Curtis’s search takes him to an isolated, ultra-modern country house, where he meets and instantly clashes with fellow guest Daniel da Silva. Effete, decadent, foreign, and all-too-obviously queer, the sophisticated poet is everything the straightforward British officer fears and distrusts.
As events unfold, Curtis realizes that Daniel has his own secret intentions. And there’s something else they share—a mounting sexual tension that leaves Curtis reeling.
As the house party’s elegant facade cracks to reveal treachery, blackmail and murder, Curtis finds himself needing clever, dark-eyed Daniel as he has never needed a man before…
Comment: I got this book after seeing so many good opinions about it and considering it's a book with several elements I like to read about, I had no doubts about being interested in reading them.
This is the first book I've read by the author but I have the feeling it won't be the last.
This story features Archie Curtis, a former captain in the military who suffered an accident, along with some of his men. He lost his job and three fingers and is looking for the responsible for the defective weapons that caused so much misfortune. The chance to do so comes with the invitation to a country house where he hopes to confirm some facts..or prove them wrong.
In that country house Curtis meets Daniel Da Silva, someone very different from himself and a person he dislikes immediately. But Da Silva has secrets and a hidden side Curtis feels very interested in...
I think this book has several elements that work out really well. I liked how the plot and the characters were adjusted to all the little connecting details that make this a solid story line.
The story was well thought and planned. Curtis is suspicious of a man who might be the responsible for his accident and even deaths of British soldiers due to malfunctioning weaponry. He is going to investigate the subject at a country house where Sir Hubert welcomes him respectfully, even more so because of Curtis' family. There are many guest to the country house and the beginning seems innocent and almost nonsensical enough but after a while we get the idea something else is going on.
I think the plot side of this novel was really clever and with some ingenious ideas in there. I was really curious bout what would happen next.
Mixed witht he plot is Da Silva's character, someone portrayed a certain way, with a certain purpose but clearly hides something, I wasn't totally surprised to find out what Da Silva was doing at a party where the others didn't seem to care for him much, but it turned out his presence meant a lot more than we imagined. I was really interested in seeing how his interactions with Curtis would play out considering Curtis first impressions of Da Silva's behavior. I liked that this wasn't insta-love or basic lust right away.
The relationship was quite well balanced although I would have liked a little more assertiveness towards the end. Still, if one thinks about it, the clues are there, I just wish there could be more a couple more visual aids to prove the meaning of their feelings for each other.
This isn't a romance following the expected rules. They, Curtis in particular, think a lot about what is going, what is about to happen between them in the future. Curtis seemed to strict at first but he is a man who honors his own mind, his feelings and he cares about what Da Silva is going through as well. He respects him and plans to honor that. The final scene is really cute.
Da Silva is harder to read because the story's POV is on Curtis. But I get the feeling Da Silva is a man who expects derision from others even if he recognizes his own worth and rightness of duty. He's not afraid to show what he is feeling but like everyone he wants approval and when Curtis understands his actions and his thoughts through his poetry, I could see he was already close to be in love. I really liked the romance in the story.
The end of the story has many surprises, both about the guests' roles at the country house and what it means to the main plot. The secondary characters hide lots of secrets and the conclusion to what Curtis is looking for is predictable but not the way it happens. I was really surprised things went that path.
In the end, what a nice read by this author. The character development is engaging and I wanted to know more about them and their thoughts. It was fascinating to keep waiting for what would happen between them, considering their animosity in the first pages. I really love a well done opposites attract or enemies to lovers trope. This story won me and I will read more by the author in the future.