Death in focus An Elena Standish novel

Anne Perry

Book - 2019

"In the start of an all-new mystery series set in pre-World War II Europe, an intrepid young photographer carries her imperiled lover's final, urgent message into the heart of Berlin as Hitler ascends to power. On vacation from London on the beautiful Italian coast, twenty-eight-year-old Elena Standish and her older sister Margot have finally been able to forget some of the lasting trauma of the Great War. Touring with her camera in hand, Elena has found new inspiration in the striking... Italian landscape, and she's met an equally striking man named Ian. Not ready to part from one another, she and Ian share a train trip home to England. But a shocking murder disrupts their agenda, forcing Elena to personally deliver a message to Berlin that could change the fate of Europe. Back home, Elena's diplomat father and secretive grandfather--the former head of MI6, unbeknownst to his family--are involved in their own international machinations. Working behind the scenes as Elena tries to complete her mission on the ground, they interfere with a crucial political rally for one of Germany's most outspoken fascists. With Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich on the rise, and Elena caught in the middle of an international incident, anyone she encounters might be part of a deadly plot. In the first novel of a riveting new series by bestselling author Anne Perry, family secrets merge with suspense on the world stage, and Elena learns that, in these complicated times, no one can be trusted, and she must learn to rely only on herself"--

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Series
Perry, Anne. Elena Standish novel ; 1.
Subjects
Genres
Mystery fiction
Historical fiction
Detective and mystery fiction
Published
New York : Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House 2019.
Edition
First U.S. edition
Language
English
Item Description
"Originally published in the United Kingdom by Headline Publishing Group, London, in 2019"--Title page verso.
Physical Description
305 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9780525620983
0525620982
Main Author
Anne Perry (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Vacationing with her sister in pre-WWII Italy, photographer Elena Standish falls in love and impulsively accompanies her new boyfriend, Ian, to Paris, from where she will return home to England. Just before leaving, Elena finds a murder victim in her hotel, a tragedy that sets the stage for more deaths. En route to Paris by train, Ian is also killed, leaving Elena to deliver his dying-breath message, which will help foil a plan to frame Britain for the killing of a Nazi leader. Elena's many narrow escapes and Perry's immersive re-creation of Nazi-era Europe will keep readers enthralled by this series debut. The numerous characters working behind the scenes both for and against Elena—her beloved grandfather, for example, who is the former head of MI6—are well drawn, but it is the smart, gritty heroine herself who will ensure that readers eagerly anticipate the next in the series. In the meantime, those looking for read-alikes could try some of Perry's WWI-set titles, such as No Graves as Yet (2003) and Shoulder the Sky (2004). Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Vacationing with her sister in pre-WWII Italy, photographer Elena Standish falls in love and impulsively accompanies her new boyfriend, Ian, to Paris, from where she will return home to England. Just before leaving, Elena finds a murder victim in her hotel, a tragedy that sets the stage for more deaths. En route to Paris by train, Ian is also killed, leaving Elena to deliver his dying-breath message, which will help foil a plan to frame Britain for the killing of a Nazi leader. Elena's many narrow escapes and Perry's immersive re-creation of Nazi-era Europe will keep readers enthralled by this series debut. The numerous characters working behind the scenes both for and against Elena—her beloved grandfather, for example, who is the former head of MI6—are well drawn, but it is the smart, gritty heroine herself who will ensure that readers eagerly anticipate the next in the series. In the meantime, those looking for read-alikes could try some of Perry's WWI-set titles, such as No Graves as Yet (2003) and Shoulder the Sky (2004). Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In this series starter, set in pre-World War II Europe, late-twenties Elena Standish falls for Ian while vacationing in Italy and travels back to England with him. When tragedy strikes, Elena alone must deliver a key message to Berlin, even as her diplomat father and her grandfather (once secretly the head of MI6) make trouble on the world stage. Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

