“The Price of Silence” by Delores Gordon-Smith is available in hardback and also eBook. Published by Severn House Publishers and available for purchase.
A thrilling World War One spy story from the author of the acclaimed Jack Haldean series.
Working for the British Government as a secret agent, Anthony Brooke wants to expose the people responsible for blackmailing innocent people and gruesome murders. But when the gang plots a kidnap, Anthony finds himself in the race to reach the little girl before they do. However, Milly will not be easy to retrieve, for she is in a Belgian convent, in German-occupied territory.
To rescue her, Anthony must go behind enemy lines, crawl under the wire, face ruthless German guards and break into a convent. But, even if he can save her, what possible use could an orphan girl be to a violent gang? Anthony must find out soon, as countless more lives than just the little girl’s are in danger…
This is Dolores Gordon-Smith’s tribute to John Buchan and the Thirty Nine Steps, now celebrating its centenary. All references and similarities are intentional.
A story set in London in the main during World War I. Anthony Brooke is recruited to work for the British Intelligence Service. What begins as a murder enquiry takes a decidedly nasty turn, as a viscous blackmail plot is uncovered, as well as kidnapping. A perilous trip into Belgium to gather more information leads to more questions than answers.
A very enjoyable murder / mystery read, with the back drop of WWI. It includes mentions of how lives have been changed, the living conditions, the economic climate and the suffering, not just here but also in Europe and especially in Belgium. This was a section I found really interesting, how the lives of people are touched by war. As women are leaving paid service as maids, cooks, cleaners etc to work in factories, particularly the munitions factories, it show the change in the social side of the country. Better wages for factory jobs, also better working hours with more time off. This is not the view of all, the old stalwarts who remain in service see this as a lack of respect and loyalty.
The plot has been cleverly thought out and put together and twisted around actual historical figures and events, the author has let her imagination well in this respect. It has a very convincing and mysterious plot with many twists and turns. I did like the characters and found them memorable quickly, even when the plot caused them to change their names for undercover work. It is set at a very good pace than is consistent throughout. The descriptions of settings had been executed to a good standard giving a good insight into the various locations.
As I read this I had a sense of Agatha Christie’s Captain Hastings in Anthony Brooke, not exactly the same but similar in some instances. It also had a similar feel and structure to it, and came across as very logical, a sleuthing mystery. I did see that this is the authors tribute to John Buchan’s; 39 Steps, but it was many years ago that I read that book, so I cannot comment on this.
I would recommend this book to readers who like a period crime / mystery read. Some good historical elements, characters, plot and well written. This is my first meeting with this author and it will not be my last.
I wish to express my thanks to Severn House Publishing, Delores Gordon-Smith and NetGalley for approving my copy of this eARC. My views expressed are my own and are unbiased.
- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Severn House Publishers Ltd; First World Publication ed. edition (10 July 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0727887262
- ISBN-13: 978-0727887269
- Amazon UK
- Amazon US
About The Author:
I live in a small town near Manchester with my husband, five children, three cats and two dogs. I’ve always been fascinated by the Twenties.
The four years of the First World War had ripped away the old securities and expectations and, when it was over, things were never the same again. Everything changed, from politics to fashions. Skirts rose to the knee and women cropped, bobbed or shingled their hair. Music took a new direction; listen to the clarinet solo of Rhapsody in Blue, the urbane, polished sophistication of Cole Porter and Noel Coward, the wistful longing of Jerome Kern and the “crazy rhythm” of Jazz.
Popular fiction (Agatha Christie, P.G. Wodehouse and Dorothy L. Sayers are three of my favourites) reflected the new age. The classic detective story, where an ordered world is plunged into chaos and then re-invented, is the perfect vehicle to celebrate the energy of this brave new world.
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