Minotaur Books, Hardcover, 9780312539078, 336pp.
Publication Date: April 13, 2010
A complex mystery of deception and betrayal that follows the court case of a young man set to hang for the murder of his father When a famed Oxford historian is found dead in his study one night, all evidence points to his son, Stephen. About to be disinherited from the family fortune, Stephen returns to home after a long estrangement—and it happens to be the night his father is shot to death. When his fingerprints are found on the murder weapon, Stephen’s guilt seems undeniable. But there were five other people in the manor house at the time, and as their stories slowly emerge—along with the revelation that the deceased man was involved in a deadly hunt for a priceless relic in Northern France at the end of World War II—the race is on to save Stephen from a death sentence.Everyone has a motive, and no one is telling the truth. Unwilling to sit by and watch the biased judge condemn Stephen to death, an ageing police inspector decides to travel from England to France to find out what really happened in that small French village in 1945—and what artifact could be so valuable it would be worth killing for. Author Simon Tolkien received rave reviews for his first legal thriller, The Final Witness. Now, in The Inheritance, Tolkien sharpens his craft even more, deftly weaving psychological suspense and family drama to create a mystery steeped in memories, betrayal, and the long shadow of the past. Part courtroom drama and part historical thriller, The Inheritance is a dark, dynamic thriller that tests the strength of blood ties, loyalty, and revenge.
Praise for The Inheritance
“A fine novel. A thinking person’s Da Vinci Code.” –Chicago Tribune
“Simon Tolkien’s grandfather is J. R. R., but his new novel owes more to Agatha Christie—and Dan Brown.” –New York Times
“Expertly paced—the suspense builds to nearly unbearable levels—and filled with fascinating characters, The Inheritance also showcases Tolkien's spare, graceful prose—and his moral fervor. He spins a gripping story, but there's more to The Inheritance than smarts and skill. It's also a meditation on the death penalty, and Tolkien leaves no doubt that he's an ardent opponent.
A deft combination of Agatha Christie manor-house whodunit, Erle Stanley Gardner courtroom drama and Dan Brown thriller, The Inheritance is nonetheless unique to its creator. And Tolkien, with this compelling read, proves himself worthy—and then some—of his literary pedigree. —Richmond Times Dispatch
“Simon Tolkien is the grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien and, while there are no elves or dwarves in these pages, there is on display a narrative skill that the author of The Lord of the Rings would surely have recognized and admired…. It works so well, not because of cheap tricks like cliff-hanger chapter endings, but because of Tolkien's deft handling of ensemble. It is the differences in character and motive, the continual changes in viewpoint, that drive one to find out what exactly is going on and what actually happened.” –The Philadelphia Inquirer