Its Christmas Eve 1931. On the way to see a client, Maisie Dobbs witnesses a man commit suicide on a busy London street. The following day, the prime ministers office receives a letter threatening a massive loss of life if certain demands are not metand the writer mentions Maisie by name. After being questioned and cleared by Detective Chief Superintendent Robert MacFarlane of Scotland Yards elite Special Branch, she is drawn into MacFarlanes personal fiefdom as a special adviser on the case. Meanwhile, Billy Beale, Maisies trusted assistant, is once again facing tragedy as his wife, who has never recovered from the death of their young daughter, slips further into melancholias abyss. Soon Maisie becomes involved in a race against time to find a man who proves he has the knowledge and will to inflict death and destruction on thousands of innocent people. And before this harrowing case is over, Maisie must navigate a darkness not encountered since she was a nurse in wards filled with shell-shocked men.
"Maisie's speculative guesses .... have less logical grounding than traditional puzzle fans might prefer ... Still, Winspear does her usual superb job of portraying London between the world wars." - Publishers Weekly.
"The lamentation over economic crisis, terrorism and traumatized veterans feels both true to its setting and disquietingly contemporary." - Kirkus Reviews.
"Starred Review. Winspear breathes new life into this solid series, but the novel has enough background to make it suitable for new readers as well as highly satisfying fare for established fans." - Booklist.
"Winspear has written an intriguing psychological mystery about the damage war inflicts on a person's soul, as well as a thought-provoking look at the lengths to which the hopeless and mentally unstable might go to be heard." - Library Journal.
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Rated of 5
Not the best in the series
I have been a huge fan of the Maisie Dobbs series of books, but this one did not interest me very much. I compliment Jacqueline Winspear for the attention to detail for the period of the story, but the topic was too dark and gloomy for me this time. I realize the author wanted to capture the depression of the time and how the war devastated anentire generation of men, but there was no lightness in the book at all. Where were some of the lighter stories that make up previous books. I was counting the pages until the book was over and I really didn't care much about the resolution of the case. I do recommend the earlier Maisie Dobb books though.
Jacqueline Winspear was
born and raised in the county of Kent, England. Following higher
education at the University of London's Institute of Education,
Jacqueline worked in both general and academic publishing, in higher
education and in marketing communications in the UK.
She emigrated to the United States in 1990, and while working in business and as a personal/professional coach, she embarked upon a life-long dream to be a writer.
A regular contributor to journals covering international education, Jacqueline has published articles in women's magazines and has also recorded her essays for KQED radio in San Francisco. She currently divides her time between Ojai and the ...
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