Nicky Wells has two passions—her career as a hard-hitting TV news correspondent, and her fiancé, British aristocrat Charles Devereaux. Though Nicky has faced war zones, she is unable to face Charles’s tragic death. Then, three years later—while covering the protests in Tiananmen Square—she lets herself be seduced into a romantic interlude with a longtime friend, photographic journalist Cleeland Donovan. Now Nicky wonders if she’s ready to face a new future . . . until she spots a man who looks eerily like Charles.
Rushing headlong into a mystery that will take her from New York to London, Rome, and Madrid, Nicky finds herself unraveling evidence of Charles’s disturbing double life—and questioning everything she thought she knew about him, and herself.
“Bradford brings the characters . . . to life with knowledge, insight, caring and a subliminal POW!” —Detroit Free Press
“[Bradford] is one of the world’s best at spinning yarns.” —The Guardian
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About the Author
Hometown:New York, New York
Place of Birth:Yorkshire, England
Education:Christ Church Elementary School and Northcote Private School for Girls in Yorkshire, England
Read an Excerpt
Sleep eluded her.
She lay in the darkness, trying to empty her head of every thought, troubling or otherwise, but this seemed to be an impossibility. Bone-tired though she had been earlier, when she had stripped off her clothes and fallen into bed, she was now wide-awake. All of her senses were alerted; she strained to catch any untoward sounds from outside. At this moment, though, very little noise penetrated the walls of the plush hotel suite. It was curious, ominous, the silence outside.
That's where I should be, she thought. Outside.
Certainly that was where she belonged, where her heart and mind were. Outside ... with her crew: Jimmy Trainer, her cameraman, Luke Michaels, her sound engineer, and Arch Leverson, her producer. They usually hung together most of the time, like any good news team on foreign assignment.
It was rare for her not to be with them, but tonight, over an early dinner, she had been so weary, her eyelids dropping after several nights with little or no sleep, that Arch had insisted she grab a few hours in bed. He had promised to wake her in plenty of time for her to prepare for her nightly broadcast to the States. Common sense plus fatigue had prevailed; she had agreed, only to find herself unable to relax and drop off the moment she was between the cool sheets.
She was tense, expectant, and she knew the reason why. Her intelligence, judgement and instinct, combined with her experience as a war correspondent, were all telling her the same thing. It was going to happen tonight. The crackdown that had been in the wind for days would be tonight.
Involuntarily, she shivered at this foreknowledge, turned cold. Blessed with a prescience that was unusual, she knew better than to doubt herself, and she shivered again at the thought of bloodshed. Blood would be spilled if the People's Army moved against the people.
Pushing herself up against the pillows, she switched on the bedside lamp, glanced at her watch. It was a few minutes before ten. Throwing back the covers decisively, she got out of bed and hurried across the floor to the window. Opening it wide, she stepped out onto the balcony, anxious to see what, if anything, was happening in the streets of Beijing.
Her suite was on the fourteenth floor of the Beijing Hotel, overlooking Changan Avenue, also known as the Avenue of Eternal Peace, which led into Tiananmen Square. Below her on this wide boulevard, illuminated by cluster lights shaded in green, people were moving along steadily in a continuous flow, like trout heading upstream. As they passed through the pools of light cast by the lamps, she saw that they were mostly wearing white shirts or tops; they moved so quietly, so silently, she found this to be quite amazing.
They were making for Tiananmen Square, that vast rectangle of stone dating back to 1651 in the early Qing Dynasty, built to hold a million people in its one-hundred-acre expanse. She had come to understand that it was the symbolic heart of political power in China, and over the centuries the square had been the site of some momentous events in the country's turbulent history.
She sniffed the air. It was clear, held no hint of tear gas, or the smell of the yellow dust that perpetually blew in from the Gobi Desert and was normally all-pervasive in the congested capital. Perhaps the light wind was carrying both smells away from the hotel, or perhaps tear gas had not been used tonight. Glancing up and down the long avenue quickly, her eyes shifted back to the crowded pavement below her balcony and the people walking towards the square in such an orderly fashion. Everything appeared to be peaceful, and certainly the military were nowhere to be seen. At the moment.
