The Prime Minister's Secret Agent (Maggie Hope Series #4)

The Prime Minister's Secret Agent (Maggie Hope Series #4)

3.3 20
by Susan Elia MacNeal

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For fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, and Anne Perry, The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent is a gripping new mystery featuring intrepid spy and code breaker Maggie Hope. And this time, the fallout of a deadly plot comes straight to her own front door.

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For fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, and Anne Perry, The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent is a gripping new mystery featuring intrepid spy and code breaker Maggie Hope. And this time, the fallout of a deadly plot comes straight to her own front door.

World War II rages on across Europe, but Maggie Hope has finally found a moment of rest on the pastoral coast of western Scotland. Home from an undercover mission in Berlin, she settles down to teach at her old spy training camp, and to heal from scars on both her body and heart. Yet instead of enjoying the quieter pace of life, Maggie is quickly drawn into another web of danger and intrigue. When three ballerinas fall strangely ill in Glasgow—including one of Maggie’s dearest friends—Maggie partners with MI-5 to uncover the truth behind their unusual symptoms. What she finds points to a series of poisonings that may expose shocking government secrets and put countless British lives at stake. But it’s the fight brewing in the Pacific that will forever change the course of the war—and indelibly shape Maggie’s fate.

Praise for The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent
“[A] stellar series . . . [Susan Elia] MacNeal has written an impeccably researched, wonderfully engaging story.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A treat for WWII buffs and mystery lovers alike.”Booklist
“[MacNeal] seamlessly mixes fact and fiction.”Publishers Weekly
“Splendid . . . riveting . . . The research is complete and fascinating. . . . The scenes are so detailed that readers will feel as if they are next to the characters and listening to them speaking.”RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)
“Fans of Jacqueline Winspear and Charles Todd will feast on this riveting series chronicling Britain’s own ‘Greatest Generation.’ MacNeal’s research and gift for dialogue shine through on every page, transporting the reader to Churchill’s inner circle. The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent is both top-drawer historical fiction and mystery in its finest hour.”—Julia Spencer-Fleming, New York Times bestselling author of Through the Evil Days
Praise for Susan Elia MacNeal’s Maggie Hope mysteries
“You’ll be [Maggie Hope’s] loyal subject, ready to follow her wherever she goes.”O: The Oprah Magazine
“A heart-pounding novel peopled with fully drawn real and fictional characters . . . provides the thrills that readers have come to expect from MacNeal.”Richmond Times-Dispatch, on His Majesty’s Hope
“With false starts, double agents, and red herrings . . . MacNeal provides a vivid view of life both above and below stairs at Windsor Castle.”Publishers Weekly, on Princess Elizabeth’s Spy

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Last seen in a tense secret mission behind enemy lines in Berlin, Maggie Hope had yearned for a time away to rest and recuperate. An offer to teach classes as spy training camp on the idyllic seacoast of western Scotland promised just that, but that quiet interval soon ends abruptly with reports that three ballerinas, including one of Maggie's best friends, have been mysteriously poisoned in Glasgow. Once on the scene, it becomes apparent to this savvy agent and her MI-5 colleagues that more is at stake than a trio of sick pretty dancers. A welcome addition to an acclaimed series by an Edgar Award-winning author; perfect for fans of authors like Jacqueline Winspear and Anne Perry. A trade paperback and NOOK Book original.

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Maggie Hope Series , #4
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Random House
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3 MB

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Chapter One

Maggie Hope had thought that summer in Berlin was hell, but it was nothing compared to the inferno of darkness that now raged in her own head, even as she was “safe as houses” in Arisaig on the western coast of Scotland.

A mixture of shame, anger, guilt, and grief had become a miasma of depression, which followed her everywhere, not at all helped by the lack of daylight in Scotland in November. She’d once heard Winston Churchill describe his own melancholy as his “Black Dog,” but didn’t understand it. She’d pictured a large black dog with long silky fur and dark, sad eyes, silently padding after his master.

But now she knew the truth: The Black Dog of depression was dirty and scarred, feral and rabid. He lurked in the night, yellow eyes gleaming, waiting for a chink in the armor, a weakness, a vulnerability, a memory. And then, jaws wide and fangs sharp, he would leap. She had trouble sleeping, and when she did finally fall unconscious, she had nightmares.

