His Majesty’s Hope by Susan Elia MacNeal

His Majesty's Hope by Susan Elia MacNeal Purchase:

    This was a very thought provoking and hard hitting novel. It was intensely emotional and wildly revealing. 

    For fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Laurie R. King, and Anne Perry, whip-smart heroine Maggie Hope returns to embark on a clandestine mission behind enemy lines where no one can be trusted, and even the smallest indiscretion can be deadly.

    World War II has finally come home to Britain, but it takes more than nightly air raids to rattle intrepid spy and expert code breaker Maggie Hope. After serving as a secret agent to protect Princess Elizabeth at Windsor Castle, Maggie is now an elite member of the Special Operations Executive–a black ops organization designed to aid the British effort abroad–and her first assignment sends her straight into Nazi-controlled Berlin, the very heart of the German war machine.

    Relying on her quick wit and keen instincts, Maggie infiltrates the highest level of Berlin society, gathering information to pass on to London headquarters. But the secrets she unveils will expose a darker, more dangerous side of the war–and of her own past.

    Review by Pure Jonel:

    Susan Elia Macneal
    Susan Elia Macneal

    This was a very thought provoking and hard hitting novel. It was intensely emotional and wildly revealing. MacNeal didn’t mince words when it came to the atrocities committed, nor about the consequences faced by those who opposed. This is all wrapped up in a very unique and captivating package. MacNeal’s story is exciting and suspenseful, while raw, real, and completely honest.

    I loved the main cast of this novel. Not only were they well developed and easy to like, but they stood for what they believed in against all odds. Although this is the 3rd novel in the series, MacNeal develops the characters in such a way that you get to know them in and of this novel itself.

    This was my first novel by this author, and by default, my first in this series. I thoroughly enjoyed her writing style and will be looking further into her work in the future.

    Review by Book Lover:

    His Majesty’s Hope is the third in a new historical mystery series by Susan Elia MacNeal. The protagonist, Maggie Hope, a young, intelligent mathematician, is now training to be a spy in Britain’s SOE (Special Operations Executive), an elite force, during WWII.

    Maggie has a complicated personal life – her mother abandoned her when she was very young and she has just recently discovered that the father she thought was dead is very much alive and working for the British government. Her pilot fiance is missing and presumed dead; one of her closest friends is a closet homosexual who is being pressured by his parents to marry a Jewish girl; and she and a fellow spy are attracted to each other and involved in a relationship. Definitely no lack of excitement on the home front.

    Maggie’s first assignment is to parachute behind enemy lines into Nazi controlled Berlin. Her mission is to take radio crystals to a member of the German resistance, and to plant a bug in the office of a high-ranking Nazi official. With this accomplished, Maggie discovers an opportunity to stay in Berlin longer than her original four day mission to gain additional information on another high-ranking official.

    She makes this decision without approval from the SOE and with the disapproval of her German resistance contact. There are many surprises in store for Maggie, and before her mission is complete, she receives help from unexpected places. Even with the mission complete, there are more complications back in Britain. As in real life, the lives of the characters don’t always turn out the way they want, and they must deal with the consequences of their decisions.

    I had the first book of this series on my Wishlist to read, as it won a 2013 Edgar for Best First Novel. So I couldn’t turn down an opportunity to review the third novel. From the beginning, I enjoyed this book. It pulled me in right away, and although I was lacking some background, the author supplied enough so I did not feel as though I were missing anything. It is an easy read, and the author’s style makes the story flow very well. I couldn’t put it down, and finished it in a day.

    There is plenty of excitement and there are many twists in the plot, but unfortunately some plot points seemed a little too coincidental to be believable. However, in my opinion, the coincidence does not take too much away from the overall book. It was very apparent that the author had thoroughly researched WWII and I think she gave a very realistic account of what life might have been like in Berlin and London during the war.

    Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It is not a perfect book by any means, but the characters are likeable and the story is interesting and keeps your attention. I will definitely go back and read the first two books of the series, and this will definitely be a series that I will be waiting for the author to finish the next book.