Author: Susan Elia MacNeal
Provided Synopsis: World War II has finally come home to Britain, but it takes more than nightly air raids to rattle intrepid spy and expert code breaker Maggie Hope. After serving as a secret agent to protect Princess Elizabeth at Windsor Castle, Maggie is now an elite member of the Special Operations Executive—a black ops organization designed to aid the British effort abroad—and her first assignment sends her straight into Nazi-controlled Berlin, the very heart of the German war machine. Relying on her quick wit and keen instincts, Maggie infiltrates the highest level of Berlin society, gathering information to pass on to London headquarters. But the secrets she unveils will expose a darker, more dangerous side of the war—and of her own past.
Review: Berlin. With her newly honed skills as a spy along with uncovered familial connections, Maggie Hope is dropped behind enemy lines. Her job is simple and is only to take four days: she is to pass along equipment to a resistance group stationed in Berlin and place a bug within the home of a prominent German official. British Intelligence wants her to be brisk and precise with her actions, but Maggie being Maggie manages to find more trouble than she bargained for along the way.
What made the third book in the Maggie Hope series much more enjoyable than the previous two, at least in terms of my taste, was that readers and Maggie were able to be in the cultural and political climate of Germany during WWII. We were exposed to their mannerisms, propaganda, cruelty, and brainwashing techniques — it made for a much more shocking and tension-filled story than when Maggie is working in London.
All previous characters from the series continue to play a role (some roles, such as David’s — don’t get me wrong, I love him to bits — are a bit unnecessary to the point of the story) in the life of Maggie and her work. Maggie, as usual, is stubborn, and more often than not makes for a terrible spy. My number one issue with her as a character is that she fails to focus upon the repercussions that might be presented to others based upon her impulsive actions. There were so many times when I wanted to shake her into some sense. But Susan Elia MacNeal has finally, towards the end of the novel, begun to press Maggie towards development and the realization that what she does is not for the good of all, nor is the British Intelligence champions for her well-being.
Also, for those of you who wonder: there is interaction between John and Maggie in this novel. Finally! Take that, Hugh!