Sunday, July 6, 2014

Book Review: The Prime Minister's Secret Agent

The Prime Minister's Secret Agent (Maggie Hope, #4)Author: Susan Elia MacNeal
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Bantam
Series: Maggie Hope Mystery # 4

For fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, and Anne Perry, The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent is a gripping new mystery featuring intrepid spy and code breaker Maggie Hope. And this time, the fallout of a deadly plot comes straight to her own front door.
World War II rages on across Europe, but Maggie Hope has finally found a moment of rest on the pastoral coast of western Scotland. Home from an undercover mission in Berlin, she settles down to teach at her old spy training camp, and to heal from scars on both her body and heart. Yet instead of enjoying the quieter pace of life, Maggie is quickly drawn into another web of danger and intrigue. When three ballerinas fall strangely ill in Glasgow—including one of Maggie’s dearest friends—Maggie partners with MI-5 to uncover the truth behind their unusual symptoms. What she finds points to a series of poisonings that may expose shocking government secrets and put countless British lives at stake. But it’s the fight brewing in the Pacific that will forever change the course of the war—and indelibly shape Maggie’s fate.

Maggie had heard the expression heartache before, of course, but never thought it would be so literal.

Maggie Hope had thought that summer in Berlin was hell, but it was nothing compared to the inferno of darkness that now raged in her own head, even as she was “safe as houses” in Arisaig on the western coast of Scotland.

“And for that I’m going to make her pay.”

I have yet to be disappointed with a book in this series. Maggie Hope has quickly become my hero and one of my most favorite characters of all time. Whenever a new book releases, I drop whatever else I am reading until I can get through Maggie’s next story. This is the fourth book in this series, and I hope that MacNeal will continue to write these books for many years to come. In this book Maggie is back at the estate in Scotland where she received her training many years ago, and now she is training young girls just like herself. However, Maggie is forced to take some time off for relaxation purposes and because her emotional state is just one huge mess. During her visit to Edinburgh, however, Maggie’s close friend gets caught up in a deadly plot and it will be up to Maggie to once again save the day!

I am currently in the mood to read historical fiction and the Maggie Hope book usually take care of that for me. MacNeal does a phenomenal job of weaving in fact and fiction. A lot of things she describes in these books is in fact and will allow readers to gain a history lesson while reading. A lot of her characters are real, while other are fiction. Winston Churchill will always be one of my favorite characters from these books. I like that MacNeal can easily talk about facts relevant to the war while still bringing in fiction elements whenever she needs to.

Maggie’s character has really changed over the series and after everything she has been through has changed her demeanor a tad. This is only to be expected after all she has witnessed, heard about, and been a part of. I really hoped that things would slow down for Maggie in this book and that wish was somewhat granted, but Maggie, while she was supposed to be vacationing and resting, can’t help but to get herself mixed up in another mystery that needs to be solved. I did enjoy the short time that she was at Arisaig instructing the young girls to train and fight just like she did. I wish we could have spent more time there.

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Bantam in exchange for my honest review***

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