The calm before the storm, she thought dismally, turned, and went back into the suite.
After switching on the rest of the lights in the bedroom, she hurried into the adjoining bathroom, where she splashed cold water on her face, patted it dry with a towel, and began to brush her hair in swift, even strokes.
The face surrounded by the soft blonde hair was somewhat wide with a strong jawline, but its individual features were classical, clean cut, well defined — high cheekbones, straight nose, pretty mouth, chin that was firm and resolute without being pugnacious. The eyes, set wide apart under arched blonde brows, were large and clear, their colour a light sea-blue that was almost but not quite turquoise. The features came together to create a face that was unusually attractive, lively with vivid intelligence and humour, highly photogenic. In her bare feet, as she was now, she stood five feet six inches tall; slender of frame yet surprisingly strong, she had long legs and possessed a willowy grace.
The young woman's name was Nicole Wells, known as Nicky to the world at large. But her family, crew and closest friends affectionately called her Nick most of the time.
At thirty-six she was at the height of her profession, war correspondent for the American Television Network, headquartered in New York. Renowned as a brilliant investigative reporter as well as a chronicler of war, and respected for her spectacular coverage of world events, she had a reputation for being courageous and intrepid. On camera she was charismatic: she had become a genuine superstar in the media.
Nicky put down the brush, pulled her hair straight back into a pony tail and anchored it firmly, before reaching into her makeup kit for a lipstick. Once she had outlined her mouth in pink, she leaned closer, grimacing at herself. She looked washed out, pallid, without makeup, but she was in too much of a hurry to start applying it. Besides, she was certain she would not be on camera tonight. When martial law had been declared on 20 May, almost two weeks ago now, the Chinese government had turned off the satellite; furthermore, television cameras had been banned in the square. No more live-spot location shots without that satellite feed or Jimmy behind his camera. At least not in Tiananmen Square, and that's where the story was — at the centre of the action. Once again, she would have to make do with a phoned-in report.
Swinging away from the mirror, Nicky returned to the bedroom, where she dressed rapidly in the clothes she had shed only a brief while ago: loose, beige cotton trousers, a blue cotton T-shirt, and a short-sleeved safari-style jacket which matched the pants. This was her standard uniform when she was abroad on assignment in the summer; she always packed three identical safari suits, plus a selection of T-shirts and man-tailored cotton shirts to add contrast colour to the suits, and for the benefit of the camera.
After she had slipped her feet into soft brown leather loafers, she went to the closet and took out her big shoulder bag, brought it back to the table. This was a commodious carryall made of some sort of sage-green waterproofed fabric; it contained what she laughingly referred to as 'my entire life,' and she rarely went anywhere without it when she was on foreign assignment. Now, as she always did before going out, she unlocked it, double-checked that her 'life' was indeed safely inside the bag. Passport, press credentials, plastic money, real money including US dollars, Hong Kong dollars, English pounds and the local yuan, door keys for her Manhattan apartment, world address book, a small cosmetic bag containing toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, makeup, eye drops, makeup mirror, hairspray, hair brush and a packet of tissues. All were neatly stashed in several separate compartments within the interior section of the bag; in the two large outside pockets were her cellular phone, tape recorder, notebook, pens, reading glasses, sun glasses and a packet of gauze surgical masks to protect against tear gas.
As long as she had the bag with her Nicky knew she could survive anywhere in the world without any other luggage and, just as importantly, do her job efficiently and effectively. But she did not need the bag with her tonight, only a few of its contents. These she now took out and locked the carryall. Her passport and press credentials, the cellular phone, reading glasses, notebook and pens, gauze masks, some of the US dollars and local yuan were the essential items, and she popped them into a much smaller shoulder bag made of brown leather.