Sometimes, just sometimes, Maggie had a few moments in the morning, when she first woke up, when she didn’t remember her nightmares, or any of what had happened. Those were blessed moments, innocent and sweet. Until her mind started working again, and the sharp ache returned to her heart. She remembered what had transpired in Berlin. Remembered that her contact, Gott­lieb Lehrer, was dead—­a devout Catholic who’d shot himself rather than be taken by the Gestapo for questioning. Remembered that she herself had killed a man.

“It was self-­defense,” the analyst she’d been ordered to see by Peter Frain had told her. “It’s war. You don’t need to torture yourself.” And yet, even though he’d shot first, and she’d killed in self-­defense, the man’s eyes—­sad and reproachful—­haunted her.

As did the high-­pitched voice of the little Jewish girl being pushed into a cattle car in Berlin, destined for Poland. “I’m thirsty, Mama,” she’d cried, “so thirsty.” What happened to her? Maggie often wondered. Did she die on the train? Or later in the camp? Could she still be alive? Because now that Maggie—­and most of the rest of the world—­knew that the Nazis were capable of killing their own children, calling it “Operation Compassionate Death,” she didn’t hold any hope at all for the children of Jews.

And as if that weren’t enough burden, her mother, Clara Hess, a Nazi Abwehr agent, was imprisoned in the Tower of London—­and asking to talk with her. She was also scheduled to be executed soon, if she didn’t share some of the top-­secret information she possessed.

And then there was John Sterling, with whom she’d worked at Number 10 for Mr. Churchill during the Battle of Britain. And had almost been engaged to marry. And who’d become a RAF pilot and been shot down near Berlin. And even though she’d managed to rescue them both and get them safe passage from Berlin to Switzerland, their return to London had been, well, less than romantic. More of a romantic disaster, really.

Maggie turned over beneath the scratchy gray wool blankets, reflexively reaching for the hard outline of the German bullet, which had just managed to miss her heart. Dumb luck was what had saved her—­and allowed her to kill her attacker, instead. The doctors in Switzerland, and then in London—­even one of her best friends, Chuck, a nurse—­had wanted her to have the bullet removed, but she refused. She called it her “Berlin souvenir.”

I’m dead inside, she thought, not for the first time since she’d made it to Arisaig. Worse than dead—­if I were dead at least I wouldn’t have to remember everything anymore.

On her nightstand, the black Bakelite clock ticked, and she reached over to turn it off before the alarm rang. Maggie concentrated on breathing—­in and out, in and out. Even that caused pain, as though she had a shard of ice in her heart.

Maggie had heard the expression heartache before, of course, but never thought it would be so literal. So much pain, physical pain in her heart. But the heart was just a muscle, an organ, made to pump blood—­not to feel things. So was it stress? Adrenaline? What made it hurt so much? Of course, the brain wasn’t much better—­the brain could be a hellish prison of despair and pain and emptiness. Who knew that the brain could be such a traitor?

It didn’t help that it was coming up on Thanksgiving—­and even though she’d lived in Britain since 1938, Maggie still missed her Aunt Edith, a chemistry professor at Wellesley College. She missed the United States sometimes too, truth be told. She missed its innocence—­or was it ignorance?—­of war, its clear skies and untouched cities. Not to mention unlimited hot water and unrationed food. Although she was British by birth, she’d been raised in the U.S., and even though she’d made a choice to throw her lot in with the Brits when war started, she missed her aunt and her friends and their broad, flat, nasal accents. She missed Thanksgiving. She missed turkey and cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. She missed Boston and Cambridge. She missed America.

Maggie sighed and then rose, washed her face and brushed her teeth in the rust-­tinged water in the enamel sink, and changed into her clothes, the brown twill jumpsuit all the instructors wore over layers of thermal underwear and wool socks, plus standard-­issue thick-­soled boots. She twisted and then pinned up her long red hair with her tortoiseshell clip. If she’d been doing office work, as she had been doing at Number 10 Downing Street, she would have put on the pearl earrings that her Aunt Edith had given to her when she’d graduated from Wellesley in ’37—­but not only were they inappropriate for her job as an instructor at an SOE camp, she’d lost them somewhere in London after returning from Berlin. Not that anyone cares about anything as frivolous as earrings anymore. But they were another symbol of everything she’d lost.

Sallow and pinched, with shadows under her eyes and a chafed red nose, Maggie shrugged into her thick wool coat and pulled on a scarf and stocking cap. She left the upstairs flat of the gardener’s cottage, where she’d been assigned to live, and headed to Arisaig House, the large home that loomed above.

