The Vanished Child
Someone killed Richard. Now Richard wants to know why.
New England, 1887. The millionaire William Knight is brutally murdered. The only witness, his young grandson, is shocked into silence, then disappears three days later without a trace--presumably kidnapped and killed.
Switzerland, eighteen years later. Baron Alexander von Reisden, intellectual, cynical, and suicidal after his wife's death, is "recognized" as the missing Richard Knight. Despite Reisden's insistence he is not Richard, he is drawn into the affairs of the Knight family--gaining the hatred of the family's adopted son, who stands to inherit the family fortune.
Yet as Reisden tries to find out why Richard died, he begins to have vague, unsettling feelings of familiarity. For he is a man without memory of his own childhood, and his obsession with finding Richard is leading him closer to a shattering truth.
And to a killer, still at large...
§ "Stunning…Tells a grim tale of murder and duplicity in stately prose that subtly enhances the psychological horrors…." The New York Times (Notable Book of the Year)
§ "A stunning tale of love, amnesia, child abuse, Victorian sexual repression and murder most foul….The satisfying denouement is a shocker." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
§ "Greed, suspicion, love, madness, and amnesia: Sarah Smith pulls it all together with a rare talent for telling a complex story in beautifully simple language." The San Francisco Chronicle
§ "Smith deftly explores both the actual and the psychological mysteries…. Highly recommended." Library Journal
§ "Deliciously intriguing…an artful literary puzzler featuring the kind of thick period detail and narrative intricacy mastered by Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, and by few writers since…. This one belongs on the permanent shelf." The Philadelphia Inquirer