Charity Selborne, a lovely war widow, and her irreverent artist friend, Louise Cray, arrive in the South of France expecting a conventional holiday. The vistas of Provence delight them, and Charity soon meets David, a young man of 13 who is having trouble with his dog. He introduces himself and Charity is charmed—until she senses a terrible maturity behind his grave eyes and shortly hears the rumors about his father. From this point on, the tension mounts steadily until it reaches the breaking point, while the thirsty summer heat, the noise of cicadas, and the dust of country roads all contribute to the superb realism of Mary Stewart’s very first novel. Combining her keen wit, zest for adventure, and eye for the details that make her characters interesting and memorable, Mary Stewart leads the reader on a swift, breathless chase that turns this quiet story into a masterpiece of romantic suspense.