The Golden Hour
The New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Wives brings World War II–era Nassau to incandescent life in a brilliantly original epic of espionage and human courage inside the court of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
“The Golden Hour is pure golden delight. Beatriz Williams is at the top of her game.”—Kate Quinn, New York Times Bestselling Author
The Bahamas, 1941. Newly widowed Leonora “Lulu” Randolph arrives in Nassau to investigate the governor and his wife for a fashionable New York magazine. After all, American readers have an insatiable appetite for news of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, that infamous couple whose love affair nearly brought the British monarchy to its knees five years earlier. And what more compelling backdrop could there be than a wartime Caribbean paradise, a colonial playground for kingpins of ill-gotten empires?
Or so Lulu imagines. But as she infiltrates the duke and duchess’s social circle, and the powerful cabal that controls the islands’ political and financial affairs, she uncovers evidence that beneath the glitter of Wallis and Edward’s marriage lies an ugly—and even treasonous—reality. In fact, Windsor-era Nassau roils with spies, financial swindles, and racial tension, and in the middle of it all stands Benedict Thorpe: a scientist of charismatic charm and murky national loyalties. Inevitably, the willful and wounded Lulu falls in love.
Then Nassau’s wealthiest man is murdered in one of the most notorious cases of the century, and the resulting cover-up reeks of royal privilege. Benedict Thorpe disappears without a trace, and Lulu embarks on a journey to London and beyond to unpick Thorpe’s complicated family history: a fateful love affair, a wartime tragedy, and a mother from whom all joy is stolen.
The stories of two unforgettable women thread together in this extraordinary epic of espionage, sacrifice, love, and courage, set against a shocking true crime . . . and the rise and fall of a legendary royal couple.