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Death in focus
2019
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Summary
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
Trade Reviews
Booklist Review
Vacationing with her sister in pre-WWII Italy, photographer Elena Standish falls in love and impulsively accompanies her new boyfriend, Ian, to Paris, from where she will return home to England. Just before leaving, Elena finds a murder victim in her hotel, a tragedy that sets the stage for more deaths. En route to Paris by train, Ian is also killed, leaving Elena to deliver his dying-breath message, which will help foil a plan to frame Britain for the killing of a Nazi leader. Elena's many narrow escapes and Perry's immersive re-creation of Nazi-era Europe will keep readers enthralled by this series debut. The numerous characters working behind the scenes both for and against Elena her beloved grandfather, for example, who is the former head of MI6 are well drawn, but it is the smart, gritty heroine herself who will ensure that readers eagerly anticipate the next in the series. In the meantime, those looking for read-alikes could try some of Perry's WWI-set titles, such as No Graves as Yet (2003) and Shoulder the Sky (2004).--Henrietta Verma Copyright 2010 Booklist
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