Hester Rowan

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12 July 2012
186 pages

The Alpine village of Kirchwald, with its onion-spired church and brightly frescoed buildings, was an ideal setting for a winter sports holiday. But Kate Paterson hadn’t come to the Austrian Tyrol to ski. It was here that the man she loved had been killed in a climbing accident and Kate, in her grief, simply wanted to see his burial place.

On her first visit to the mountain slopes, she was surprised and mildly flattered to find herself in the company of four attentive men. They had heard about the climbing accident. Stephen Marsh, who had known Matt Danby, thought that there was some mystery about his death; Phil Sloan, a helpful holidaymaker, agreed that Kate had a right to discover more. But Toni Hammerl, the ski instructor, disagreed. And Jon Becker, who lived in Innsbruck and obviously knew more than he was prepared to say, gave her a terse warning: ‘Don’t probe, it will do you no good.’

It soon became clear that the circumstances surrounding Matt’s death were sinister but for Kate, Becker’s warning came too late. Embroiled in a political situation she didn’t understand, she slowly became aware that she had loved a man she scarcely knew . . .