The Road to Paradise Island

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Since childhood, Annalice Mallory has been interested in the family’s famous cartography business and intrigued by the mysterious lands shown on maps. When she is eighteen, she discovers a sealed-off room in her ancestral home, and, in the room, she finds a journal of another eighteen-year-old girl who lived one hundred years before, along with an old map. The journal was written by Annalice’s namesake, Ann Alice Mallory, and reveals a horrifying story of love, deception, greed, and murder. It also explains that the map shows the location of an uncharted, gold-laden island in the South Pacific, Paradise Island.

After Annalice’s brother, Philip, disappears while searching for the island, she becomes obsessed with traveling to Australia and the nearby island to find him and the elusive Paradise Island. When she arrives, she becomes more deeply enmeshed in betrayal and tragedy. The story that began so long ago takes an unexpected twist, bringing Annalice danger in a surprising echo from the past.

Like Victoria Holt’s many other novels, THE ROAD TO PARADISE ISLAND is marked by rich characterizations and a clearly developed plot. The mix of romance and mystery is just right, and the background of exotic locales adds to the overall atmosphere.