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We Shall Not Sleep (World War One Series #5)

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Anne Perry’s magnificent Victorian mysteries established her as one of the world’s best known and loved historical novelists. Now, in her vividly imagined World War I novels, Perry’s talents "have taken a quantum leap" (The Star-Ledger), and so has the number of her devoted readers. We Shall Not Sleep, the final book in this epic series featuring the dedicated Reavley family, is perhaps the most memorably enthralling of all Perry’s novels.

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We Shall Not Sleep (World War One Series #5)

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Anne Perry’s magnificent Victorian mysteries established her as one of the world’s best known and loved historical novelists. Now, in her vividly imagined World War I novels, Perry’s talents "have taken a quantum leap" (The Star-Ledger), and so has the number of her devoted readers. We Shall Not Sleep, the final book in this epic series featuring the dedicated Reavley family, is perhaps the most memorably enthralling of all Perry’s novels.

After four long years, peace is finally in sight. But chaplain Joseph Reavley and his sister Judith, an ambulance driver on the Western Front, are more hard pressed than ever. Behind the lines, violence is increasing: soldiers are abusing German prisoners, a nurse has been raped and murdered, and the sinister ideologue called the Peacemaker now threatens to undermine the peace just as he did the war.

Then Matthew, the third Reavley sibling and an intelligence expert, suddenly arrives at the front with startling news. The Peacemaker’s German counterpart has offered to go to England and expose his co-conspirator as a traitor. But with war still raging and prejudices inflamed, such a journey would be fraught with hazards, especially since the Peacemaker has secret informers everywhere, even on the battlefield.

For richness of plot, character, and feeling, We Shall Not Sleep is unmatched. Anne Perry’s brilliantly orchestrated finale is a heartstopping tour de force, mesmerizing and totally satisfying.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The depth and passion of Perry's fifth and final volume in her acclaimed WWI series won't disappoint readers who have followed this engrossing and moving tale from its inception with No Graves as Yet. In the last days of the war, the Reavley family—Joseph, an army chaplain; his brother, Matthew, an officer in the Secret Intelligence Service; and their sister, Judith, an ambulance driver—find themselves together in the mud, blood and trenches of Flanders. Throughout the series, the three have been locked in a deadly struggle with someone they call the Peacemaker, who they believe is a high government official who had their parents murdered in his quest to involve England in an odious peace effort with Germany. A breakthrough arrives with a German officer who's willing to go to England and reveal to the authorities the identity and mission of the Peacemaker, though the family must first solve the mystery of a murdered nurse before unmasking the Peacemaker. At the finish, Perry neatly and satisfactorily ties up all the loose ends from the preceding novels. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal
Perry closes out her World War I series with back-to-back titles that finally give featured players Joseph, Matthew, and Judith Reavley news regarding their parents' killers. With a ten-city tour by request. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

Angels in the Gloom

“Perry creates a meticulously detailed backdrop, whether [on the] home front or [the] front lines, while leaving plenty of room for her characters to contemplate issues of honor, loyalty, and love.”

“Bloody battles at sea, gumshoe work, family ties and gentle love add flavor as the mystery nears a climax.”
–The Oklahoman

Shoulder the Sky

“An entertaining, suspenseful thriller . . . Perry is a skillful purveyor of popular fiction.”
–The Washington Post

“Perry’s bent for action and suspense greatly enlivens the story. . . . She is a careful researcher and [an] adept storyteller. But those talents have taken a quantum leap with the World War I series.”
–The Star-Ledger

No Graves As Yet

“Perry’s melancholy evocation of the ‘eternal afternoon’ that would soon turn to night all over England is lovely.”
–The New York Times Book Review

“Suspenseful, often heartbreaking and riveting . . . This is Perry’s probing, brooding landscape of the soul, which she masters and makes her own.”
–Providence Journal

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593358648
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 4/10/2007
  • Series: World War One Series , #5
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Perry
Anne Perry is the bestselling author of two acclaimed series set in Victorian England: the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, including Buckingham Palace Gardens and Long Spoon Lane, and the William Monk novels, including Execution Dock and Dark Assassin. She is also the author of a series of five World War I novels, as well as seven holiday novels, most recently A Christmas Odyssey, and a historical novel, The Sheen on the Silk, set in the Ottoman Empire. Anne Perry lives in Scotland.


Born in London in October 1938, Anne Perry was plagued with health problems as a young child. So severe were her illnesses that at age eight she was sent to the Bahamas to live with family friends in the hopes that the warmer climate would improve her health. She returned to her family as a young teenager, but sickness and frequent moves had interrupted her formal education to the extent that she was finally forced to leave school altogether. With the encouragement of her supportive parents, she was able to "fill in the gaps" with voracious reading, and her lack of formal schooling has never held her back.

