'It was a weapon fashioned by somebody with experience and understanding of a deadly primitive craft, and the red paint on the tip could be nothing else but a simulation of the blood of the intended victim. The masked doll and the weapon, the two together...and the blood-red sky fading above me. I felt suddenly cold and appalled'.When Perenna Holland, descendant of a once powerful shipping family, is forced to sell her home on the English seacoast, the inventory turns up in an album of curious old stamps. Her fascination with their provenance takes estate agent Roy Slingsby on an eventful voyage to a South Pacific island where new technology and old sorcery coexist in uneasy tension.As a long-feared insurrection explodes on the island, Roy finds his own fate now inexorably ties to that of the Holland family. And, still pursuing the mystery of the stamps, he unravels a dark secret rooted in long-ago murder, revenge and thwarted ambition."Along with echoes of Robert Louis Stevenson, Innes includes evocations of Joseph Conrad, elements of the Gothic novel and the atmospher of one of those splendid, slow-moving detective stories that the British do so well" - "The Washington Post"