At the age of 12 an author saw an obituary for her apparently Swedish father, stating he was a German refugee.

Now Karen Millie-James has published her second thriller, Where in the Dark, which is partly inspired by the discoveries of her own family history.

Karen, who runs her corporate consultancy, KHCS Consultants, from Borehamwood, will hold a book singing in WH Smith Watford on Saturday, September 2.

Years after Karen’s father died she found papers which revealed the truth about his past and after her mother died 12-years-ago more was uncovered, because, as Karen explains: “I don’t know if my mum knew everything, she certainly didn’t tell me if she did.”

She discovered that her father, who was Jewish, was from Germany and came to Britain from Nazi territory on the Kindertransport in 1939.

Many of her family were killed during the Holocaust, some at Auschwitz.

“It is a potted history,” she tells me. “He was sent to a boarding school in Surrey which is closed now.

“Then he was sent to a family in Birmingham and from his letters we know he wasn’t treated very well.

“He later went into the British Army and because he spoke German he was sent back to Europe and helped capture Nazis.”

Where in the Dark sees two bearer bonds each worth £1 million arrive at the homes of two Holocaust survivors, with no clues as to their origin.

Fearing their lives are once again in danger, they enlist the help of corporate forensic investigator Cydney Granger, a character from Karen’s first book The Shadow Behind Her Smile.

Along with her top team of investigators at Granger Associates, Cydney enters the secretive world of international banking to uncover a web of corruption, blackmail, murder and stolen Nazi treasures.

With a little help from beyond the grave, Cydney’s investigation will bring her face to face with an escaped Nazi criminal living under an assumed name whose son is running for the US presidency, and an insidious conspiracy with the power to destroy one of America’s oldest banking dynasties.

Meanwhile, Cydney is plagued with doubts over the unexplained death of her husband, Captain Steve Granger, in Afghanistan five years earlier.

Although she finds comfort in raising their teenage twins and manages to find love once again, Cydney struggles to move on from the ghost of her own past.

Together with her trusted protector, Sergeant Sean O’Connell, they seek to discover the truth behind Steve’s disappearance, no matter the cost. 

Karen explains: “It’s a story of remorse, retribution, and people coming out of adversity and surviving.

“The connection to my family is that I wanted to explore the psychopathy of the Nazis and I wanted to find out how gold moved from Germany and why.

“I just wanted to find things out for my own peace of mind and it was an amazing research journey.”

Karen is currently writing a standalone book, A Thousand Silent Cries, which she hopes to publish next year. Afterwards she will return to her burgeoning series with Cydney Granger.

She says: “Cydney is a great character and I’m not going to let her go for a good while.I’ve got a lot of ides for her.”

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