A spy must cast off the black dog of depression in order to return to active duty.
A Brit by birth, Maggie Hope was raised in the U.S. by her aunt; when she returned to Britain, she learned that the parents she thought were killed in a car accident are alive; her father’s a codebreaker for Great Britain, her mother’s a Nazi spy. This information changes her life and commits her to the war effort. A perilous trip to Berlin to deliver a set of radio crystals has left her physically wounded and mentally exhausted. Her mother is in the Tower of London waiting to be shot, and both Maggie and her father refuse to visit her. Two wartime romances have gone sour, so now Maggie is training recruits for MI5 at a remote Scottish house, too depressed to do anything else, when another instructor convinces her to go to Edinburgh to see her old friend Sarah dance in a ballet. The ballet ends in disaster when the leading lady collapses and dies. Sarah and another cast member are detained by the police until both become dangerously ill with the same symptoms as the dead ballerina. Maggie, who has seen similar symptoms in a sheep, is released from her depression by her quest to save her friend. While she's sleuthing in Scotland, the U.S. intelligence services, who have cracked the Japanese code, are blithely ignoring the danger signals of an imminent attack, and Churchill, certain that the U.S. will respond to any attack with a declaration of war, is pondering the moral implications of ignoring the coming crisis.
Although this current installment is not up to the level of His Majesty’s Hope (2013), it generates excitement as it explores the moral issues involved in winning the just war.