BookBrowse Reviews An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear

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An Incomplete Revenge

A Maisie Dobbs Novel

by Jacqueline Winspear

An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2008, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2008, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kathy Pierson

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Maisie Dobbs, the extraordinary psychologist and investigator, delves into a strange series of crimes in a small rural community

Both loyal fans of Winspear's mysteries and the readers new to her work will welcome this satisfying tale, set in a rural England that is still haunted by ghosts of The Great War. Maisie Dobbs is an independent and observant woman who relies on her perception and intuition to unravel long-time knots in the cases she pursues. The 1930's rural Kent countryside and the cityscape of interwar London serve as convincing historical settings for the unusual story that unfolds.

Maisie's insights and interactions with an English Roma (Gypsy) settlement are woven throughout the story, and the sprinkling of Romani words and customs expands the reader's understanding of this ancient—though much persecuted and maligned—culture. Memories of her Romani grandmother grant Maisie special sensitivity and compassion for these travelers, and the resulting access into their community proves an important factor in solving the complexities of this case.

Maisie approaches her investigations at a calm, steady pace, with a self-discipline that also helps keep her emotions intact as she threads her way—with mentors, family, and friends—through the living and the dead. As the novel progresses, time begins to soften the painful hold of demons from Maisie's past, and acts of forgiveness and insight help her to keep those demons more firmly at bay.

As BookBrowse reviewers confirm below, An Incomplete Revenge is worthwhile reading for newcomers like me, who will eagerly want to explore Winspear's earlier titles. It's also an enjoyable next installment for readers who are already familiar with the development and growth of this intelligent and likable protagonist.

BookBrowse Members Say ...
17 members reviewed An Incomplete Revenge as part of First Impressions rating it an average 4.5 out of 5 stars. Here are a few of their comments:

"Maisie Dobbs is the most unusual Private Investigator I have ever met. Her analytical and unusual methods of solving a case make for the best kind of reading. She is kind, polite and very caring. She brings unusual people together with her warm personality. After reading her first book about Maisie, I was hooked. Her sensitive descriptions of her work as a nurse and the effects of war on returned soldiers and their families are so timely. This is the fourth in the series and just as absorbing. This entire series would be excellent for a book group." - Shirley.

"Rich historical detail and beautifully descriptive language capture the time and paint a vivid picture of the English landscape. As Maisie untangles the web of deception, her own story arc continues to evolve. Maisie Dobbs is a memorable character and the series gets stronger with each new entry." - Linda.

"This unusual detective series keeps getting better with each installment. Maisie Dobbs is an original creation; she's thoughtful and deliberate, but not dull. The post-World War I setting adds intrigue and some emotional punch to the plot (which is also quite unusual). I found this an easy, engaging read. I recommend it for readers who don't need a lot of overwrought action and manufactured suspense in their mysteries." - Robert.

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Interesting Link: An audio interview with Jacqueline Winspear about An Incomplete Revenge.

Reviewed by Kathy Pierson

This review was originally published in March 2008, and has been updated for the November 2008 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.



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