MYSTERY

The King’s Justice

Bantam. (Maggie Hope, Bk. 9). Feb. 2020. 368p. ISBN 9780399593840. $27. M
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Taking her old boss Winston Churchill’s advice that “a change is as good as a rest,” former spy Maggie Hope leaves the Special Operations Executive and begins working for the “suicide squad,” a ragtag group of volunteers who defuse the unexploded bombs left behind in London by the Luftwaffe during the Blitz. However, when a new sequential murderer begins targeting conscientious objectors, some of whom work alongside Maggie, and a Stradivarius violin is stolen, Maggie once again finds herself working with DCI James Durgin on two different investigations even as justice is being served in the Blackout Beast murder case, in which the two were formerly involved. With the ninth stellar entry in her “Maggie Hope” series (after The Prisoner in the Castle), MacNeal once again seamlessly fuses superbly rendered characters, an expertly evoked setting rich with fascinating period details, and a riveting plot to offer up a thoughtful meditation on the subject of good and evil in society.
VERDICT Irresistibly readable and brilliantly crafted, this is a story both historical mystery and fiction fans will adore. [See Prepub Alert, 8/19/19.]

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