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Can a stolen violin lead secret agent and spy Maggie Hope to a serial killer terrorizing London? Find out as the acclaimed World War II mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Susan Elia MacNeal continues.
“A wartime mystery to sink your teeth into.”—Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Huntress
Maggie Hope started out as Winston Churchill’s secretary, but now she’s a secret agent—and the only one who can figure out how the missing violin ties into a series of horrifying murders.
London, December 1943. As the Russian army repels German forces from Stalingrad, Maggie Hope takes a much-needed break from spying to defuse bombs in London. But Maggie herself is an explosion waiting to happen. Traumatized by her past, she finds herself living dangerously—taking huge risks, smoking, drinking, and speeding through the city streets on a motorbike. The last thing she wants is to get entangled in another crime.
But when she’s called upon to look into the theft of a Stradivarius, one of the finest violins ever made, Maggie can’t resist. Meanwhile, there’s a serial killer on the loose in London, targeting conscientious objectors. Little does Maggie know that investigating this dangerous predator will pit her against a new evil—and old enemies. Only Maggie can uncover the connection between the robbery, the murders, and a link to her own past.
Set in war-torn London, bestseller MacNeal's tantalizing ninth Maggie Hope mystery (after 2018's The Prisoner in the Castle) finds Maggie helping conscientious objectors diffuse unexploded bombs. In December 1942, Maggie attends the sentencing of the serial killer known as the Blackout Beast, who once held her captive. In March 1943, just days before the killer is due to be executed, a suitcase containing human bones and a white feather is found floating in the Thames. As more suitcases with bones are discovered, it's obvious that another serial killer is at work. Maggie wants no part of the investigation, but the victims may well be her friends on the bomb squad. When the Blackout Beast presents her with a proposal a pardon from the king in exchange for the new serial killer's identity Maggie sets out to catch the killer before she has to accept his offer. Vivid descriptions of devastated London and distinctive, emotionally flawed characters enhance a plot that builds to a wicked twist. This enjoyable effort will inspire those new to MacNeal to seek out earlier entries.