Although her body ached and felt as if it were made from spun glass, she jogged to warm her muscles before breaking into a run up the path of the rockery, taking the steep lichen-­covered flagstone steps to the manor house at a brisk jog in the darkness. It was November and so it was light only from eight thirty in the morning to four thirty in the afternoon. But to Maggie it always seemed dark, not Henry Vaughan’s “deep but dazzling darkness” but a sinister absence of light.

Arisaig House was the administrative heart of the War Office for Special Operations Executive—­or SOE, as it was better known—­in Scotland. SOE was neither MI-­5 nor MI-­6, but a black ops operation, training agents to be dropped into places such as France and Germany, and helping local resistance groups “set Europe ablaze,” as Winston Churchill had admonished. The SOE used great houses all over Britain to train their would-­be spies, sparking the joke that SOE really stood for “Stately ’omes of En­gland.” While training camps were preliminary schools, or specifically dedicated to parachute jumping or radio transmission, Arisaig was the place where trainees received intense training in demolition, weapons, reconnaissance, and clandestine intelligence work.

Isolated on the far western coast of Scotland, closed off by military roadblocks, the rocky mountains and stony beaches were perfect for pushing trainees to their physical and mental limits. Arisaig House was the administrative hub, with its own generator and water supply. Other great houses in the area were used for training—­Traigh House, Inverailort, Camusdarrach, and Garramor, just to name a few. Maggie’s lips twisted in a smile as she recalled how groups of Czech, Slovak, and Norwegian trainees had stumbled over the Scottish and Gaelic names.

But it was the perfect place for Maggie, still recovering from her wounds.

As an instructor, she trained her charges harder than Olympians—­swimming in the freezing loch, navigating obstacle courses in the cold mud, and mastering rope work. From other instructors, the trainees learned field craft, demolition, Morse code, weapons training, and the Fairbairn-­Sykes method of silent killing. Anything and everything they might need to know to be sent to France, or Germany, wherever a local resistance group might need aid.

Maggie hadn’t always been a draconian instructor; in fact, the very idea would have made her formerly bookish and dreamy self laugh in disbelief. She’d wanted to earn her PhD in mathematics from MIT, but had instead been in London when war had broken out in 1940. She’d found a job in Winston Churchill’s secretarial pool, and, after discovering secret code in an innocuous advertisement, and then foiling an IRA bomb plot, had been tapped for MI-­5. She’d been sent to one of the preliminary training camps in Scotland as a trainee in the fall of 1940. While she was excellent at Morse code and navigating by stars, she’d flamed out spectacularly at anything that required the least bit of physical fitness.

Approaching the manor house, Maggie recalled how furious she’d been when she’d washed out of the SOE program and Peter Frain of MI-­5 had placed her at Windsor Castle to look after the young Princesses. But in retrospect, it had done her good. She’d grown stronger both mentally and physically, and was able to help save the Princess Elizabeth from a kidnapping plot.

After her assignment at Windsor with the Royals, she’d returned to SOE training in the spring of 1941. She made it through all the various schools, and, as a newly minted agent, was sent on a secret mission to Berlin. Now she had returned once more to Arisaig House—­but this time as an instructor. As she opened the thick oak door, the bells in the clock tower chimed eight times.

The vestibule of the large stone manor house led into the great hall, which SOE had turned into a lobby of sorts, with a desk for a telephone and a receptionist. Sheets protected the grand house’s chestnut paneling from the government workers, while Arisaig and Traigh Houses’ owner, a Miss Astley Nicholson, had been relocated to a smaller cottage up the road for the duration of the war. However, the spacious high-­ceilinged entrance hall with its mullioned windows, staircase elaborately carved with birds and thistles, and views over the fields dotted with white sheep leading down to the jagged coastline made it clear this was no ordinary office.

In the vestibule, Maggie heard an ongoing discussion by some of her current charges: this time around, mostly young women bound for France. Pausing unnoticed in the doorway, she stopped to listen.

“Yes, Miss,” the girl on receptionist duty said into the black telephone receiver, twisting the metal cord around her fingers. She was short, sturdy, and a bit stout, with a wide grin and eyes that crinkled when she smiled, which was often. Her name was Gwen Glyn-­Jones and she was from Cardiff, Wales. But her mother was French, and she had a perfect accent from summers spent just outside Paris. She wanted to become a radio operator—­if she survived the physical training at Arisaig.

In the light of an Army-­issue lamp, Gwen scribbled something down on a scrap of paper, and finished with a number. “Yes, Miss—­I’ll make sure Miss Hope receives the message as soon as possible. Thank you, Miss.” She hung up.

