In the last idyllic summer of 1914, the battle lines are already drawn. In Cambridge, the golden June days seem timeless. But for Joseph Reavley the summer is shattered by his parents' deaths in a car accident. Bringing the terrible news, his brother reveals that their father, a retired MP, had been travelling to see him about a sinister plot he ...
In the last idyllic summer of 1914, the battle lines are already drawn. In Cambridge, the golden June days seem timeless. But for Joseph Reavley the summer is shattered by his parents' deaths in a car accident. Bringing the terrible news, his brother reveals that their father, a retired MP, had been travelling to see him about a sinister plot he had discovered. Matthew's job in the secret service means that he would understand the mysterious document their father possessed, but now it is nowhere to be found. Returning after the funeral with their two sisters, Joseph and Matthew become convinced that their parents' house has been searched. As their suspicions grow, they visit the scene of the crash and find subtle evidence that their deaths may not have been accidental after all.
Anne Perry is renowned for her Victorian murder mysteries. Here she moves into the Edwardian era and the start of WW1.
Not always fast-moving and a bit too much explanation of the thinking of each individual for my liking. Sounds a little bit patronising.
Some technical inaccuracies -- e.g. in this volume people are described as getting into their cars and then starting them -- which they couldn't do in 1914 as the electric self-starter hadn't been invented and other forms of self-starter hadn't been fitted to the makes referred to. Obviously she's picked up on that particular point because later in the series that's been corrected.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-06-30 This absorbing mystery/spy thriller, set in tranquil Cambridge just before the onset of the Great War, marks a powerful start to bestseller Perry's much anticipated new series. In a lush and deceptively peaceful opening scene, college professor and chaplain Joseph Reavley is interrupted while watching a cricket game by his intelligence officer brother, Matthew, who reports the sudden death of their parents in a car crash. This horrifying news sets off a long but compelling investigation by the brothers that takes them across verdant summertime England, looking for a secret document that their father was trying to deliver to Matthew at the time of his death. Against a backdrop of ominous news from the continent, Perry artfully weaves connections between pacifist students at Cambridge, one of whom is also murdered, and German agents who may be planning "a conspiracy to ruin England and everything we stand for." The intrigue is further complicated by jilted lovers and jealous spouses at the university, all with grudges against an alleged blackmailer in their midst who may also be privy to exam cribbing and other illicit goings-on. Perry's title, a quotation from G.K. Chesterton, is a portent of the carnage that soon awaits the youth of England, yet by the final resolution of this gripping case, many graves have regrettably already been filled in Cambridge's serene churchyards. (Sept. 1) Forecast: For Perry fans concerned that her two long-running Victorian series have been losing steam, this fresh beginning, backed by a 12-city author tour, will renew their faith. Expect stronger than usual sales. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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