Spy and code breaker extraordinaire Maggie Hope returns to war-weary London, where she is thrust into the dangerous hunt for a monster as the New York Times best-selling mystery series for fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, and Anne Perry continues.
England, 1942. The Nazis' relentless Blitz may have paused, but London's nightly blackouts continue. Now, under the cover of darkness, a madman is brutally killing and mutilating young women in eerie and exact re-creations of Jack the Ripper's crimes. What's more, he's targeting women who are reporting for duty to be Winston Churchill's spies and saboteurs abroad.
The officers at MI5 quickly realize they need the help of Special Agent Maggie Hope to find the killer dubbed "the Blackout Beast". A trap is set. But once the murderer has his sights on Maggie, not even Buckingham Palace can protect the resourceful spy from her fate.
©2016 Susan Elia MacNeal (P)2016 Random House Audio
Like the previous Maggie Hope mysteries, this is an enjoyable, easy listen. The plot smartly entwines several different strands, all set in 1940s London. As such the story is held back a little by trying to enforce its historical setting a little too much, and is certainly not the most realistic of books- but if you enjoy a good crime novel which follows the path of Agatha Christie this is probably for you.
One thing that really irritated me was the narrator's attempts at various accents. This is probably just a personal preference, but I found her attempt at a Scottish accents particularly inaccurate and annoying- and unfortunately one of the main characters is Scottish. This definitely detracted from the enjoyment of listening, though did not stop me finishing the book- so don't let that put you off unless you are particularly sensitive to accents!
"I love these books, but had to stop listening...."
The reader is terrible!! I love these books but could not remember why I only listened to the first one and read the rest myself. I purchased the latest and listened for 5 minutes and remembered why I read the rest myself. She does great voices but the rest is so sing songy I could not take it!!
"I really dislike the narrator"
This would have warranted a higher rating but for the narration. It spoils the book which is a shame for the author's hard work.
The story itself, in spite of a few negatives, is my favorite of the series so far. It was interesting with several plot lines (not all of which were resolved) and returning characters. The plight of women at the time was laid on a bit thick. I understand the importance of highlighting what women had to endure and I'm as feminist as can be, but I think there was a bit of overkill.
There were a few "I'm going to have nightmares" tense moments. I found the final confrontation scenes confusing with the hallucinations. All that being said, I found the book entertaining. I'm not a fan of cliffhangers but it's the author's style. I'll buy the next book but maybe not the audio version.
"A good entry but a bit slow to start"
I enjoy the Maggie Hope series but I found this entry a bit slow to develop. The second half of the story did pick up the pace but I have come to expect a little more from the author. I did like the way the book ended and it has me looking forward to the next installment. It left off with much promise. By no means a bust and those following the series will enjoy it in the end.
"Storyline and Reader"
The storyline is good, but the dialogue is made worse by the reader. I like the stories, but really, the dialogue is really kind of lame.
"End of the line for me on this series."
I loved the setting and the story line in the early books, but with this book the extensive violence, dark tangents, and foul language has gone too far. I'm sorry to see the author chose to take a worthwhile topic of women's rights and this fascinating historic setting to a level I don't want to read. No longer recommend.
"Please get another narrator"
The story was good but could have been better with another narrator. Please get get another narrator,
"Another all-engrossing Maggie Hope mystery!"
This mystery continues the Maggie Hope saga in usual grand style!
Between Elia Mac Neal's clever prose and Susan Duerden's inspired performance, this is another in the series not to be missed!
"For the love of GOD, please get a new narrator!"
I really enjoy these books, they have excellent plots.
NO WAY!!! She is way to sing-songy (Yes, I know that it's a made up word.) I enjoy the plot and writing of these books, but the narration is horrendous.
Where to start? Lacking in the craft of interesting WWll mystery and slogged into realm of gore and grit.. the characters too feel into flimsy shadows of themselves.. enjoyed all the previous Maggie Hope mysteries.
"Truly the best!"
I loved this Maggie Hope story. I thought it was the best so far! I highly recommend this book.
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