Castle Barebane Author:Joan Aiden Near the top of the three-hundred foot crag perched a roofless ruin with crumbling battlements and shattered buttresses...apart from the ruined castle there seemed to be no other sign of human life, unless you counted a couple of fishing boats well out to sea... — Van Montgomery, young, warm-hearted, and confident-but no lady, according to the gr... more »andes dames of New York in the 1880's-has abandoned a promising job on a newspaper and a claustrophobic engagement to a society lawyer and sailed to England to help her spendthrift half-brother, Nils, whose Scottish heiress wife, Kirstie, had fallen ill.
Arrived in a London terrozied by a series of lurid murders, Val can find no trace of Nils or Kirstie. Horrified, she discovers that her small nephew and niece seem to have been callously abandoned in a London slum. Seeking a safe domicile for the children, Val travels to Edinburgh, intending to leave them with their mother's old nurse at Ardnacarri, the family home on the Scottish coast-but she begins to doubt that old Elspie is the loving guardian she had hoped for.
In the quest for her brother, Val encounters four men destined to change her life forever: Lord Clanreydon, slated as England's next prime minister-a man of mysterious origins and enigmatic habits; Sir Marcus Cusack, an editor who befriends her; Davie, a brilliant young Scottish doctor; and Mungo, an old sailor. Soon the apparent peace of Ardnacarrig (known as Castle Barebane by the locals) is threatened by dark emanations from London's underworld, and Val begins to apprehend that it might be better for all if Nils were never seen again. But her realization comes too late. Guilty and innocent alike are whirled in a wild eruption of violence as events move quickly to a terrifying climax in a savage confrontation between the forces of good and evil on the cliffs of Ardnacarrig.« less