From the Publisher
• "Amazingly vivid and terribly real. . . . When [Jennings] takes the story underground during an air raid . . . readers might want to duck their heads and take cover." New York Times Book Review
• "Great historical detail, solid characters and a really good plot . . . another winner for Jennings. Fans of the Foyle's War TV series should rejoice." Globe and Mail
• "As fine a piece of historical mystery writing as [you are] likely to come across. An extraordinary piece of storytelling." Hamilton Spectator
• "It's among Jennings' gifts that all her people are painted in full colours, each comprehensibly human, [and] Tom Tyler is the most complete and human of them all smart, empathetic, yearning, mournful and fair. . . . Verges on classic war-fiction status." London Free Press
The New York Times Book Review
…the period setting is amazingly vivid and terribly real.
Jennings's second historical set in WWII-era England and starring Det. Insp. Tom Tyler (after 2011's Season of Darkness) improves on its predecessor while staking a better claim for the series' longevity. In 1940, Tyler is stationed in the small community of Whitchurch when he gets a call from Special Branch. An explosion has rocked a munitions factory in Birmingham, one of the inspector's previous posts, and Special Branch spymaster Mr. Grey wants to know if it was accidental or not. To answer this question, Tyler must first sort through a tangle of competing factions, from Irish, Welsh, and Scottish nationalists, to the substantial Communist faction within organized labor. Jennings brings a colorful sense of detail to her evocation of Britain during the Blitz, and if the plotting isn't of the same high caliber as Anthony Horowitz's Foyle's War teleplays, it gets the job done well enough to make the prospect of a third book appealing.
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What People are saying about this
From the Publisher
“Ignorance is not bliss. That’s the short and firm message in this terrific second Tom Tyler mystery from Maureen Jennings. Fans who mourn for the Murdoch tales of Victorian Toronto should not despair; he will return. But the Tyler series, set in Second World War England, shows all of Jennings’s talent for historical mystery. . . . With great historical detail, solid characters and a really good plot, this series is another winner for Jennings. Fans of the Foyle’s War TV series should rejoice.”
—Globe and Mail
“The period setting is amazingly vivid and terribly real. Writing with all senses on high alert, Jennings creates a flawless approximation of a typical day in the life of all the girls who worked on weapons assembly lines, their skin yellow and their hair orange from the cordite. And when she takes the story underground during an air raid, those bombs she starts dropping come so close that readers might want to duck their heads and take cover.”
—New York Times Book Review
“The atmosphere and dialogue in Beware This Boy puts you at the heart of the story. The haunting melodies of Vera Lynn seem to settle in with the words. Writing about the past — 1940 England, a year into the Second World War — is a skill. Making the reader feel they’re in the middle of it is a gift. . . . Readers are drawn into as fine a piece of historical mystery writing as they’re likely to come across. Read and relish this extraordinary piece of storytelling.”
“Well-crafted characters are [a] Jennings hallmark and this novel has many. The story is told from the perspective of several men and women, both inside and outside the factory. . . . Jennings keeps readers guessing who the culprit is, thanks to a surprise or two along the way.”
“It’s among Jennings’ gifts that all her people are painted in full colours, each comprehensibly human, even the nastiest with their own sorrowful, if not quite mitigating, histories. And Tom Tyler is the most complete and human of them all — smart, empathetic, yearning, mournful and fair. Jennings [is] the author of seven Detective Murdoch novels set in late-19th-century Toronto and currently dramatized in the eponymous TV series. Those novels are compelling in character and plot, and historically valuable, but her efforts with her new protagonist in a more recent period are possibly even more sterling — may, in fact, be verging on classic war- fiction status.”
—Joan Barfoot, in the London Free Press