Slinging the small bag over her shoulder, she pocketed the door key, picked up the carryall and returned it to the closet. She then left the suite, glancing at her watch as she did. It was just ten twenty.
Despite her sense of urgency, and her need to be outside in the square, Nicky nevertheless headed for the ATN suite a few doors away from her own, just in case Arch Leverson had returned to call New York. The time difference between China and the United States was exactly thirteen hours: it was nine twenty on Friday morning back home. This was about the time Arch generally checked in with Larry Anderson, the President of News at the ATN network.
The suite served as a makeshift newsroom-office for them, and when she got there it was her cameraman's voice she heard faintly echoing at the other side of the door. She knocked lightly.
A second later the door was wrenched open and Jimmy flashed her a huge grin when he saw it was she. 'Hi, honey,' he exclaimed, then walked back towards the desk, adding over his shoulder, 'I won't be a minute ... just finishing a call to the States.'
Closing the door behind her, Nicky followed him into the room, placed her bag on a chair, and stood with her hand on the chair back, waiting.
At fifty-two Jimmy Trainer was in his prime. He was of medium height, slim and spry, with greying dark hair, rosy cheeks in a merry face, and a twinkle in his pale-blue eyes. An ace cameraman who had won an endless number of awards, he loved his work and being part of Nick's team; his job was his life, even though he had a wonderful wife, a happy marriage and two children. And, like Luke and Arch, he was totally devoted to Nicky Wells. To Jimmy she was a dream to work with, and he would have put his life on the line for her.
Jimmy picked up the phone, resumed his conversation, talking in a low, fast tone, bringing the call to his wife to an end. 'Nicky just came in, Jo honey. I gotta go. Duty calls.' After listening a moment or two longer, he finally said an affectionate goodbye to her and broke the connection. Turning to Nicky, he remarked, 'This is the best damned phone system. Got to hand it to the Chinese, they certainly installed the most up-to-date equipment. Joanna sounded as if she was in the next room, instead of on Eighty-Third and Park, and she —'
'It's French,' Nicky interrupted. 'The phone system, I mean.'
'Yep, I guess I knew that. Jo sends her love.'
Nicky smiled at him. 'How is she?'
'Sounds fine. But she's watching the news on television, listening to the same news on the radio and worrying about the four of us. She seems to be handling it well, though, as she usually does.' His brow furrowed. 'But hey, kiddo, you're supposed to be grabbing a few hours' shut-eye, not hovering around here obviously anxious to start planning tonight's newscast.'
'I know, I know, but I couldn't sleep. I have a premonition something ... no, everything, is going to blow tonight. My gut instinct tells me there's going to be a crackdown. Probably around midnight, or thereabouts.'
Catching the tension in her voice, noting her worried expression and the seriousness of her words, Jimmy looked at her alertly. After five and a half years of working with her in the trouble spots of the world, he trusted her intuition implicitly. Her judgement had rarely been flawed.
'If you say so, Nick, and you know I'm with you all the way. But look, I gotta tell you this, it is pretty quiet out there. At least it was twenty minutes ago.'
Nicky focused her eyes on him, the look in them quizzical. 'Nothing's happening in the square?' 'Not really. The kids in the tent encampment were starting to come out of their tents, mingling with each other and chatting, sort of sharing experiences, I suppose, as they appear to do every night.' For a moment he was thoughtful, before he went on, 'To tell you the truth, I was reminded of Woodstock tonight, without the drugs, of course. Or, if you prefer, one of those summer street festivals we have in New York. Everything was very relaxed, friendly, easygoing I'd say.'
'It won't be for much longer,' Nicky announced with quiet vehemence, and sat down heavily in a chair. 'I've been doing a lot of thinking, analysing, and I believe that Deng Xiaoping is at the end of his tether. He's been provoked and frustrated by the students for some time, and I'm sure he's about to make his move. It'll be a bungled move, just as he and the government have bungled the whole Tiananmen Square affair ever since it began. He'll have no compunction, you know. He'll order the troops to move on the students.' She sighed, finishing in a low, saddened voice, 'There's going to be a bloodbath, Jimmy.'
