Keeper of the Flame (1943)
American military leader and war hero Robert Forrester, universally beloved and respected within the country and thus touted as Presidential material, has just died in a freak car accident on his sprawling estate, where, during an unexpected rainstorm, the car he was driving plunged over a ravine as he didn’t notice the washed-out bridge. While the nation mourns, the national reporters descend on his small hometown to write the story of the incident. One reporter who won’t is renowned Steven O’Malley, who wants instead to write an in-depth piece on the man to preserve his status within the public consciousness. Although happy to use official documents and records, O’Malley wants most specifically to speak to his wife, Christine Forrester, which may be a difficult task as she has refused to grant any interviews as a very private person. O’Malley is able to meet with Christine in person, and although she is reluctant to oblige his request at first, she is convinced by Robert’s aide, Clive Kerndon, to cooperate with him so as to control the agenda. As O’Malley begins his research, he begins to think that Christine and others around her are hiding something about Robert and/or his death. O’Malley is determined to discover the truth, which he believes may have something to do with: Robert’s mother, afflicted with dementia and hidden away in a big isolated house on the estate; Christine’s cousin, Geoffrey Midford, who does not hide his disdain for Robert; and/or Jason Rickards, one of Robert’s servants, or one of Jason’s children, Jason who was once Robert’s superior in the military before he was permanently injured in battle and saved by Robert in the process.