Sunday, April 21, 2013

His Majesty's Hope: A Maggie Hope Mystery by Susan Elia MacNeal

Book description:
World War II has finally come home to Britain, but it takes more than nightly air raids to rattle intrepid spy and expert code breaker Maggie Hope. After serving as a secret agent to protect Princess Elizabeth at Windsor Castle, Maggie is now an elite member of the Special Operations Executive—a black ops organization designed to aid the British effort abroad—and her first assignment sends her straight into Nazi-controlled Berlin, the very heart of the German war machine. Relying on her quick wit and keen instincts, Maggie infiltrates the highest level of Berlin society, gathering information to pass on to London headquarters. But the secrets she unveils will expose a darker, more dangerous side of the war—and of her own past.

This is the third installment in the Maggie Hope series, and I suspect will be the last I read. Though this book is nowhere near as derivative as the 2nd, there were moments at the end where I was once again pulled into the TV series Alias. This book is certainly darker than the first two, but is also less realistic which is saying a lot. Too many coincidences for my taste undermine what could have been a decent WWII thriller. After a strong opening, this series has settled into a formulaic treatment which robs it of the spontenaiety and quirkiness which made it so enjoyable in the beginning. Recommending this series to fans of Maisie Dobbs does them a grave diservice as Maggie has none of the depth of character and intelligence that make Maisie and her stories so compelling.

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