A darker reality

Anne Perry

Book - 2021

"A personal trip turns perilous after the murder of a British spy in Washington, D.C., forces Elena Standish to face dark family secrets in this exciting 1930s mystery by bestselling author Anne Perry. On a family trip to Washington, D.C., Elena Standish is delighted to visit her mother's parents for their anniversary and celebrate with influential friends of her grandfather, a prominent scientist. Even Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt will attend the party. But the event comes to a sudd...en and tragic end when one of the guests, Lila Worth, is run over by a car in the driveway outside. Elena realizes that Lila had been trying to tell her something, and when a call from Peter Lucas back home at MI6 confirms that Lila was a British spy, Elena pairs with the American secret service to find out what vital information the young woman had in her possession. To further complicate Elena's trip, her grandfather is arrested for the murder. Desperate to clear his name and save her family from disgrace, she looks more deeply into her grandfather's scientific life and discovers that Lila had been desperately trying to keep the latest developments in nuclear fission out of the Nazis' hands. Her grandfather's business secrets run deep, it appears, and as Elena begins to question his loyalties, she wonders if she can trust anyone in this dark new world order"--

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Series
Perry, Anne. Elena Standish novel ; 3.
Subjects
Genres
Spy stories
Suspense fiction
Spy fiction
Historical fiction
Detective and mystery fiction
Thrillers (Fiction)
Published
New York : Ballantine Books [2021]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
307 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9780593159361
0593159365
Main Author
Anne Perry (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

