Roger notices Miles's newfound bravery during his waking hours and is concerned that his lover is changing into someone he doesn't recognize.
When they discover a gay-friendly café is being plagued by violent thugs, Miles is uncharacteristically determined to take action, no matter the cost. Roger argues it would be both dangerous and pointless to intervene, but Miles insists he's been called to fight an army, and now he's found one.
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About the Author
She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.
You can catch Charlie at her blog.
Read an Excerpt
"It's beautiful." Roger Searle peered into the display case, his long, expressive fingers dancing on the glass, obviously itching to break through the protective barrier and touch the golden mask. This would be the high spot of their visit so far. Three hours on a plane, airport transfers, a coach trip and a lot of Shank's pony had brought them from a cold and wet English spring to within inches of one of the greatest icons of the classical age.
"It's beautiful, but is it Agamemnon's?" Miles Storrie admired the stunning face, trying to penetrate the metal and the years, to work out whether this really was an image of the great king. Mycenae had kept her secrets to herself for a long time.
"I don't know." Roger peered closer. "I've read too many arguments on either side to be convinced one way or the other. I thought if I stood before it I'd be able to tell."
"And can you?"
"Not a cat in hell's chance. Not even sure that I care anymore." Roger stood upright again, nursing a back which had started to twinge on the plane. "Does it matter whether this particular mask has adorned that particular face? It's magnificent. The historical significance has transcended its particular provenance."
"That sounds far too clever for me." Miles fanned himself with his elegant straw hat. It might only be early May, but Greece was a damn sight warmer than Surrey, and a holiday which had started at Gatwick in sweaters and raincoats had ended in shorts and shirts, hastily put on at the hotel within minutes of arrival. Still, it was more pleasant here than it had been in the city, so the exhibit they sought being on temporary loan had worked to their advantage. Staying too long in Athens might just have been a trial too far.
"Heat getting to you?"
"As always. It's all right for some." Miles considered his partnerofficial civil partner as pronounced by the registrarin admiration of how cool he appeared even when the sun blazed down. Roger had slightly olive-toned skin, as if some Mediterranean blood had somehow inveigled itself among the strictly Norman Searle family stock, a line which alleged it had come over with the Conqueror.
"I think it's quite a pleasant change from the Arctic conditions of Epsom Downs." Roger grinned, dark eyes alive with delight. "Can yae Gallic blood nae stand it, hen?" Roger may have been some throwback to an Adriatic ancestor, but when Miles looked in the mirror he thought himself all Celtic edges.
"It's never this warm in Edinburgh. Except for the week before."
"When I used to go and visit my granny, it always rained, and she'd say I should have been there the week before because it had been lovely." Miles gave up fanning himself and tapped his partner's arm. "So why this outbreak of apathy towards the mask's provenance?"
"Not apathy, imagination. I don't care if it really was Agamemnon himself bearing this burial mask, or one of his generals. To me it's more than thatI feel I'm within a few feet of the Trojan War." Roger's fingers inched towards the glass again. "Degrees of separation. This is as close as I'll ever get."