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The Queen's Accomplice is as engrossing as it is troubling
October 24, 2016
The Queen's Accomplice
A Maggie Hope Mystery
by Susan Elia MacNeal
Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 04 Oct 2016
The Queen's Accomplice is no light historical mystery that is easily read and forgotten. It is a chilling thriller that is pertinent today, despite being set during WWII. We would like to think we live in a more enlightened age, but the reality is that violence against women is all too prevalent. Sadly the speeches of certain politicians railing against women read much like the excerpt from Mein Kampf placed at the beginning of the novel.
During WWII, women had to take the jobs left empty by men fighting in the armed forces. Their work was essential, but that doesn't mean it was always appreciated. Susan MacNeal has done extensive research, and it shows clearly in her writing. Maggie Hope, though working for the SOE is seconded by MI-5 to assist in the search for a serial killer targeting professional women working for the SOE. The killer emulates Jack the Ripper, mirroring his brutal techniques.
The Queen's Accomplice draws many issues into the open that are as important today as they were at the time. Through challenging the Nazi vilification of the Jews, she challenges current vilification of various religious and ethnic groups. She challenges readers to question themselves - Would you sacrifice ideals, accept and even perform heinous acts if it meant comfort and survival for you, for your family? Would you do the "right" thing, even if it meant your suffering and death?
The Queen's Accomplice is as engrossing as it is troubling. It is a stark reminder of the problems facing women today as opposed to an opportunity for escapism. The Queen's Accomplice is not a cozy. What it is, however, is an amazing novel vividly depicting the experiences of women during WWII. Realism permeates throughout, making Maggie Hope and the other characters live and breathe. It is easy to forget that The Queen's Accomplice is fiction - a worthy accomplishment for any author.
I received a copy of The Queen's Accomplice from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Spy and code-breaker extraordinaire Maggie Hope returns to war-weary London, where she is thrust into the dangerous hunt for a monster, as the New York Timesbestselling mystery series for fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, and Anne Perry continues