“Message for Lady Macbeth?” one of the other girls asked. Yvonne had been born and raised in Brixton, London, but her grandfather was French—­from Normandy—­and, like Gwen, she was bilingual.

“The one and only.” The girls giggled. Maggie was strict. She was hard on her students. She never smiled. None of the women at Arisaig House liked her. None of the men liked her much, either, for that matter. “I loathe being in her section.”

Yvonne leaned in. “Why does everyone call her Lady Macbeth?”

“Because she’s a monster.” Gwen lowered her plummy Welsh-­inflected voice. “Rumor is, she has blood on her hands.”

Yvonne’s eyes opened wide. “Really?”

“I heard she killed a man in France.”

Two other trainees walking down the staircase, a man and a woman, joined in the exchange. “I heard she killed three men in Munich,” the woman offered.

One of the men said, “I heard she was interrogated by the Gestapo and never talked—­”

“She’s always nice to the gardener’s dog . . .” Yvonne ventured.

“Well, Hitler loves dogs, too.”

All right, that’s enough. Maggie swept in, giving them what she’d come to call her “best Aunt Edith look”—­cold and withering.

“Two, Five, and Eight—­aren’t you supposed to be out running?” Maggie had given her trainees numbers instead of names.

There was an uncomfortable silence, punctured only by the ticking of a great mahogany long-­case clock. Then, “I’m on desk duty . . .” sputtered Gwen.

“And I was waiting . . .” Yvonne tried.

Maggie held up one hand. “Stop making excuses.”

“I’m—­I’m sorry, Miss Hope,” Gwen stuttered.

“Stop apologizing.” Maggie looked them all up and down. “You—­Twelve—­stay here and do your job. You others—­go run on the beach. Relay races on the stony part of the shore—­they’re good for your ankles and knees and will help your parachute jumps. I’ll be there shortly.”

They stared, frozen in place.

Maggie glared. “I said, go. Go! Gae own wi’ it, as they say around here!”

The trainees nearly fell over themselves in their haste to get away from her. Gwen became very busy at the reception desk.

Harold Burns, a fit man with smile lines etched around his eyes and rough skin dotted with liver spots, walked in from one of the other huge rooms of the house, now used as administrative offices. He favored Maggie with a wintry grin from around the billiard pipe clenched between his teeth. The tobacco smoke smelled sweet in the frigid air.

He removed the pipe to speak. “Impressive, Miss Hope. I remember a time when you could barely run a mile without passing out. Or twisting your ankle. Or dropping your fellow trainees in the mud.”

Maggie put a finger to her lips. “Shhhhh, Mr. Burns. That’s our little secret.”

Burns fell into step beside her. They entered what used to be the great house’s dining room. “When you first came here, you were god-­awful. One of the worst trainees I ever had. But you persevered. And you came back. You worked hard. I’ve heard of some of the things you’ve accomplished, Miss Hope, and I must say I’m proud.” Mr. Burns was a survivor of the Great War. Maggie could see in his eyes that, like her, he had seen things. Things he wished he hadn’t.

