Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Headline 
Release Date:  September 2003
ISBN:   0755302842
Format Reviewed: Hardback 
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Genre: Historical Crime [1914, Cambridge, England] 
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Rachel A Hyde 
Reviewer Notes: Review one 

No Graves As Yet
A Novel of World War I
By Anne Perry

     After writing so many books about Monk and the Pitts, Anne Perry has turned her attention to the First World War, and this is the first in a new quintet. During the long, hot summer of 1914, Cambridge lecturer Joseph Reavely leads a peaceful, enviable existence until his world is shattered by the sudden death of his parents. Car accidents are tragic, but not unusual, but it seems that this one was no accident. Joseph's brother Matthew works for the secret service, and their parents had been traveling to see him, bearing a document giving evidence of a plot so terrible that it would change everything forever. But then there is another death, and the brothers must try to find out what it is all about before it is too late.

     Anne Perry's books are invariably superbly paced and plotted, keeping the pages turning as the suspense mounts towards a shattering conclusion. There is more here than this, though; an intense portrait of the "long summer day" before the advent of a war that changed people's lives irretrievably. University life, complete with cricket on the green, contrasts sharply with murders and sinister plots, while the news brings tidings of the Archduke's assassination and the slide towards war. The bereaved show genuine grief here, and this is no mere puzzle whodunit, but a beautifully written description of what it must have been like during that summer. It is topical, too, with characters expounding on the devastation of war and what is lost, rather than gained by it. Reading this book, I felt that this was in some ways a distillation of Perry's work and a moving from straight whodunits towards a more mature and multi-layered style that verges at times on the literary. This novel will appeal to more people than just whodunit fans, and there are four more of them! I can't wait…