When elderly client Doris Hargrave informs private investigator Alexandra Neve that her beloved antique ruby heart necklace has gone missing for the second time in a period of over sixty years, Alexandra knows this is no ordinary jewellery theft. The ruby heart is a family heirloom and the only thing that connects an ailing Mrs Hargrave to her parents, who were murdered during the Holocaust.
To solve the case, Alexandra and her business partner, blind history professor Ashford Egan, must sift through obscure Holocaust documents to find out the truth. It’s that way that they learn of a secret World War II-era love affair which could hold the key to all the answers they are looking for. Meanwhile, Egan is under immense pressure from the university to quit his private investigating business, and Alexandra is afraid that a man she trusts will leave her. Again.
When Alexandra begins to receive anonymous threats and her flat is vandalised, this all becomes personal. Knowing that there is someone out there to hurt her, Alexandra vows to find that elusive ruby heart if it’s the last thing she ever does.
Here's an excerpt:
I close the lipstick, drop it in the door pocket, then look back at the rear-view mirror and check my blond wig one last time. ‘I wouldn’t want to be doing all this for nothing.’
Egan ignores my comment and asks, ‘What’s your plan?’
‘Well, Mrs Hayder said her husband has a type when it comes to women—’ I tug at the wig a little ‘—I’m doing my best to fit the description.’
‘Which is?’ he asks, and I don’t need to look at him to know he’s smiling.
‘Tall, blonde, sexy and exotic.’
‘Exotic?’ he asks.
I frown at my own reflexion. ‘I hope Italian will be exotic enough for him. I’m not sure I’m able to use any other accent convincingly.’
‘I’m looking forward to that part,’ Egan chuckles, tapping the little earpiece he’s wearing. ‘And you’re really certain he’ll want to have a drink with you?’
‘In this dress?’ I ask. ‘I assure you he most definitely will. I’m going to go all Monica Belluci on him — he won’t know what’s hit him.’
‘Monica Who?’ he asks.
‘She’s a well-known actress. She’s all curves and very popular with the male population… some of the females too.’
Egan chuckles as I open the door and step out.
‘Just don’t miss your cue,’ I say, closing the door behind me.
I walk the length of the car and cross the street. There’s a bar on the other side, snuggled in-between two large office buildings.
I wobble on my heels and have to force myself to take slow measured steps. Porca vacca, it’s easier to walk in a straight line after hitting your head against a wall, than when wearing ten-inch heels — trust me, I’ve tried it.
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Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, in Greater Geneva, where she still resides.
Thanks to her insatiable thirst for American and British action films and television dramas, her English is fluent.
She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.
Ruby Heart is her second new-adult novel, and she’s hard at work on the next titles in the Neve & Egan series.