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Tim Harding, the hero of this smoothly plotted novel of suspense from British author Goddard (Play to the End), makes an unlikely sleuth. The owner of a "middling garden maintenance and landscaping business" in Monaco, Harding agrees to travel to Penzance in west Cornwall to help Barney Tozer, his wealthy friend and client. Tozer wants Harding to purchase on his behalf an antique ring that will be in the estate sale of Tozer's late eccentric uncle. In Cornwall, Harding becomes involved with Hayley Winter, an enigmatic young housekeeper who resembles a reporter who drowned 10 years earlier while scuba diving with Tozer. After the ring is stolen and Hayley disappears, Harding's search-into Tozer's odd past, a family superstition and English history-is hampered because everyone lies or hides his or her past. Goddard's gentle pacing and even prose build to an absorbing finale. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.