Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Verity Kent #2
Publication Date: 9/25/18
This is a captivating, suspenseful and beautifully written tale set in the aftermath of WWI. It moves quickly and is filled with twists and turns. There is so much rich period detail that is so well done that you feel as if you are there. This author does a lot of research and I always learn something new when I read her work. The characters are so well written that you would like to introduce yourself and make them your friend. I particularly like Max and can’t wait for him to get his HEA. Once I began my read, I couldn’t put it down!
If you read the first book in the series, This Side of Murder, you saw Verity’s reaction to a séance. So, just imagine her reaction when her best friend, Daphne, asks her to attend a séance with her. Verity did her best to decline the request, but Daphne is a very persuasive lady, and Verity ends up at the séance. Two big surprises await her there – (1) is the fact that Max is attending with his aunt and (2) the medium ‘channels’ one of Verity’s contacts from her days as an operative during the war. Verity doesn’t believe for a minute that the reading is true, but how could that medium possibly know about Emelie. Verity is very shaken when she leaves the séance – and even more shaken when she returns to the medium’s home the next morning to find the house burning and the medium dead.
Verity immediately begins to dig into the matter and finds a trail of breadcrumbs. As she and Sidney follow them, the danger increases. They leave England and head across the channel to some of the more horrific scenes of the war – and to the areas where Verity spent a lot of time acting for the crown. The crumbs are sparse and it takes Verity a lot of effort to follow them and find the solution to the mystery – and the madman at the end of the journey.
With the backdrop of the mystery and its solution, Verity and Sidney are still trying to figure out how to make their marriage work. Their fifth anniversary is approaching, but they’ve not spent more than a couple of months of that time together. Sidney was shipped off the war three days after they married and he had very few leaves where he could come home. Then, the unthinkable happened – Sidney died – and Verity went into deep, deep mourning for him. She didn’t care whether she lived or died and she took some big risks – some of them in her spying. She is keeping secrets from Sidney and until they clear the air, they’ll never come together. She’s afraid he’ll hate her if she tells him all. So, it is really nice to see them forgive each other and get back to that love you just knew they always had for each other. Although – I still think Sidney got off a bit easy for what he put her through. All in all, I loved the character development between Verity and Sidney and Verity’s struggle with reconciling her wartime work and settling into a normal life.
I loved the mystery with Emelie because it was really well done and kept me guessing until the end. There are just so many things that I loved about this book that there is no way I can mention all of them here. I can say, however, if you want to be thoroughly entertained and learn something in the process, this book is for you! I can hardly wait for their next adventure!
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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”