Series: Verity Kent #3
Publication Date: 10/29/19
Number of Pages: 336
The period just after World War I is a frenetic time. Everybody seemed to be struggling with survivors guilt and deep, deep sorrow – they all probably knew more people who had died than who had lived. The times were stressful with the soldiers returning home and trying to resurrect some semblance of a normal life and the women who had flocked into the workforce to fill the gaps left by the men being forced out of jobs they had not only filled but excelled at. Is it any wonder that everybody turned to the clubs and dancing and drinking to fill the hours and avoid the pain.
Verity and Sidney Kent are two of those frenetic people trying to get past the guilt of surviving. Sidney is particularly hard hit because he feels so very much guilt – I won’t tell you a lot about it, but you’ll learn when you read the story. As we know from the first two books in the series, Sidney was declared dead and was left in a ditch. Somehow, he managed to survive and went into hiding in order to uncover a nest of viperous traitors. In the meantime, Verity was mourning him deeply and burying her sorrows in drink. She’d worked for the Secret Service during the war and was about as shell-shocked as Sidney. In the first book, This Side of Murder, Verity was drawn into a case where she discovered Sidney was still alive. Now, Verity and Sidney are slowly trying to patch up their marriage and make things work between them.
Verity and Sidney spent a very tense evening at the home of Verity’s friend Ada and her husband, the Marquess of Rockham. Everyone could tell that Ada and her husband had been at odds with each other and neither behaved very well. Verity and Sidney left early, only to be awoken by Ada requesting them to come right away because Rockham had been shot. Verity is sure that her friend can’t be the guilty party, but the police seem to be heading in that direction. Verity can’t do anything else, so she starts to investigate on her own – well – with Sidney.
Not long after Ada comes to Verity, another friend, Irene Shaw, comes to Verity about the death of her half-sister. The police are treating her sister’s death as if it was the result of a robbery, but Irene doesn’t believe that because nothing was taken.
As Verity and Sidney investigate the two cases, they soon come to suspect they might be related – but how and who or what is the common denominator. Their investigations take them back to France and on to the Isle of Wight – and introduces a master manipulator who will probably be a villain in a few future books at least. I hope not too many because I really don’t like him and I want him gone.
The story is masterfully written and the research is impeccable. From the first page, the reader is drawn into that time and place and doesn’t leave until hours after the last page has been read. The story is so compelling that you feel those repressed emotions, the grief, the guilt that Sidney and the other survivors feel. You also feel Verity’s anxiety for Sidney when he constantly closes her out and won’t talk.
I can definitely recommend this well-written, well-researched story.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.