Although Perry held down many jobs—working at various times as a retail clerk, stewardess, limousine dispatcher, and insurance underwriter—the only thing she ever seriously wanted to do in life was to write. (In her '20s, she started putting together the first draft of Tathea, a fantasy that would not see print until 1999.) At the suggestion of her stepfather, she began writing mysteries set in Victorian London; and in 1979, one of her manuscripts was accepted for publication. The book was The Cater Street Hangman, an ingenious crime novel that introduced a clever, extremely untidy police inspector named Thomas Pitt. In this way an intriguing mystery series was born…along with a successful writing career.

In addition to the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt novels, Perry crafts darker, more layered Victorian mysteries around the character of London police detective William Monk, whose memory has been impaired by a coach accident. (Monk debuted in 1990's The Face of a Stranger.) She also writes historical novels set during the First World War (No Graves as Yet, Shoulder the Sky, etc.) and holiday-themed mysteries (A Christmas Journey, A Christmas Secret, etc), and her short stories have been included in several anthologies.

Good To Know

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Anne Perry:

The first time I made any money telling a story I was four and a half years old—golden hair, blue eyes, a pink smocked dress, and neat little socks and shoes. I walked home from school (it was safe then) with my lunchtime sixpence unspent. A large boy, perhaps 12 or 13, stopped me. He was carrying a stick and threatened to hit me if I didn't give him my sixpence. I told him a long, sad story about how poor we were—no food at home, not even enough money for shoes! He gave me his half crown—five times sixpence! It's appalling! I didn't think of it as lying, just escaping with my sixpence. How on earth he could have believed me I have no idea. Perhaps that is the knack of a good story—let your imagination go wild, pile on the emotions—believe it yourself, evidence to the contrary be damned. I am not really proud of that particular example!

I used to live next door to people who had a tame dove. They had rescued it when it broke its wing. The wing healed, but it never learned to fly again. I used to walk a mile or so around the village with the dove. Its little legs were only an inch or two long, so it got tired, then it would ride on my head. Naturally I talked to it. It was a very nice bird. I got some funny looks. Strangers even asked me if I knew there was a bird on my head! Who the heck did they think I was talking to? Of course I knew there was a bird on my head. I'm not stupid—just a writer, and entitled to be a little different. I'm also English, so that gives me a second excuse!

On the other hand I'm not totally scatty. I like maths, and I used to love quadratic equations. One of the most exciting things that happened to me was when someone explained non-Euclidean geometry to me, and I suddenly saw the infinite possibilities in lateral thinking! How could I have been so blind before?

Here are some things I like—and one thing I don't:

  • I love wild places, beech trees, bluebell woods, light on water—whether the light is sunlight, moonlight, or lamplight; and whether the water is ocean, rain, snow, river, mist, or even a puddle.

  • I love the setting sun in autumn over the cornstooks.

  • I love to eat raspberries, pink grapefruit, crusty bread dipped in olive oil.

  • I love gardens where you seem to walk from "room to room," with rambling roses and vines climbing into the trees and sudden vistas when you turn corners.

  • I love white swans and the wild geese flying overhead.

  • I dislike rigidity, prejudice, ill-temper, and perhaps above all, self-righteousness.

  • I love laughter, mercy, courage, hope. I think that probably makes me pretty much like most people. But that isn't bad.
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      1. Also Known As:
        Juliet Hulme
      2. Hometown:
        Portmahomack, Ross-shire, U.K
      1. Date of Birth:
        October 28, 1938
      2. Place of Birth:
        Blackheath, London England

    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 5
    ( 12 )
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    Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
    • Posted December 9, 2008

      more from this reviewer

      This is more than a mystery it is a human epic saga

      The year is 1919 and the allies are taking back what they have lost to the German soldiers. The Reavley siblings all play different parts in this war but all are united on figuring out who was the man they call the Peacemaker is. They call him that because he was maneuvering on creating an Anglo-German empire so that under their rule war could never break out. He failed but he is still trying to manipulate the outcome with England losing to Germany. If that fails too he has hopes that he can get good terms for Germany in the armistice so that in a few years it will be a power once again.----------------- Matthew Reaves gets word that one of the Peacemaker¿s top minions wants to meet with him and tell him and eventually the prime minister what is going on behind the scenes and who the Peacemaker is. They arrange to meet when Joseph, a chaplain in the trenches is administering to his men. When Matthew arrives there he finds the man he comes to meet is injured and a nurse has been brutally mutilated, raped and killed and the policemen in charge arrests Matthew since he can¿t explain why he is there. His sister Judith, an ambulance driver, starts asking questions and eventually is able to keep her brother from prison. Time is running out but the three Reaves siblings must find out who the killer is if they want to see England safe and ferret out a traitor.--------------------- This is more than a mystery it is a human epic saga that describes the affects of war on the line soldiers. As the war nears it ends, people are wondering how they are going to fit into a world that is some much different than the one they have known before the war began. The mystery is top rate but is the human drama that will move the hearts of the readers who empathize with the people adjusting to incredible societal changes. Anne Perry raises awareness as the audience will question their government¿s war decisions.---------------- Harriet Klausner

