Lauren St John is the master of thrilling adventure mysteries and this one is no exception.
Twins Jude and Jess are travelling round the world with their sailing-obsessed Guardian Gabriel but when he disappears from their yacht and then the boat is wrecked in a storm, the twins realise that their lives will never be the same again and they fear they might even be taken into care. Their parents are dead and they have no financial means and no known relatives. So, they feel extremely lucky to be taken under the wing of a wealthy newspaper magnate, Clifford Blakeney and his wife Marina who appear out of nowhere to offer them a home in their mansion, Blakeney Park. It turns out their parents were the head groom and personal carer to the present owner’s father. It doesn’t take long for the children to smell a rat and realise that there are many secrets to uncover, not least why did their mother leave the house in such a hurry, knowing she was expecting twins.
Alongside uncovering the real reason the twins have been brought to Blakeney Park runs a strong ecological theme with the twins becoming involved with hunt saboteur Sirius and saving the estate ancient woodland from developers. And it would not be a Lauren St John novel without animals; a delightful dog named Sam and a horse, Autumn.
This is quite a chunky read but the pace never flags and there are plenty of twists and turns and just the right amount of danger. The twins are brave and resourceful and face adversity with determination, even stubbornness at times. Along the way they learn valuable survival skills and how to work as a team. Central to the story is their strong and loving relationship and their drive to find the truth.