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The Prime Minister's Secret Agent (Maggie Hope Series #4) 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
JaneiteTX More than 1 year ago
Where to begin? This is a series I really want to like. There have been a lot of minor irritants in the first three books that were distracting,  but not quite bad enough to stop reading. This book, however, was so chock-full of them that a strongly-worded review was in order. First, I do understand that authors are entitled to all the artistic license in the world, but they are NOT allowed to misstate fact and/or insert anachronisms. Ms. Macneal does both in this book. Remember, this book is set in 1941. If you get past page fourteen, good luck. This is where a character flies across the Atlantic and experiences JET LAG. I almost stopped reading, but I usually give a book three chapters to either redeem itself or get thrown against the wall. Page 31: "The scent of ink and CORRECTION FLUID hung in the stale air." Wow. Still, not yet three chapters in. Nothing really noticeable except awkward prose (LOTS of tell, don't show) until page 182, when this groaner appears: "As they left the dance floor, another sailor, a PRIVATE, leaned in to speak with Kimmel." Two real problems with this: a Private is an enlisted person in the ARMY, not the NAVY. And sorry, even during wartime, a lowly seaman would never casually "lean in" to speak to an admiral. A Captain or possibly a Lieutenant might be sent to speak with Admiral Kimmel. Never a seaman. Finally, the worst offense of all. On page 232, Churchill speaking: "Like you, I was an only child." REALLY? I imagine Jack Churchill (John Strange Spencer-Churchill, Winston's brother) would have been shocked to know that. And then, oh the pathos, when poor Winston says, "And my mother--well, she was like a movie star to me, just as glamorous and just as real as an image on the silver screen. We moved so much, when I was young, and then I went to boarding school. . . and then she died . . . " Oh, my God. Jennie Churchill died in 1921, when Winston Churchill was forty-six! I find it interesting that all of the four and five star reviews of this book both here and on Amazon are from readers who received the book for free for the purpose of reviewing it. Ms. Macneal, I regret to inform you that I can no longer spend my hard-earned dollars for your books. Learn to do your research, learn the basic rules of fiction writing, or get a decent editor.
NewsieQ More than 1 year ago
This book is so bad on so many levels, I don’t know where to begin. And I loved the first three books in this series. The plot is so scattered, it’s hard to figure out where the story is headed. The main plot is resolved 100 pages before the book ends. The author spends an inordinate amount of time on the events leading up to the attack at Pearl Harbor, when it isn’t really relevant or necessary. The secondary plot about Maggie Hope’s mother is overblown and takes too much ink. And then, where did the title come from? Maggie doesn’t become the prime minister’s secret agent until the last pages of the book. And what happened to Maggie? I know she’s been through tough times, but to have her contemplate suicide – that’s not our Maggie. Maybe the author has lost confidence in herself. Or someone else who’s less proficient is ghost writing for her. It’s really hard to explain. Let’s hope the author gets her act together for the next book. I allow my favorite authors to have one “stinker.” If there’s a second stinker, however, I give up on them. The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent is definitely a stinker.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the previous books in this series and loved them. This book was all over the place. Maggie is in Scotland training people, then she is off rescuing her friend Sarah, then she is on her way to meet Churchill. The author then inserts chapters on the USA and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She makes Churchill sound like an idiot with some of his comments. Also in the story is Clara Hess, Maggie's mother and German spy, having multiple personlaities. Book was too disjointed. Very disappointed. This seemed like this was going to be a very good series but I am not so sure after reading the book.
Westy0 More than 1 year ago
This is the first of this series I picked up, as an audio book at the library. I skipped large portions of it and didn't miss a thing. What is the plot, exactly? A murder that might have something to do with spies but doesn't? A tale of star-crossed lovers? The run-up to Pearl Harbor? The psychoanalysis of a spy with multiple personality disorder? Not of the strands particularly ties together, and none is especially interesting. The novel is a bunch of fairly dull characters standing around talking. The subplot of what preceded Pearl Harbor fizzles. It is difficult to maintain suspense about an historical event we all know about, including the outcome. This author needs to try harder. A period novel needs to have something more to it than a poorly drawn setting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't know what this book was about. I've read the gamut of World War II/European spy novels (from Alan Furst to Rhys Bowen) and this one was too lightweight. I've read all of the Maggie Hope books for enjoyment but this one fell short. The historical information, if indeed it was factual, was better than what Maggie was doing. The scattered plot didn't seem to begin until 1/4-1/3 of the way (not very interesting before that) into the book. The Clara Hess aspect was irrelevant to any plot--maybe in the next book it will be explained. And I actually couldn't understand why Maggie was so Black Dogged. I had to go back and reread book #3 because of all the references to it and still couldn't understand why Maggie was so disturbed by what she did in Berlin. She saved lives doing it and she's supposed to be tougher than all that angst--out of character. If this was the first Maggie Hope book someone read, I doubt if they would read any more of them. Of course, I will read #5 to see if the story gets better, but I don't know if I will buy--maybe just get it from the library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very disappointing after having read her previous novels. I enjoyed the first three books of the series, and I actually thought each was better than the last. So I was very eager to start reading this book, but there was no excitement. Almost no plot. I was shocked to see MacNeal release such a terrible book. What a shame, especially after ending her third novel on a high note. I expected an equally thrilling sequel.  
VicG 3 months ago
