With 1942 London during World War II as the backdrop another gruelling, exciting chapter in Maggie Hope's life emerges. Young women, SOE agents are disappearing and turning up as murder victims. Maggie Hope takes a particular interest in these missing women. Murdered in particulate gruesome fashion by someone labelled the 'Blackout Beast.' The murders seem to be building along a Jack the Ripper copycat trajectory. The problem is that it takes time for people to even realize these young women are missing. As is explained, with so many missing during the bombings, keeping track of people is not easy. Maggie needs to bring all her considerable spy craft and mathematical skills into play to track down this monster--if she can!
At the same time Maggie's half sister Elise Hess has been temporarily released from Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. Maggie is endeavouring to have her brought to England but Elise has very good reasons to resist.
Coincidentally Maggie feels that an agent in France has been compromised but no-one is willing to believe her, even when she points out the irregularities. And now two new agents are about to be dropped into France. Maggie fears for their safety.
So between all this happenings, we have one ripper of a yarn.
The entrance of Detective Chief Inspector James Durgin of Scotland Yard as a connection investigating the murders is very interesting--as is he. The reminders of early forensics are fascinating. The absence of computers to search fingerprints highlights for us in 2016 just how far this science has come and how the digital age has revolutionized this area in particular.
As one facet of Maggie's investigations is closed we are left with others hanging.
By the way Maggie has friends in very high places adding a certain piquancy to the mix.