He stared at her. 'Not that, Nick, surely not! Deng wouldn't go so far. He wouldn't dare. He'd hardly risk condemnation from the world and its leaders.'
She shook her head. 'You're wrong, James. He'll do it all right. And I'll tell you something else, I don't think Deng gives a damn about the rest of the world, its leaders, or what they think of him.'
The magnitude of her words struck him forcibly, and Jimmy exclaimed, 'Oh God! Those kids are so young, so idealistic!' His voice rose as he rushed on, 'And they're so peaceful. All they want is to be listened to ... they just want to be heard.'
'That's never going to happen,' Nicky replied. 'You know as well as I do what the students call Deng and his cohorts ... the Gang of the Old, and they're absolutely right. Deng is eighty-five and far, far too old to understand the way it is today. He's completely out of touch with this generation, all he's interested in is clinging to power. We know the students are not making unreasonable demands, and anyway, wanting freedom and democracy is a pretty normal thing, wouldn't you say?'
Jimmy nodded. He took a deep breath. 'Okay, so what do you want to do, Nick?'
'I want to be out there, right in the middle of it when it happens. That's why we're here, isn't it? To report the news, to bring the news to the people, to tell the outside world the way it is in China on this Friday night, the second day of June, in the year 1989.'
'We've still got one big problem, honey, we can't film out there,' Jimmy reminded her. 'The minute we appear, the police will smash the cameras and the sound equipment. What's more, we could get hauled in for questioning, like some of the other foreign correspondents have been. We could be detained, flung into jail —'
Jimmy broke off, glancing at the door as it opened to admit Arch.
Nicky's producer did not seem surprised to see her as he entered the room. 'And why might we be flung into jail?' he asked, focusing his attention on the cameraman.
'If we try to film in the square,' Jimmy answered.
'Only too true. Nothing's changed since yesterday,' Arch Leverson declared, and came to a standstill next to Nicky. He put a hand on her shoulder, squeezed it, gave her a warm smile, which she returned.
Always elegantly attired wherever he was, Arch was tall and thin, had a saturnine face, prematurely silver hair, and light-grey eyes behind steel-rimmed glasses. Forty-one years old and a veteran of the television news business, he had been lured away from another network by ATN three years ago. Quite aside from the hike in salary they offered, the most exciting inducement they dangled in front of him was Nicky Wells. The man who had produced her shows for several years had retired, and the job was open. There wasn't a producer in the television news business who didn't want to take over her newscasts, not to mention the documentaries she was famous for, and for which she had won several Emmys. His agent had negotiated a good contract for him and he had changed networks, had never once regretted doing so. He and Nicky had hit it off immediately; she was a real professional who had his utmost respect, not to mention his affection.
Nicky looked up at Arch, and said, 'There's going to be a crackdown ... most probably tonight.'
Arch returned her quiet gaze with one equally steady, but he did not immediately respond. After a moment, he said slowly, 'You're not often wrong, Nicky, and I'm inclined to agree with you, military intervention is inevitable.'
'According to Jimmy, it was peaceful in the square earlier this evening. Has the atmosphere changed?' she asked Arch.
'Not really. In fact, I'd go as far as to say it's positively festive out there. Nevertheless, rumours are rife, mostly about troop movements seen in different parts of Beijing again. I just ran into one of the guys from CNN in the hotel lobby, and he told me he'd heard the same rumours.'
Arch moved across the room and sat down behind the desk, glanced from Nicky to Jimmy, looking considerably worried. 'We'd better prepare ourselves. I think it's going to be a rough weekend. Tough in every possible way.'
'I'm sure of it,' Nicky muttered.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Remember"
Copyright © 2014 Barbara Taylor Bradford.
Excerpted by permission of RosettaBooks.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Part One: Comrades-in-Arms,
Part Two: Lovers,
Part Three: Conspirators,
Part Four: Enemies and Friends,
An Excerpt from A Woman of Substance,
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