This is another Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novel I read as an audiobook. So far, I have only had Devina Porter do the narrations, but this time it was Michael Page. It was difficult to adjust at first, but he made the book more serious and gravelly which was a nice addition to this story.
The story intertwines with the adjustments happening in the lives of the Pitts, the Radleys, and Victor Narroway. Victory Narroway is a character I had not run into so far (I’ve been reading the books out of order), but he is a very interesting and complex character. The premise of the story is the attempt to thwart the assassination of a visiting dignitary and easing the fears of an elderly spy who is terrified of revealing secrets that are better left silent. You meet an strong set of characters that are very well developed – I particularly like how Adrianna Blantyre was portrayed. I am not sure why, but I particularly liked her. Lady Vespasia makes a strong appearance in this book as well, which always makes the story more intriguing – she is such a strong and unique character. However, she does not play as much of a flashy role as she sometimes does. She is a very important influence in this book, just much subtler than usual. Also, Charlotte is not as much a part of the story line as I would like. I love her character, but she did not play as much of role as she usually does. She is, however, woven in and out of the story beautifully and I hope that she regains her strong partner position once Pitt settles into his new role.
Anne Perry again does a fantastic job of creating a complex, changing, and surprising story line where twists and turns abound. This is so far the most political book that I have read so far, but this is understandable as it is the first book in which Thomas Pitt takes over as head of Special Branch. The story was political in that it focused on political motives of the vast majority of characters. I am not very strong in unwinding politics or seeing how all of the strings connect, but the author does a fantastic job of not losing you without giving too much away. What I was most impressed by was the emotional impact of the book. So far it is the most emotionally wrenching and pulling that I have seen so far in her work. You feel so much for Thomas and the other members of the story. From the fear, passion, arrogance, insecurity, moral dilemmas, and avarice, you are pulled in every direction by the characters and their desires. The end was as good as the turmoil within the rest of the book. Again, there are aspects of the book that I wish will be concluded in later books, but I can not go into those aspects without spoiling some of the best twists in the book! It is definitely worth the read. Just be prepared to really think and puzzle out events if you are trying to guess the murderers before Pitt!