Date: September 2003
it at Amazon US
Historical Crime [1914, Cambridge, England]
Rachel A Hyde
Notes: Review one
Graves As Yet
Novel of World War I
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