For fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Laurie R. King, and Anne Perry, whip-smart heroine Maggie Hope returns to embark on a clandestine mission behind enemy lines where no one can be trusted, and even the smallest indiscretion can be deadly.
World War II has finally come home to Britain, but it takes more than nightly air raids to rattle intrepid spy and expert code breaker Maggie Hope. After serving as a secret agent to protect Princess Elizabeth at Windsor Castle, Maggie is now an elite member of the Special Operations Executive-a black ops organization designed to aid the British effort abroad-and her first assignment sends her straight into Nazi-controlled Berlin, the very heart of the German war machine. Relying on her quick wit and keen instincts, Maggie infiltrates the highest level of Berlin society, gathering information to pass on to London headquarters. But the secrets she unveils will expose a darker, more dangerous side of the war-and of her own past.
©2013 Susan Elia Macneal (P)2013 Random House Audio
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"A YA Mystery that Isn't... Quite"
No. This series just doesn't measure up.
The narrator has a pleasant voice, and does accents well. If she wanted to imitate a German accent, though, she should have researched it a bit better. Her "German" comes across a bit too much like what you'd hear in a cartoon. A little too much V for W and little else that sounds German. Her narration tends to have a sing song quality that could be improved on.
The decision to include a PG sex scene was awkward and didn't fit. This series seems to be aimed at YA, and the sex neither added to the characterization nor moved the plot along.
The author has obviously done a lot of research on swing dance and jazz. She includes too much, though. Describing a swing dance would be fine, and in keeping with the book... Including a long list of dance moves was out of place.
The book doesn't seem to be able to decide what audience is wanted. The writing style and characterization is more Young Adult than adult, but the author includes a homosexual character and his affairs as well as an awkward sex scene. Sex can be included in YA if it is handled properly, but this scene comes across as awkward and self conscious.
The characterization and action remind me of the Nancy Drew books I read as a child. I have read three by this author, because I hoped the awkwardness of the first one might have been a fluke. The author writes smooth, easy to read prose, but the characters are rather flat and the plot is very predictable.
"Liked the series but...."
Really loved the story premise but hoped they would bring back the first narrator...but they stayed with the second and, while she has a pretty voice, her "acting" is very limited. The narrator has such a huge impact on how the story is viewed, and it becomes difficult to separate the two.....
"Narrator.She doesnt end sentences & is breathy"
Yes. The narrator does not complete sentences as one would expect to have a fullstop at the end of a sentence. She draws out the last word of a sentence and seems to be "breathy". I almost stopped listening because of the monotonous narrator
She was monotonous and boring.
A narrator should make you believe that you are watching a movie. This narrator made me want to switch off audible and watch a movie
"Seems to be meant for young people"
I enjoyed the first 2 of the series, but this one seemed too juvenile, with the adult characters one-dimensional and mean. The narrator didn't bother me as much as it did others. It was all part of the slightly cartoonish approach. I'll be skipping the rest of the series.
"A good book ruined by bad narration"
The narration for this Maggie Hope book was really awful. I will not be listening to anymore by this reader.
"Can't wait for the next Maggie Hope book!"
Yes, the story line continues to fascinate and keeps the reader engaged.
Maggie is a strong woman dealing with multiple challenges in a time of great uncertainty.
No, I truly prefer the previous narrator.
Definitely Maggie, she is witty, complex, and independent.
I love this series and want to listen to each book as long as it lasts. The story line is a good one, and the historical bits are interesting. I am not sure though that I will be able to listen to another book narrated by Susan Duerden. PLEASE return to the original reader!
Good storyline and intrigue about a serious time in history. Plot and character development is superb.
Maggie Hope uses aquired skill to parachute into Berlin. After she accomplishes the mission, she remains in Germany she nust use all her cunning to avoid having her identity disvovered as she gains damning truth while working among the NAZZIES. The tension never slows.
"Maggie is losing her charm"
I'm not sure what I'd change about the book, other than not dragging out the ending by multiple chapters. I wish I'd read it instead of listening. It may have made my opinion more positive.
Yes and no. There were parts of "oh no is she going to get caught?" that could be intense. But there was also a lot of Maggie just being Maggie, impulsive and reckless to the point of near silliness. The story was quite serious so that didn't really fit. Some parts were simply like watching a predictable train wreck.
The narration, sadly, was plagued by some of my worst pet peeves. There was hardly any differentiation between the male characters. Almost all of them sounded like they had laryngitis, or like they were trying to do a smarmy Mae West impression. It was really hard to tell them apart, and made their characters boring. Also, I can't stand sing-songy B-roll (the stuff in between the actual dialog). Like she's reading on a roller coaster or badly reciting poetry. Kinda made me mentally motion sick listening to it. It also sounded like she was spitting at the end of emotional sentences. I hope the reader improves on those things, but I think I will start reading the books on my kindle rather than listening to her again. On the plus side, her portrayal of Maggie was good.
YES! So many of the characters had stories that were hanging in the air, and Maggie had a lot of unresolved personal issues and relationships. Melodramatically so. If nothing else, one more book to wrap everything up.
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