The Romeo Flag
The utterly ordinary Nicola Ward is a divorced schoolteacher living in Maine when one day a mysterious (and long-delayed) trunk arrives in the mail, sent to her from Shanghai when she was a baby. Inside the trunk are family papers, photographs, and several pieces of apparently priceless Russian art. To authenticate the art (and translate the diary bundled with it), Nicola hires Neil Walker, a burnt-out CIA operative who turned to scholarly research after one too many missions went sour. Neil’s spy-world training comes in handy, though, when Nicola starts receiving death threats, clearly connected with the contents of the trunk. But what stirred up the hornets’ nest? The Russian collection, which appears to identify Nicola as the heir to the Romanov throne? Or could something in her family papers point the way to a Soviet mole in the U.S. government?
Carolyn Hougan has a way with both engaging plots and telling details: in a complex story that crosses time periods, even minor characters come alive on the page in the few paragraphs in which we get to know them.
"Hougan's shamefully neglected thriller is a veritable Faberge egg (there's a real one in the plot) full of treasures and delights"—Chicago Tribune
Who's likely to like this: Fans of Joseph Kanon and Helen MacInnes
2005 • Fiction/Mystery • 532 pages • ISBN: 978-1-933397-13-9