When a cavalry officer from is captured by the Russians during the Crimean War no-one could possibly have imagined that it would lead to an unwanted infant being smuggled out of Russia to a remote corner of Ireland in 1898. The same child was then murdered at Ypres as an Irish soldier called Willie McBride in the Great War in 1917.
His grandson Alex McBride has totally unexpectedly inherited a lot of money on the death of his mother. When he attempts to find out the source of the wealth, his research uncovers the fact that his grandfather and the seventeen men who enlisted in the British Army on the same day in 1916 all have taken their names from child’s graves in Southern Ireland. The bereaved parents of the dead children had all been heavily bribed to emigrate.
Alex discovers the eighteen children were brought up in an orphanage together, and all died in the Great War. He also realises that everyone who has ever had any knowledge of where these young men came from have died suddenly. The midwife and doctor who attended the birth of the child in 1898, as well as the father were murdered. Over 100 people were deliberately drowned, and the two couples who ran the orphanage also perished in mysterious circumstances. Alex also discovers his father suffered a fatal accident made to look like suicide, and not one of the 18 boys who enlisted together survived the War, the majority losing their lives after Willie McBride’s death .
Gradually it dawns on Alex that he has stumbled upon a terrible secret that generations of the same family had been prepared to murder to protect. It all comes to a head when the sickle that murdered his grandfather Willie McBride is found. It still has traceable DNA, and from this evidence Alex discovers he is the only survivor of the Romanov dynasty which ended in the assassination of the last Tsar of Russia and apparently all his family.
Alex’s life is now in great danger and the family who swore to protect his grandfather and his heirs with their lives over 120 years ago have unknown to him changed their allegiance.
About Ian SG Smith
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Published September 23, 2011
History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction.