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Another excellent instalment in the Maisie Dobbs series
“…inside the villain is a victim…”
Not the best in the series
Among The Mad is the sixth book in the Maisie Dobbs series by British-born American author, Jacqueline Winspear. After witnessing a suicide in the street near her office, Maisie is seconded by Special Branch to help investigate a case, possibly related, involving letters containing non-specific threats to the public, and finds herself visiting No 10 Downing Street. It is of concern that MI5 are also involved, but Maisie’s special skills and her unique perspective prove helpful when the team are working to a deadline. Billy’s wife, Doreen is hospitalised, and Maisie’s close friend, Pris is not coping well with her move from Biarritz.
Winspear gives her readers another interesting plot with a twist or two, and she touches on many issues: reactive depression, its various manifestations and shocking treatment regimens; the high prevalence of shell shock and the scandalously inadequate support given to affected servicemen; and research into chemical weapons and victims of experimentation.
For this investigation, Maisie has to visit the Battesea Dogs Home, hospitals, research facilities and an orphanage. She manages to save the day at no small risk to herself, as well as proving herself a supportive employer and a resourceful friend. She makes a purchase that may well come in handy in future investigations. Another excellent installment in the Maisie Dobbs series, and readers will look forward the next book, The Mapping of Love and Death.
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.