When new graduate Yuki Kashizawa moves to London for her PhD, she is certainly not expecting to be dragged into a mystery. At the Deverex Tower, an ultra-modern skyscraper and her new home, Yuki bumps into the extravagant Rupert Howards. He involves her in his personal investigation on the building’s former owner, Edwin Deverex, a brilliant scientist who vanished into thin air years before.
The prime suspect, Ayleen Marker, hides more than one secret, and the connection between the enigmatic past told in her dreams and Deverex’s disappearance is unlike anything Yuki and Rupert could ever imagine. The investigation takes an alarming turn when Rupert discovers that the Deverex Tower’s hidden technological wonders have fallen into the wrong hands…
When Yuki stepped off the plane, she inhaled deeply, taking the first breath of a new and hopefully exciting chapter in her life. She was finally free, even if it did come with a little jet lag.
She walked out of the Heathrow Airport baggage claim area dragging along a black trolley and looked around until she spotted a man holding a sign with her name among the waiting crowd.
“Miss Yuki Kashizawa?” the man asked with a markedly Irish accent as she approached him.
“Yes, that’s me,” she answered with a tired but cordial smile.
“Welcome to England,” the man went on, stretching out his right hand. “Conor Doherty. I was sent to drive you to the Deverex Tower.”
“Thank you,” Yuki said, shaking hands with him. “Pleased to meet you.”
The driver nodded and smiled, then insisted she let him carry her baggage.
“Pardon my curiosity,” the man asked as he placed her trolley into the cab’s trunk. “Aren’t you by any chance related to Mr Yutaka Kashizawa?”
“Yes,” she nodded, slightly embarrassed but amused. She had been asked that same question several times as of late. It felt a bit like being related to a rock star. “I’m his daughter.”
“Ah, there you go. I thought so. I mean, you’re so young, and given your family name and that you’re going to the Deverex Tower…”
“You guessed right,” Yuki confirmed, getting in the cab. She didn’t think she was all that young at the age of twenty-five.
The cab driver got in too, then he hastily rubbed his hands and turned the engine on. “So, your father is the heir of the famous scientist Edwin Deverex, isn’t he?” he said. He had struck her immediately as a very chatty but likeable man. “I bet you everyone in the world envies him! I mean, he got millions of pounds, mansions, houses, steel plants, research labs—and the Deverex Tower! The news of the inheritance travelled around the world.”
“So it did,” Yuki answered, not knowing what else to say.
“Forgive my lack of discretion, miss,” he went on as he drove away from the airport, “but I didn’t know Mr Deverex had relatives in Japan. In fact, I thought he didn’t have relatives at all—well, he was such a lonely bloke, no one really knew much about him, but—”
“Indeed he didn’t,” Yuki interrupted him. “Mr Deverex and my father weren’t related. They were close friends.”
“Ah, I see. I wish I had a friend so close he’d leave me such a fortune!” he said with a loud laugh.
According to what her father had always told Yuki, Edwin Deverex had always been lonely and reserved. He had only very few friends, and eventually, he had completely stopped keeping in touch with most of them. Yutaka Kashizawa was a physicist, and when he still worked in London, he had been one of Edwin’s professors. Young Deverex had shown extraordinary talent in a number of scientific subjects already as a child. He was as ingenious as he was tormented, and had been Yutaka’s protégé. Professor Kashizawa had always been very close to Edwin, particularly after his parents—Paul and Grace Deverex—were killed in a tragic car crash, leaving behind a vast industrial and financial empire. However, the only thing Edwin had ever cared about was his research. Unlike his father, Edwin was no manager and had left it up to an army of suits and ties to look after his wealth—the very same people who, four years after Edwin’s disappearance, would now continue managing the Deverex empire on behalf of its new owner, Yutaka Kashizawa.
“If I may, miss: What brings you to the Deverex Tower?” the driver inquired further, after a short pause.
“I’ll be living there for a few years,” she answered. “For the duration of my doctoral studies at least.”
“No kidding! You’re going to live in the world’s tallest building! Congratulations! You’re really lucky, miss!”
She was really lucky indeed. Yuki had applied for several positions as a mathematics doctoral student in several universities around the world. After long waiting, only Tokyo University and the London King’s College had accepted her application. Yuki’s mother, Misako, had lost more than one night of sleep at the thought of her ‘beloved child’—her only child—leaving Japan to go and live God knew where and with whom. She had spent a few weeks pushing Yuki to accept the position Tokyo University was offering her.
A PhD abroad would have been the perfect occasion for Yuki to finally leave her parents’ nest and test her wings, but for some time, she had been tempted to give in to her mother’s plea. She could have spared herself a transcontinental move and all the troubles of living on her own, but then, unexpectedly, her father had inherited Edwin Deverex’s entire fortune. As the new owner of the Deverex Tower, Yutaka had been able to arrange her free accommodations in the skyscraper, leaving her no more excuses to stay in her comfort zone and finally convincing her to accept the PhD position in London.