Susan Elia MacNeal in her new book, “The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent” Book Four in the Maggie Hope Mystery series published by Bantam Books gives us another adventure with Maggie Hope. From the back cover: For fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, and Anne Perry, The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent is a gripping new mystery featuring intrepid spy and code breaker Maggie Hope. And this time, the fallout of a deadly plot comes straight to her own front door. World War II rages on across Europe, but Maggie Hope has finally found a moment of rest on the pastoral coast of western Scotland. Home from an undercover mission in Berlin, she settles down to teach at her old spy training camp, and to heal from scars on both her body and heart. Yet instead of enjoying the quieter pace of life, Maggie is quickly drawn into another web of danger and intrigue. When three ballerinas fall strangely ill in Glasgow—including one of Maggie’s dearest friends—Maggie partners with MI-5 to uncover the truth behind their unusual symptoms. What she finds points to a series of poisonings that may expose shocking government secrets and put countless British lives at stake. But it’s the fight brewing in the Pacific that will forever change the course of the war—and indelibly shape Maggie’s fate. After the events of the Berlin mission wounded Maggie in both body and heart Maggie has gone to Scotland to be an instructor for agents-in-training. She is clearly suffering from PTSD and needs some time. However Sarah, her friend and ballet dancer dies, along with two others, from a mysterious illness. Now, before Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, Maggie must kick in to high gear to uncover the source of this deadly disease. The action and adventure pick up from there in a suspense plot that will keep you guessing as to what is going to happen next. Ms. MacNeal has written a nail-biting, page-turning thriller. Maggie Hope is such a real character that we care and so root for her to succeed. “The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent” is great fun to read. I am so looking forward to the next book in this series. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bantam Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DotSJ More than 1 year ago
Yes, despite all the facts that person who gave it a one star are correct, I am not reading this story for historical accuracy.  It's fiction, it's escapism and I enjoyed it very much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very disappointing as compared to the other books in this series. Very disjointed and did not pull together --just kept me confused. Hope next book will be better as I do enjoy this series.
nhr3bookcrazyNR More than 1 year ago
Maggie fights her personal demons, "the Black Dog".  Loved this book. I felt it brought a lot of growth to the character of Maggie Hope - who I've loved in the previous books. I look forward to the next book, which will bring Maggie Hope back to the United States, where she spent her childhood years. I personally enjoyed this book in the series, and look forward to many more from Ms. Macneal. C'mon "home" to the U.S., Maggie Hope!
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Maggie Looks for Hope   It is November of 1941, and Maggie Hope has been in Scotland for a few months now training future spies and dealing with the fallout from her mission to Berlin.  Among the students she is training to go on future missions, Maggie is known as Lady MacBeth because of her cold, exacting demeanor.  She doesn’t even refer to them by name, only by number.   As Maggie deals with the pressure of her depression, Japan and the US attempt to negotiate their way out of a standoff.  Prime Minister Churchill keeps trying to get President Roosevelt into the war because it is the only hope for England.  But when one of Maggie’s friends becomes endangered, will she be able to focus to help her?   While classified as a mystery, the mystery plays a small part of the overall story.  There are things happening on a global stage that Maggie isn’t even a part of.  And yet, I don’t see how the author could have handled things any differently.  Everything plays out in the usual gripping fashion that kept me turning pages as quickly as I could whether Maggie and her fictional friends were involved directly or not.   So much of what happens here builds from the previous books.  It’s why I recommend you don’t start the series here.  While fans will love the needed character development we get, anyone new to the series won’t appreciate what happens.  Trust me, you’ll be on this book before you know it.   This series is like a trip back in time.  Even when I know the historical outcome of the events, it only makes the book that much more gripping.  If you enjoy World War II history at all, you need to read this series, and if you are already a fan, you’ll love the latest installment.   NOTE: I was sent an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
KRingelCA More than 1 year ago
In book #4 of this series there is the continued development of Maggie Hope's character and relationships as she deals with the psychological trauma of spying for England in an earlier book. Set against the background of the early years of WWII with an insider's view of the Prime Minister, spycraft and training of spies. Can't wait to read the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story lacked focus. There were several subplots with little transition. Hope her next novel returns with a stronger storyline. I have enjoyed her other books and was most disappointed in this one. Will wait for the reviews before purchasing the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is good to see that Maggie is back on her feet. She has been such a strong American presence during the dark days of the bombing blitz of Britain that I hated to see her go dark after her experiences in Germany.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all four of the books in this series. Each one makes me want to read the next one. I like the historical information as well. I think it is even more enjoyable because, she admits to being terrified at times. I also like that it shows that when she had to kill someone it bothered her and it wasn't treated like another day at the office like some books do. This is a series that I will reread more than once.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Umbn. J uhybh j. H hhhgbg bbhhn ujhtnt yyhhynygu byhn.y h yhbgynbg hyy htynyh nbb m igy. Jy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this but all i get is a blank page 1. So frustrating!! Last time this happened it took me forever to find the right customer service number and get a refund.