In the start of an all-new mystery series set in pre–World War II Europe, an intrepid young photographer carries her dead lover’s final, world-shattering message into the heart of Berlin as Hitler ascends to power.
“Thrilling . . . reminiscent of works by Eric Ambler and Graham Greene.”—The Wall Street Journal
On vacation from London on the beautiful Italian coast, twenty-eight-year-old Elena Standish and her older sister, Margot, have finally been able to move on from the lasting trauma of the Great War, in which the newly married Margot lost her husband and the sisters their beloved brother. Touring with her camera in hand, Elena has found new inspiration in the striking Italian landscape, and she’s met an equally striking man named Ian. When Ian has to leave unexpectedly, Elena—usually the more practical of the sisters—finds she’s not ready to part from him, and the two share a spontaneous train trip home to England. But a shocking sequence of events disrupts their itinerary, forcing Elena to personally deliver a message to Berlin on Ian’s behalf, one that could change the fate of Europe.
Back home, Elena’s diplomat father and her secretive grandfather—once head of MI6, unbeknownst to his family—are involved in their own international machinations. Worried when Elena still hasn’t returned from Italy, her grandfather starts to connect the dots between her change in plans and an incident in Berlin, where Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich are on the rise. It seems the message Elena delivered has forced her into a dangerous predicament, and her grandfather’s old contacts from MI6 may be the only people who can get her out alive—if Elena can tell the difference between her allies and her enemies.
New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry merges family secrets with suspense on the world stage, as darkness bubbles under the surface of a Europe on the brink of change. In these complicated times, Elena emerges as a strong new heroine who learns quickly that when nothing is certain, she can rely only on herself.
Advance praise for Death in Focus
“Masterful! It’s exceedingly rare for an author to have the talent to blend classic elements of a thriller with compelling family dynamics and geopolitical intrigue, but Anne Perry pulls it off like the consummate pro that she is. And, on top of all that, Death in Focus is written in her unique literary voice. I guarantee you’ll love Elena Standish. Brava!” —Jeffery Deaver, author of The Never Game
In 1933, British photographer Elena Standish, the heroine of this promising series launch from bestseller Perry (the William Monk series), travels to Amalfi, Italy, to take pictures of delegates to an economic conference. One night at her hotel, Elena and a fellow countryman she meets on the trip, Ian Newton, investigate after hearing a maid cry out. The maid has found a man's body in a hotel room. Elena is skeptical when Ian, who says he's a sometime economic journalist, nervously denies he knows the murdered man. Nonetheless, she finds herself falling for Ian, and when he gets an urgent summons to leave Amalfi, she agrees to accompany him on part of his journey. After violence strikes again, Ian reveals that he works for MI6 and he's trying to prevent the murder of a German admiral in Berlin, a crime the plotters hope to pin on the British. Circumstances compel Elena to take an active role in his mission. Readers will root for the forceful, independent Elena, who will appeal to Maisie Dobbs fans. Perry knows how to ratchet up the international intrigue.