Friday, August 09, 2013

Review: His Majesty's Hope by Susan Elia MacNeal

His Majesty's Hope by Susan Elia MacNeal, June 2013, 352 pages, Bantam Dell Publishing Group, ISBN: 0345536738

Reviewed by Terry Halligan.
(Read more of Terry's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

Young Maggie Hope, fresh from her training with the Special Operations Executive in England and on the personal recommendation of Winston Churchill no less, is parachuted into Germany in 1941 to initially pass some radio valves to help a resistance group, then she is to go to Berlin and plant a radio bug in the offices of Clara Hess, a high ranking Nazi who just happens to be the mother that Maggie thought was dead.

But at the time this is all occurring, Clara's other daughter Elise, who works as a nurse in a hospital in Berlin is horrified to discover that some of the more sicklier patients are supposedly being transferred to another hospital, but in fact are being sent to death camps for euthanasia. Elise has a friend who is married to a Jewish doctor and she is very fearful that he will be arrested and sent off to an extermination camp.

The author is an American and the book is I suppose intended for mainly US readers. It is extremely readable, well plotted and researched and follows on from Maggie Hope's adventures in a previous book with the young Princess Elizabeth and her sister, in Windsor Castle.

The subject matter is pretty grim but these things did happen. HIS MAJESTY'S HOPE is very gripping and I quite enjoyed it; this is the first time that I've read any of her books and she has written two previous novels with the Maggie Hope character. The book is self contained and full explanations are given when reference is made to the previous adventures.

Terry Halligan, August 2013.

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