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Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, the Maxwells are swimming in it. No, that’s not quite right. Not because it’s insensitive­ – Kevin Maxwell keeps cartoons of his father’s drowning on his study walls – but because it implies that the children of the disgraced tycoon are sharks. In fact, they are more like beavers, busy, busy, busy, back in force and making money. It’s hard enough to talk to one of them, let alone five. But, after dozens of emails, messages with secretaries and snatched calls on mobiles, Kevin Maxwell finally agrees to meet me in his offices in Portman Square, and also at his Oxfordshire home.

Ian Maxwell (fruity eyes, fluttering eyelashes), Kevin’s older brother, has just popped into the boardroom for a whispered word with him in French. One of the twins, Isabel Maxwell, dressed in a brown leather trousersuit, with a tiny pigtail, rushes through reception on her way from LA to Paris, then back to California via New York. Kevin (casual manner, wary eyes) has just finished a 14-hour day and has a train to catch.

Nine years after Robert Maxwell’s death and the revelation that he was one of last century’s greatest crooks, his children have recovered from the meltdown of his firm and from the suspicions of fraud that dogged them. Kevin has landed notional millions in telecoms stock. The twins, Isabel and Christine, have been even more successful as Internet entrepreneurs. Ian and Ghislaine, the youngest, at 38, rove the globe as consultants.