival of the police ten minutes ago, had broken my concentration. I was finding it virtually impossible to get back to work. Not surprising, I suppose, under these terrible circumstances.

My thoughts were entirely focused on Sebastian; I had thought of little else but him since Jack phoned me with the shocking news of his death.

Gazing blindly into the empty room, a myriad of thoughts jostling for prominence in my mind, I put the pen down and leaned back in my chair.

Dangerous to Know. Copyright © by Barbara Taylor Bradford. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 7 of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    Enjoyed

    Could not put this book down. It definitely held my interest and was enjoyable.

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  • Posted March 6, 2012

    really enjoyed this book. never guessed the outcome until close to the end of the book.

    definetely recommend

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Mystery I did not quite Understand.

    I was looking forward to reading this book. It is one of the few I had not read by Barbara, but I can't say that it is my favorite. The characters are great but lack some development in relationship to one another. If you are looking for a book to read on a rainy day or at the beach, then I say go for it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted January 6, 2010

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    Posted September 9, 2010

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    Posted March 18, 2012

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