It's 1933, and photographer Elena Standish is happily flirting with an attractive man while vacationing on the Amalfi coast. She doesn't expect to have her holiday sidetracked by an urgent mission to Berlin, to warn authorities about plans for an assassination with the potential to shatter Europe. Elena is in over her head, unsure whom to trust, but determined to complete the mission. In addition, she's been taking photos of shocking political events that should be shared with the world. Back at home, Elena's grandfather, the retired head of MI6, finds evidence of a traitor on the British side, which could throw everything into chaos. Perry ("Charlotte & Thomas Pitt" and "William Monk" series) has found the perfect time period to showcase a family's impassioned defense of democracy and social justice in the face of rising totalitarianism. VERDICT Obvious comparisons to Charles Todd's Bess Crawford and Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs are warranted, but this novel also hearkens back to Helen MacInnes's classic spy thrillers and Mary Stewart's romantic suspense novels. At turns heartbreaking and action-packed, this gripping and superbly written story proves Perry still has what it takes. [See Prepub Alert, 2/25/19.]—Laurel Bliss, San Diego State Univ. Lib. Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In 1933, British photographer Elena Standish, the heroine of this promising series launch from bestseller Perry (the William Monk series), travels to Amalfi, Italy, to take pictures of delegates to an economic conference. One night at her hotel, Elena and a fellow countryman she meets on the trip, Ian Newton, investigate after hearing a maid cry out. The maid has found a man's body in a hotel room. Elena is skeptical when Ian, who says he's a sometime economic journalist, nervously denies he knows the murdered man. Nonetheless, she finds herself falling for Ian, and when he gets an urgent summons to leave Amalfi, she agrees to accompany him on part of his journey. After violence strikes again, Ian reveals that he works for MI6 and he's trying to prevent the murder of a German admiral in Berlin, a crime the plotters hope to pin on the British. Circumstances compel Elena to take an active role in his mission. Readers will root for the forceful, independent Elena, who will appeal to Maisie Dobbs fans. Perry knows how to ratchet up the international intrigue. Agent: Donald Maass, Donald Maass Literary. (Sept.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"In the start of an all-new mystery series set in pre-World War II Europe, an intrepid young photographer carries her imperiled lover's final, urgent message into the heart of Berlin as Hitler ascends to power. On vacation from London on the beautiful Italian coast, twenty-eight-year-old Elena Standish and her older sister Margot have finally been able to forget some of the lasting trauma of the Great War. Touring with her camera in hand, Elena has found new inspiration in the striking Italian landscape, and she's met an equally striking man named Ian. Not ready to part from one another, she and Ian share a train trip home to England. But a shocking murder disrupts their agenda, forcing Elena to personally deliver a message to Berlin that could change the fate of Europe. Back home, Elena's diplomat father and secretive grandfather--the former head of MI6, unbeknownst to his family--are involved in their own international machinations. Working behind the scenes as Elena tries to complete her mission on the ground, they interfere with a crucial political rally for one of Germany's most outspoken fascists. With Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich on the rise, and Elena caught in the middle of an international incident, anyone she encounters might be part of a deadly plot. In the first novel of a riveting new series by bestselling author Anne Perry, family secrets merge with suspense on the world stage, and Elena learns that, in these complicated times, no one can be trusted, and she must learn to rely only on herself"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

In a series debut by the best-selling author of the William Monk mysteries, an intrepid young photographer carries her imperiled lover’s final, urgent message into the heart of pre-World War II Berlin as Hitler is ascending to power.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

In the start of an all-new mystery series set in pre'World War II Europe, an intrepid young photographer carries her dead lover's final, world-shattering message into the heart of Berlin as Hitler ascends to power.'thrilling . . . reminiscent of works by Eric Ambler and Graham Greene.''The Wall Street Journal On vacation from London on the beautiful Italian coast, twenty-eight-year-old Elena Standish and her older sister, Margot, have finally been able to move on from the lasting trauma of the Great War, in which the newly married Margot lost her husband and the sisters their beloved brother. Touring with her camera in hand, Elena has found new inspiration in the striking Italian landscape, and she's met an equally striking man named Ian. When Ian has to leave unexpectedly, Elena'usually the more practical of the sisters'finds she's not ready to part from him, and the two share a spontaneous train trip home to England. But a shocking sequence of events disrupts their itinerary, forcing Elena to personally deliver a message to Berlin on Ian's behalf, one that could change the fate of Europe. Back home, Elena's diplomat father and her secretive grandfather'once head of MI6, unbeknownst to his family'are involved in their own international machinations. Worried when Elena still hasn't returned from Italy, her grandfather starts to connect the dots between her change in plans and an incident in Berlin, where Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich are on the rise. It seems the message Elena delivered has forced her into a dangerous predicament, and her grandfather's old contacts from MI6 may be the only people who can get her out alive'if Elena can tell the difference between her allies and her enemies.New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry merges family secrets with suspense on the world stage, as darkness bubbles under the surface of a Europe on the brink of change. In these complicated times, Elena emerges as a strong new heroine who learns quickly that when nothing is certain, she can rely only on herself.Praise for Death in Focus   'masterful! It's exceedingly rare for an author to have the talent to blend classic elements of a thriller with compelling family dynamics and geopolitical intrigue, but Anne Perry pulls it off like the consummate pro that she is. And, on top of all that, Death in Focus is written in her unique literary voice. I guarantee you'll love Elena Standish. Brava!' 'Jeffery Deaver, author of The Never Game