Is an epic novel of passion, betrayal and bravery is based on a true story of the corrupt cover-up of a major fraud, which took place in war-torn England during the Blitz in the 1940s. A well to do Sydney family was rocked to the core after losing its hard earned legacy and the scandal almost brought down a blue-chip Australian financial institution. Some 80 years later, a granddaughter accidentally stumbles over the shocking deceit and exposes hidden truths that finally sees justice done.
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The unexploded bomb had dug a crater large enough to swallow a bus.
If it had gone off, it could have demolished part of the financial heart of London.
Because it hadn’t, it was now the job of one officer to disable the menacing monster, known
as a “Satan”, the most feared in Germany’s weaponry, packing more than five thousand pounds of mass destruction.
Lieutenant Garland approached the crater and proceeded to confidently descend the ladder into hell.
If anything was to go wrong, he knew that seventeen seconds was all the time he and the men had to bolt for their lives.
This wasn’t his first bomb, but it was the biggest and certainly the most dangerous.
A distance away in the smoky shadows of the Bank of England, a small crowd peered anxiously from behind a wall of protective sandbags. They were close enough to hear when the silence was gut-wrenchingly broken by a sudden loud clunk, followed by the ugly sound of metal dropping onto rock.
To all it seemed like something going seriously wrong. Surely the extraction of the bomb’s detonator should be noiseless, such was its surgical delicacy.
The onlookers held their breaths.
Then came the officer’s scream.
‘Get Out! Out! It’s going off!’
Two Ambulance Corp nurses crouching behind the sandbags witnessed the next seventeen seconds.
They saw the Lieutenant clamber out of the pit and run, run with his sappers the seventy-yard dash to their escape pit.
In the eighteenth second, they saw Mansion House Street explode.
The last thing they witnessed before dropping to the ground to avoid the blast was the sight of the Lieutenant diving into the pit, followed by his sappers, with a wall of dust and flame chasing them in rage.
* * *
Only afterwards did Margie Swanson, one of the nurses on duty at the Mansion House Street site discover that the heroic officer seriously injured in the blast was her uncle from Australia, Charles Garland.
* * *
Two months later, Lieutenant Garland was presented to the King, who pinned a George Cross bravery medal to the chest of a man whose face was partly blown away and who was confined to a wheel chair.
* * *
Only a few years earlier, the Lieutenant could never have foreseen that he would even have been in England. The officer was Australian; his world had revolved around New South Wales’ aristocracy. Over three generations since the 1860s his family had built a business fortune and had become well respected. A family tragedy had set him on a course to England where he found himself engulfed by war.
Returning from Buckingham Palace to his London flat, he received a letter from Australia that drew him into a new nightmare.
The trustee company that looked after his wealth had written to advise it had followed his instructions and sold all his shares.
The Lieutenant tried to make sense of their letter.
He had made no such request.
His turmoil grew when his London bank informed him that the proceeds from the sale had not been received. His knew his money was gone.
* * *
As Nurse Swanson put her skills to use caring for her uncle during his recuperation, she began to slide into her own nightmare.
Could she be unwittingly to blame for the theft of his fortune?
All she’d done was fall in love. Both she and her uncle were facing new despair.
There were scandals racking her family.
No one was willing to talk about it. And the consequences just kept growing and being hidden.
* * *
End Chap 1
Mike Sabey’s debut novel Fractured Trust was inspired by a true story.
For over twenty years the author has written and published a long list of best sellers including nine editions of the Victorian Bike Paths Guide and also the NSW Bike Paths Guide, The History of the Brownlow Medal and the ground breaking Café Guide series.
He has an extensive background in corporate marketing, more recently consulting to the manufacturing industry.
For decades he was a top offshore sailor, becoming the well-known voice on the radio 3AW and ABC 774 of blue water yacht racing in latter years.
Mike lives in St Kilda with his wife Sallie where they often head out to ride the bike paths and frequently escape on their yacht, cruising to Bass Strait and beyond.
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