A Certain Darkness by Anna Lee Huber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Series: Verity Kent Mysteries #6
Publication Date: 8/30/22
Period: Post WWI – 1920
Number of Pages: 304
Goodness! What an exciting, page-flipping, suspenseful read this was! Verity and Sidney are, as always, dynamic, engaging, flawed, and troubled by the events each of them suffered through during the war. As we know (from reading the other books in the series), the war may be over, but the repercussions and espionage are not. Then, when we add the arch-villain Ardmore to that volatile mix – well goodness – be still my palpating heart.
As you probably know, Verity sustained a bullet wound at the end of the previous book, Murder Most Fair. She and Sidney have been leading a quiet life for five months since then in order to allow her to heal properly. That all ends when Sidney receives a request from the French authorities. They want him to come to France and help with a prisoner they have in custody – this prisoner claims to have proof of treason by a number of people during the war, and she won’t speak to anyone other than Sidney. Sidney has no idea who this woman is – he’s never heard of her – and still doesn’t have any idea who she is after he meets her. She is arrogant, but begs for Sidney’s help, even though he is inclined to refuse. However, she’s very enigmatic during their interview and is quickly found hanging in her cell after Sidney and Verity leave. That, of course, almost guarantees Sidney will get involved.
As they begin their investigation, Verity gets a message that she should check in with the English spymaster stationed in France – ‘T’. He needs Verity to solve the murder of a Belgian lawyer who worked for them during the war. The lawyer was murdered on a train as he was carrying important secret documents. The documents were missing and there are few clues to follow. Those papers are supposed to contain clues to a sunken German ship carrying a fortune in gold. T (and his boss ‘C’) need her to retrieve the papers and, if possible, solve the murder.
As the investigations proceed, Verity and Sidney come to realize that all is not what it seems and their two investigations are actually intertwined. The pieces of the puzzles begin to fit together in a way that will make Verity and Sidney question the very foundations of their belief in their government and all world leaders. Some of what they find are particularly troubling to Sidney who fought in some of the worst battles of the war.
As always with this author, I highly recommend this book and this series. You absolutely cannot go wrong with it. I have absolutely loved watching Verity and Sidney find their love again and rebuild their relationship as well as their firm determination to thwart the archvillain Ardmore. Their steadfast support of their friends is awe-inspiring.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.