On an undercover mission for the British Secret Service in Nazi Germany, Maisie Dobbs must face not only the horrors of the Third Reich, but very real reminders of her own tragic past.
It’s 1938, and Maisie is finally back in England following a stint as a nurse in Spain during the Spanish Civil War (A Dangerous Place, 2015). Her homeland still holds the ghosts of her former life with her late husband, James, who died in a plane crash. Distraction comes in the form of a summons from the British government and her old friend Robert MacFarlane, for whom she’s done clandestine work in the past. This time, Maisie is asked to travel to Munich as Edwina Donat, the daughter of Leon Donat, a wealthy British industrialist and publisher who’s been wrongfully imprisoned in Dachau. Donat is of great value to the British government, and the secret service has secured his release but only if his daughter—the real one is too ill—is the one to fetch him. Maisie can more than handle herself, even against the Führer and his omnipresent SS men, and after MacFarlane gives her a quick lesson in firearms, she’s off. Complicating things is Elaine Otterburn, the woman Maisie blames for James’ death. Convinced by the influential Otterburns to persuade the hard-partying Elaine to return home from Munich, Maisie discovers that Elaine may be entangled in something more dangerous than just drinking with the Gestapo.
Winspear elegantly balances Maisie’s emotional turmoil and dogged patriotism with the growing tensions of a Europe on the brink of war.