Death in Focus by Anne Perry

In 1933 Hitler and the Nazi party are on the rise in Germany. In Berlin, a city filled with fear and distrust, Elena Standish finds herself alone and under suspicion in the wake of the assassination of a prominent Nazi. In order to save herself and protect what is most important to her she must learn just how resourceful and courageous she can be. 

This story kept me enthralled from beginning to end. The plot, the setting, the characters…are all powerful, intricate and gripping. The plot weaves several storylines together in order to give you a sense of the political strain of the times, and the personal struggles of the characters. The character’s relationships and motivations are well-established, and the potential for further story lines appears endless. Elena and the Standish family makes compelling characters. I found Elena to be undeniably intelligent, shrewd, sensitive, and caring. I look forward to reading more of her story.

The setting and the distinct period detail bring one of history’s most crucial eras to life. Much of Europe could not forget the anxiety and the pain provoked by WWI, some feared the potential for a new war in it’s wake, and many would do whatever it took to stop it.  The writing and language are help to evoke to time and the sense of place. You feel almost languid along with Elena and her sister Margot in Amalfi, then as you move to the unrest of Berlin you can sense the disorder, the frenzy, and the fear. 

This is an intense story that I thoroughly enjoyed. Knowing this to be the first in a series, I am really looking forward to what comes next!

My thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine for the advance copy of this book for my review.

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