Thursday, July 10, 2008

REVIEW: An Incomplete Revenge

Title: An Incomplete Revenge
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Protagonist: Maisie Dobbs
Setting: Kent, England, 1931
Series: #5
Rating: A

First Line: The old woman rested on the steps of her home, a caravan set apart from those of the rest of her family, her tribe.

Businessman James Compton wants to buy an estate in the village of Heronsdene in Kent but hesitates after learning of a rash of mysterious fires. He hires Maisie to investigate. After meeting the current landowner, Londoners and a band of gypsies who are all there to harvest hops, Maisie soon learns that Compton was right to be suspicious. There's something else going on, too: the locals are very tight-lipped about a Zeppelin raid that killed an entire family in the village. It takes all of Maisie's skill to get to the bottom of it all.

I enjoy this series, not just for the characters and the twists and turns of the plot, but for the glimpse into the lives of the British in the years after World War I. The "War to End All Wars" wrecked havoc all over the nation, changing forever the way people viewed themselves, others, and the world around them. Winspear does a marvelous job weaving all these threads together in a series of books that enduce you to keep turning the pages.

Being a psychologist as well as an investigator helps Maisie with her investigations. Her experiences as a casualty clearing station nurse in France and all of her training give her insight into how to get answers to her questions. I had deciphered many of the clues in the book as I read, but the ending still had an impact. Human beings are indeed the most dangerous, and gullible, creatures on the planet.

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