Friday, September 25, 2015

Quick Review: The Angel Court Affair, by Anne Perry

Ballantine Books
March 2015, 288 pages

Commander Thomas Pitt receives his orders from Special Branch: he's to protect a controversial young visitor from Spain -- Sofia Delacruz. The young woman has come to England to preach a revolutionary gospel of love and forgiveness that some find blasphemous, even though her followers think of her as a candidate for sainthood.

Sofia has had threats against her life, and Special Branch is anxious to keep her and her entourage safe from harm while they're in England. When she disappears in the dead of night from Angel Court (her "safe house" in the city), and two of her female companions are murdered, Pitt is faced with a dangerous mystery and senses that the supposed kidnapping may be more complicated than it seems. Everyone close to the young woman seems to be hiding something, and Commander Pitt wonders if any of them are to be trusted. Can he find out what has happened to Sofia, and solve the mystery of who's trying to silence her without setting off an international incident? And what influence will this assignment have on his relationship with his wife and children?

I ended up enjoying this book quite a lot, but had some trouble getting into it at the beginning. This was the first "Thomas Pitt" novel I've read, so I'm assuming that at least part of the problem was just that I was (once again) diving into a long-running series without having read any of the earlier entries.  But even if I'd been more familiar with the books, I believe the first half of this one would still seem to drag by much too slowly, with a lot of talking about what MIGHT happen and what HAD happened before the story started. Certainly a lot of discussion going on. But the second half turned out to be wonderfully plotted, fast-moving, and kept me glued to my seat! (So to speak.) Overall, I'd say it was mostly very successful.

This is the 30th novel in this terrifically popular series, and I'm definitely going to try reading some of the earlier books. I have a feeling Anne Perry is likely to become one of my favorite writers.

Note: I received my copy of this book from the publisher, free of charge, through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program. No other compensation was received.

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