An emotional and dangerous journey across Europe as the characters reach to discover their destinies. Colby Linden, burdened with a troubled past, is in search of atonement. Beautiful, seductive Valentina Gussev a woman he knew well, offers him an opportunity. But there is much he does not know about his mission to return a Queen to Sachovia. More
Sachovia is an Eastern European state newly emerging from its communist past and a recent destructive civil war. A populist call goes up to re-instate the old Monarchy. This does not please the parliamentary opposition and plots are put in place to ensure that a monarchy will never emerge again. Since the assassination of her elder brother, there is only one remaining link to the old monarchy – Natasha Kashinka. She is a child, an orphan and has no desire to leave France, the land of her birth to be taken to a war ravaged country she does not know. But forces greater than she can resist have taken hold of her future. In London, Colby Linden once a high flying close protection officer for Equis Security, has been sidelined after a botched rescue attempt involving the tragic death of a young boy. The boy's death still weighs heavily on Colby's shoulders and he has sunk to a position of obscurity in the depths of Equis security. When an opportunity to redeem himself by covertly escorting young Natasha to Sachovia, he finds himself uncertain that he still has what it takes. Valentina Gussev, an agent of the Sachovian Security Bureau, uses the past she shared with Colby to convince him to accept the commission. They set out together aboard her ketch – The Midnight Falcon to the tiny Greek island of Ikinos where Natasha has been kept secure in the care of young Katrina and Captain Kowalski. The old feelings between Valentina and Colby emerge again but something in Valentina's behaviour suggests that all is not well. The three of them sail to the Croatian city of Dubrovnik and from there, keeping a low profile Colby and Natasha travel north by motorcycle to Trieste where further instructions await them. Valentina returns to Ikinos to tidy up lose ends and finds that Katrina has been abandoned by Kowalski. They leave Ikinos together and it is revealed that Valentina is a double agent working towards the demise of Natasha. Her motivation which has come close to destroying her is blackmail. She believes that her brother Sascha is being held captive on pain of death unless she abandons her conscience and cooperates with the anti-monarchists. The unimaginable happens when Natasha is kidnapped from under Colby's nose in Italy. A ransom is demanded of Boris Koch the Prime Minister of Sachovia for her return. He believes that Valentina is still loyal to his cause and instructs her to sail her ketch to a rendezvous where Natasha will be recovered in exchange for the ransom. It is revealed that Captain Kowalski is one of the kidnappers. Valentina confesses to Colby what she has done, the ultimate betrayal of the ones she loves. Colby is left bewildered and outraged. Before Natasha is safely recovered it seems that she and Kowalski are shot dead. Valentina calls Boris Koch and tells him that Natasha is dead. She admits her guilt to him. Boris, driven by vengeance, sends an Assassin after Valentina. Unrest is fermenting again in Sachovia and it looks as if another civil war is about to break out. Valentina convinces Colby to meet Natasha and take her to London until she can make permanent arrangements for the child's welfare. Katrina finds refuge on the Channel Island of Guernsey in a cottage owned by Valentina. She meets a boy and a romance develops. Valentina sails her boat to Guernsey but the assassin is on her tail. After an encounter the assassin is left dead and the Midnight Falcon sunk. Sachovia finally collapses into war again and Boris Koch faces his end with dignity, his hopes dashed. Valentina sinks into a depression which is lifted when she is finally reunited with Natasha and Colby. There is forgiveness and the hope of a happy future for the three of them on Guernsey.
Graham was born in England but has lived most of his adult life in New Zealand. When not writing he may be found pottering in his cottage or jogging along the beach or the coastal walkways of the quiet sea-side settlement of Maraetai.