The Simon and the Phocas families have been closely connected for decades through friendship and ties of blood. Until a recent marital crisis, Charles Simon, a publisher, and his wife Rosamund have lived a dull but ordered life in London; Charles's sister Catherine and her Greek husband Theo Phocas, a ship owner, live with their daughter Xenia in tasteful opulence on the island of Chios, a few miles from Turkey. When the seductive and unprincipled Missy Kavanagh, a long-lost cousin of Rosamund from America, turns up in London, Rosamund is exasperated by the intrusion, but Missy has revelation to make which will radically change the lives of both families. The drama of King Solomon's famous judgement is played out in the mind of Xenia Phocas, a timid convent girl, whose identity is called into question as she journeys with Missy into Turkey. Has she been abducted, or has she gone of her own free will? The fast-paced novel moves to a tense and moving conclusion where bonds of kinship are exploded and explored.
The Judgement of Solomon, the second novel in Anne Redmon's Byzantine Trilogy, is a story in its own right, but it follows the fortunes, too, of the characters in The Genius of the Sea. Praise for THE GENIUS OF THE SEA: 'Here is a treat like a box of first division chocolates, to be read nonstop over a weekend...an intellectual and literary soap' The Times. 'I enjoyed it enormously - a strongly atmospheric novel with credible and interesting characters about whom you want to know more' Penelope Lively. 'A cracking good read...' Jane Gardam