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The Manning Company is a big business, but although it was headed by Claire Manning, the founder’s widow, before her death, her son John had been running the firm for many years and was the undisputed successor. So why did Claire leave almost everything to her third cousin, whom no one associated with the firm has ever heard of?

Enter Jesse Falkenstein, who is launched into an investigation of Claire Manning’s past – and a litany of treachery, fraud, blackmail, abortion, impersonation and sudden death.

‘My favourite American crime-writer’ New York Herald Tribune