During a family reunion at their ancestral castle, the famed Von Kassel family - arms dealers for over 100 years - suddenly find themselves in possession of stolen plutonium capable of creating the most destructive weapon on earth.
Previously aloof from the moral implications of their business, the family is torn apart by the deadly potential of their recent acquisition. Family conflicts are ignited that had long been avoided in order to maintain solidarity and the insulation of wealth and power. Through fascinating and startling familial relationships, the listener is drawn into the web of power and intrigue that motivates people who once believed they were above moral or ethical considerations.
Mr.Adler never ceases to surprise. Not bound by any genre, he excels in whatever he writes, whether it be comedy, spy or introspective. What all of his books have in common is the attention to detail, enhancing everything written, and splendid characterisation. This book reveals this latter to perfection, being the tale of a family with it's roots towing back for eight centuries,. The family head, Baron Charles Kessel, knows he will soon die and advances the ritual family annual reunion both to formalise the handing over of the reigns of power to one of his three sons and to settle an internal dispute. Because their heritage is now solely based on arms brokering, after the loss of their family seat in Estonia, and the acquisition of plutonium has brought about a rift in the business sales - should it be sold like any other commodity?
The family gathers, each person bringing their personal hopes, fears and histories and, especially, secrets. With great skill, the author travels through the minds and actions of each of those present, bringing to the surface the dystopian connections, realities and fantasies. The marvellous George Kuch has the capacity to make the listener feel as if he is telling the story directly to the listener, reminiscing rather than reading. It draws the reader ever more closely into the machinations of these closely intertwined yet still disperate personalities.
A fascinating glimpse into hidden lives where wealth and tradition rule.