The Linden Tree

Hester Rowan

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12 July 2012
178 pages

There was something extraordinarily familiar about the girl in the photograph, Alison Maxwell thought, though she couldn’t for a moment give her a name. And then she realized that the features were almost the same as her own . . .

‘You’re not by any means identical,’ Nicolas said, ‘but superficially there’s a strong resemblance. If you wore her clothes, you could easily pass for her.’

Alison knew, with a sudden sick certainty, what he was asking her to do.

He watched her steadily, unsmiling. ‘For a short period – say twenty-four hours – I want you to change places with Elizabeth.’

It was a preposterous suggestion. But Alison, an out-of-work actress and deeply in debt, knew that she couldn’t refuse. And Nicolas made it sounds so easy . . .

But then, as Alison was soon to discover, he had told her only part of the truth. When she assumed the role of Elizabeth, she knew loneliness and fear – her life was in danger and Nicolas was responsible. Too late, she asked herself a number of questions: just how well did she know Nicolas Allen? Could she trust him to rescue her? Could she trust him at all?