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted March 16, 2012

      have enjoyed all in series

      I found it difficult to stay interested enough to finish this book and read it through to the end, unlike the previous books. The book kept going over and over the same story background, the same questions to the same people regarding the murders. But I will eventually finish reading and find out who the Peacekeeper is and bring the family back from war! Anne Perry is one of my favorite authors and I read as many of her books as I can.

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    • Posted June 25, 2011

      Great world war one series

      I was sad to be finished with this book. I love all of the Anne Perry books. She makes it seem like you personly know the characters and that they are friends. Very good book.

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    • Posted July 25, 2010

      We Shall Not Sleep will not let you sleep.

      The skeleton for Anne Perry's grim murder mystery goes like this:
      World War I is in its last days.
      A shadowy figure known as "The Peacemaker" is trying to take control of the peace making process is such a way as to practically guarantee another war.
      A nurse is raped, mutilated and murdered at a British Army field hospital in northern France.
      A high ranking German official is coming through the English lines with information that sill expose The Peacemaker.
      A British Army chaplain at the field hospital and his sister, a nurse, undertake to solve the murder and get the German official safely to London to prevent the Peacemaker from succeeding in his designs.
      The doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and others at the hospital are so bonded by their shared experiences with the horrors of trench warfare that they lie to investigators about the murder to protect their own. Even the chaplain's sister becomes involved in lying to protect a friend.
      The German official is wounded as he comes through the lines and is treated at the field hospital where he becomes a suspect in a second incident.

      Anne Perry skilfully blends all these ingredients into a plot that draws the reader in with each page. She mixes romantic love and love for one's companions into the plot and then subtly adds a dollop or two of suspicion about various people in the hospital.
      Since the field hospital is located in recently fought over trenches, and the fall weather provides enough rain to leave the area muddy, the reader gets not only the feeling and tensions of the people in the hospital, he also gets a sense of the horror of battle itself.
      Perry builds pressure as the pages turn by placing the German official under suspicion and making it a race to prove him innocent in time to get him to London to foil The Peacemaker.
      The final twists to the plot involve the chaplain and his sister in a race to London with the freed German official where they have to discover where their murdered parents had hidden documents that prove The Peacemaker's involvement in an earlier plot to align England with Germany against France as World War I loomed and to get those documents to the Prime Minister, That part of the story even involves the chaplain himself in violence.
      It is a real tribute to Perry's skill that she manages to weave all these disparate threads into a strong story that keeps her readers turning the pages.

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    • Posted March 23, 2009

      more from this reviewer

      Another Winner from Anne Perry

      This book was the last in the series but lost none of the wonderful color, diaglogue, and perception of the preceding books. Ms. Perry is a master at presenting the depths of humanity without destroying hope and goodness. I loved this entire series and was sorry to see it end. But I am looking forward to her new release in the Monk series.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted August 15, 2007

      Can the Series be Continued?

      We Shall Not Sleep is another excellent story of the WWI era. My father was a WWi veteran but I confess I knew little about what happened during that time. He did not talk about it except to relate humerous incidents or non-combat information. I wish he were live so that I could tell him how much I appreciate the sacrifices all of the soldiers made to win that terrible war. It would be interesting to see what happens to the character when they return to civilian life. There could be several books in a seris. Ms. Perry, remains my favorite female author.

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 1, 2007

      Always waiting for a new Anne Perry novel -

      I have read every novel Anne Perry wrote and I loved them all. The older ones that I could not find in the book store or the library, I found in a used book store while on vacation. The combination of unforgetable characters, historic detail and mystery always create a great adventure. This series on WWI has not let me down, in fact I learned things about this great war that I never knew.

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted May 26, 2007

      Another Outstanding Story by Anne Perry!

      I am such a fan of Anne Perry and have read and enjoyed all of her books. I love her fun characters and exciting storylines. Where does she get all of her ideas for stories? Wherever she gets them I'm glad! If you have not had a chance to read and enjoy any of her books then this is a great book to begin with! I know you will enjoy this book as much as I did!

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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      Posted June 17, 2010

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      Posted October 26, 2012

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      Posted November 1, 2008

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      Posted November 11, 2010

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