A question of betrayal

Anne Perry

Book - 2020

"On her first mission for MI6, the daring young photographer at the heart of bestselling author Anne Perry's thrilling 1930s mystery series travels to Mussolini's Italy to rescue the lover who betrayed her. Britain's secret service, MI6, has lost contact with its informant in northern Italy, just as important intel about the future plans of Austria and Nazi Germany is coming to light. And young Elena Standish, to her surprise, is the only one who can recognize MI6's man-...-because he's her former lover. Aiden Strother betrayed her six years before, throwing shame on her entire family. Now, with so much to prove, Elena heads to Trieste to track down Aiden and find out what happened to his handler, who has mysteriously cut off contact with Britain. As Elena hears word of a secret group working to put Austria in the hands of Germany, her older sister, Margot, is in Berlin to watch her childhood friend get married--to a member of the Gestapo. Margot and Elena's grandfather, the former head of MI6, is none too happy about the girls' travels at this tumultuous time, especially when a violent event at home reminds him that even Britain is growing dangerous. As his own investigation collides with his granddaughters', what's at stake in Europe becomes increasingly frightening--and personal"--

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Series
Perry, Anne. Elena Standish novel.
Subjects
Genres
Mystery fiction
Spy stories
Detective and mystery fiction
Published
New York : Ballantine Books [2020]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
284 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9780593129555
0593129555
Main Author
Anne Perry (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Germany, 1933. Before long, the Nazi wolf will be loosed upon Europe. British intelligence, seeing it coming, has a problem: a key agent in Trieste has disappeared. The spymaster believes the fastest way to find him is to send someone who knows him on sight: the woman he betrayed in Perry's 2019 Death in Focus. The woman, Elena Standish, is the victim of a theme popular in old-school spy stories: betrayal of country is also betrayal of love and friendship. Elena's attempt to understand the mystery man who betrayed her takes up about half the novel and is relayed in tense, understated prose with limpid moments: Italian light touching the ancient stones so tenderly. The other half is a straight-out detective story: a nice man who has information connected to Elena's quest is dead. Accident, say the police. Not so, says a friend, and deductive dazzlement follows. Both plotlines have to do with Germany's annexation of Austria, and we know how that ended. No matter. This manages to be a winning mix of crime story and espionage drama, boat chase and seaplane rescue included. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In the LJ-starred Death in Focus, which launched an interwar Europe-set series, young photographer Elena Standish became involved with MI6, which her grandfather once secretly headed. In this follow-up, Elena gets her first real mission: go deep into Mussolini territory and find a former lover who betrayed her—she's actually the one person who can recognize him. Meanwhile, Elena's sister is in Berlin for a friend's wedding to a member of the Gestapo. Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

At the start of bestseller Perry's excellent sequel to 2019's Death in Focus, likewise set in 1933, Peter Howard, of British Military Intelligence, offers fledgling British spy Elena Standish, a gifted photographer who's fluent in German and Italian, a new assignment. Aiden Strother, one of the service's most important assets, is gathering information in Italy, but his handler there is unreachable at a crucial moment. Having learned that Strother's cover has been blown, Howard wants Elena to go to Trieste, posing as a photographer, to warn Strother to get out safely with as much data as possible. Elena accepts the responsibility, even though she feels Strother betrayed her trust six years earlier when he was posing as a Nazi sympathizer and cost her her position at the Foreign Office. Meanwhile, Elena's older sister, Margot, adds to the intrigue by traveling to Berlin for the wedding of a childhood friend to a Gestapo officer. Perry expertly blends character development with plot surprises. This prolific author shows no sign of losing steam. Agent: Donald Maass, Donald Maass Literary. (Sept.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A sequel to Death in Focus finds daring young MI6 photographer Elena Standish embarking on a first mission in Mussolini’s Italy to rescue and uncover the truth about a former lover who betrayed her six years earlier.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"On her first mission for MI6, the daring young photographer at the heart of bestselling author Anne Perry's thrilling 1930s mystery series travels to Mussolini's Italy to rescue the lover who betrayed her. Britain's secret service, MI6, has lost contactwith its informant in northern Italy, just as important intel about the future plans of Austria and Nazi Germany is coming to light. And young Elena Standish, to her surprise, is the only one who can recognize MI6's man--because he's her former lover. Aiden Strother betrayed her six years before, throwing shame on her entire family. Now, with so much to prove, Elena heads to Trieste to track down Aiden and find out what happened to his handler, who has mysteriously cut off contact with Britain. As Elena hears word of a secret group working to put Austria in the hands of Germany, her older sister, Margot, is in Berlin to watch her childhood friend get married--to a member of the Gestapo. Margot and Elena's grandfather, the former head of MI6, is none too happy about the girls' travels at this tumultuous time, especially when a violent event at home reminds him that even Britain is growing dangerous. As his own investigation collides with his granddaughters', what's at stake in Europe becomes increasingly frightening--and personal"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

On her first mission for MI6, the daring young photographer at the heart of this thrilling new mystery series by bestselling author Anne Perry travels to Mussolini’s Italy to rescue the lover who betrayed her.Britain’s secret intelligence service, MI6, has lost contact with its informant in northern Italy, just as important information about the future plans of Austria and Nazi Germany is coming to light. And young Elena Standish, to her surprise, is the only person who can recognize MI6’s man—because he is her former lover. Aiden Strother betrayed Elana six years ago, throwing shame on her entire family. Now, with so much to prove, Elena heads to Trieste to track down Aiden and find out what happened to his handler, who has mysteriously cut off contact with Britain. As Elena gets word of a secret group working to put Austria in the hands of Germany, her older sister, Margot, is in Berlin to watch a childhood friend get married—to a member of the Gestapo. Margot and Elena’s grandfather, the former head of MI6, is none too happy about the sisters’ travels at this tumultuous time, especially when a violent event at home reminds him that even Britain is growing dangerous. As his own investigation collides with his granddaughter's, what’s at stake on the continent becomes increasingly frightening—and personal. Against the backdrop of a rapidly changing Europe, New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry crafts a novel full of suspense, political intrigue, and the struggle between love and loyalty to country.