The year is 1934. Photographer Elena Standish is visiting Washington, DC, for the first time, having come with her parents from England to attend a party celebrating her grandparents' sixtieth wedding anniversary. Tragedy strikes: a woman is run down by a car. With startling speed, Elena's grandfather is arrested for murder. But there is much more to the story. The dead woman was an agent for MI6, the British intelligence agency—as is Elena herself, who has used her cover as a photographer to carry out missions in two previous novels, Death in Focus (2019) and A Question of Betrayal (2020). Determine to find the truth behind the woman's murder, Elena soon discovers that she might not like where the search leads her. A good historical mystery is like a balancing act—too little period detail and the story feels fuzzy, too much and it gets bogged down—and Perry, who has also written the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt and the William Monk series, gets the balance just right. It would be easy to believe that Elena Standish really did exist, and that the books are actual biographical stories. Perry proves once again why she is among the top writers of historical mysteries. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In Road of Bones, next in Barry/Macavity nominee Benn's World War II-set series, American Billy Boyle and the Soviet agent with whom he's partnered are aided by a group of tough young Soviet women pilots when investigating the murder of two intelligence agents, one American and one Soviet. In this wrap-up to Camilleri's best-selling "Inspector Montalbano" series, a man named Riccardino dials the wrong number, reaching the inspector, then later ends up murdered. From Hambly, it's the Scandal in Babylon! Movie star Kitty Flint is accused of murder in 1924 Hollywood, and assistant Emma Blackstone is determined to clear her name. From Barry Award finalist Kope, Echoes of the Dead brings back Magnus "Steps" Craig as part of the FBI's elite three-man Special Tracking Unit, using his "shine"—that is, his ability to intuit people's essence from what they have touched—to help track four missing men in the Sierra Nevada (35,000-copy first printing). Head of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation, Mayor's longtime hero Joe Gunther discovers that deceased philanthropist/millionaire Nathan Lyon was actually a Marked Man, rolling in dough from the Mafia, and didn't die a natural death; now family members are starting to meet his fate (35,000-copy first printing). In The House of Ashes, from Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner and multi-short-listed Neville, Sara Keane feels isolated after her husband moves them from England to his native Northern Ireland in the wake of her breakdown, then learns that the house they're living in has a bad and bloody history. In Perry's A Darker Reality, MI6-linked American photographer Elena Standish has returned from pre—World War II Europe to Washington, DC, for her parents' anniversary celebration, but when British spy Lila Worth is killed as she arrives at the event, Elena checks out Lila's caseload and begins suspecting her grandfather of nefarious secrets. In a futuristic New York, Robb's famous homicide detective Eve Dallas wants to make sure that two women—a murdered street dweller who sold paper flowers and chatted up the police and a beautifully dressed corpse that's decades old—are not Forgotten in Death (750,000-copy first printing). In Stewart's Miss Kopp Investigates, the Kopp sisters are back in America at the close of World War I, with Fleurette working what her family sees as the rather disreputable job of posing as "the other woman" in divorce cases when she stumbles upon a serious crime (25,000-copy hardcover and 3,000-copy paperback first printing). Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Bestseller Perry's routine third novel featuring British photographer-turned-spy Elena Standish (after 2020's A Question of Betrayal) takes Elena to Washington, D.C., in 1934 to visit her grandparents, Dorothy and Wyatt Baylor, who are celebrating their 60th anniversary with a fancy party. At the party, Standish befriends Lila Worth, an Austrian whose scientist husband's research has been financed by Wyatt. During the party, someone runs over Lila in the parking lot, killing her. Though Elena initially accepts the theory that Lila interrupted a car theft, Elena's MI6 handler reveals that Lila was an operative engaged in stopping valuable scientific information reaching Germany—which suggests Lila was murdered. Elena's investigation becomes personal once Wyatt is charged with the crime because bloodstains are found on his car, a development her grandfather, a presidential adviser, suspects is a politically motivated frame. Some less than persuasive details, such as FDR attending the party without a Secret Service escort, impede full suspension of disbelief. Maisie Dobbs fans interested in a similar but less-developed protagonist may be satisfied. Agent: Donald Maass, Donald Maass Literary. (Sept.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"A personal trip turns perilous after the murder of a British spy in Washington, D.C., forces Elena Standish to face dark family secrets in this exciting 1930s mystery by bestselling author Anne Perry. On a family trip to Washington, D.C., Elena Standishis delighted to visit her mother's parents for their anniversary and celebrate with influential friends of her grandfather, a prominent scientist. Even Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt will attend the party. But the event comes to a sudden and tragic end when one of the guests, Lila Worth, is run over by a car in the driveway outside. Elena realizes that Lila had been trying to tell her something, and when a call from Peter Lucas back home at MI6 confirms that Lila was a British spy, Elena pairs with the American secret service to find out what vital information the young woman had in her possession. To further complicate Elena's trip, her grandfather is arrested for the murder. Desperate to clear his name and save her family from disgrace, she looks more deeply into her grandfather's scientific life and discovers that Lila had been desperately trying to keep the latest developments in nuclear fission out of the Nazis' hands. Her grandfather's business secrets run deep, it appears, and as Elena begins to question his loyalties, she wonders if she can trust anyone in this dark new world order"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Elena Standish investigates the mysterious death of Lila Worth, who she discovers is a British spy, at an anniversary party for her parents in Washington, D.C., in the third novel of the series following A Question of Betrayal.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A personal trip turns perilous for Elena Standish after the murder of a British spy forces her to face dark family secrets in this exciting 1930s mystery by bestselling author Anne Perry.“An absorbing and calculating thriller/mystery that grabs the reader from the first page.”—Great Mysteries and ThrillersOn her first trip to Washington, D.C., Elena Standish finally gets to visit her American mother’s wealthy parents and their magnificent home. Elena’s grandparents are marking a milestone anniversary by throwing an elaborate party with the influential friends of her grandfather, a prominent political industrialist. Even President and First Lady Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt are there, and Elena takes pride in capturing the illustrious guests on camera. But the festivities come to a sudden and tragic end when one of the guests, Lila Worth, is run over by a car in the driveway outside. Elena believes Lila was trying to tell her something before her death, and when a call from her employer back home, MI6, confirms that Lila was a British spy, Elena pairs with a fellow agent to find out what vital information the young woman had in her possession.Soon an arrest is made in Lila’s murder, and to Elena’s horror, the accused is none other than her own grandfather, who claims his political enemies are trying to frame him. But who are these enemies, and how can Elena defend this man she barely knows? Nevertheless, determined to clear his name and save her family from disgrace, she delves into the details of her grandfather’s investments and discovers that his business secrets run deep. As Elena begins to question his loyalties, she wonders if she can trust anyone in this threatening new world order.