Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy meets Agent Carter meets X-Men in this classic British espionage story where a young woman must go undercover and use her superpowers to discover a secret Nazi plot and stop an invasion of England.
In 1936, there are paranormal abilities that have slowly seeped into the world, brought to the surface by the suffering of the Great War. The research to weaponize these abilities in England has lagged behind Germany, but now it’s underway at an ultra-secret site called Monkton Hall.
Kim Tavistock, a woman with the talent of the spill—drawing out truths that people most wish to hide—is among the test subjects at the facility. When she wins the confidence of caseworker Owen Cherwell, she is recruited to a mission to expose the head of Monkton Hall—who is believed to be a German spy.
As she infiltrates the upper-crust circles of some of England’s fascist sympathizers, she encounters dangerous opponents, including the charismatic Nazi officer Erich von Ritter, and discovers a plan to invade England. No one believes an invasion of the island nation is possible, not Whitehall, not even England’s Secret Intelligence Service. Unfortunately, they are wrong, and only one woman, without connections or training, wielding her talent of the spill and her gift for espionage, can stop it.
Veteran SF/F author Kenyon turns to historical paranormal fantasy in this compelling recreation of an alternate 1936 Britain rife with espionage, intrigue, and moral ambiguities. Idealistic young journalist Kim Tavistock, raised in America but now settled into her father's stately home in Yorkshire, grapples with the suspicion that her father may be, like many of his aristocratic class, a Nazi sympathizer. King Edward will soon abandon the throne for "that woman," Wallis Simpson, who is herself dangerously close to Erich von Ritter, a character loosely based on the seductive real-life Nazi agent Joachim von Ribbentrop. Kenyon adds enormous fuel to this smoldering prewar scene with the bloom, a sudden appearance in 1918 of psychic talents affecting about one in 1,000 people. It's suggested that this manifestation was produced by the mass trauma of the Great War. Kim's psychic gift is spill, which causes others to reveal their deepest secrets to her. The Nazis are a decade ahead of the British in finding military uses for psychics, and Kim is drawn into a quixotic attempt to foil a Nazi plan for invading England, risking her heart and her life in the "tawdry, morally wretched" game of spying. Kenyon's finely tuned historical atmospherics and her sure-handed development of even minor characters make this novel a superb adventure, worthy to launch a distinguished historical fantasy series.