I requested this title because it intrigued me and the cover illustration is wonderful. (Yes, I sometimes choose a book by its cover.) For those who love historical mysteries, I recommend starting with the first book in the series although THE PRISONER IN THE CASTLE can be read as a stand-alone. The Prisoner in the Castle is the eighth and latest installment in the Maggie Hope series.
FIRST SENTENCE: "Always remember when you're on the run, instinct will take over - and if you're not careful, you'll become nothing more than an animal."
THE STORY: Set in WWII, Maggie Hope is a British secret agent who has been banished to a remote Scottish island with a handful of other SOE (Special Operations Executive) prisoners. Killoch Castle, a large and ugly 1900 shooting lodge has become their home. Prohibited from letting friends and family know where they are, boredom reigns until a huge winter storm approaches and people begin to die.
WHAT I THOUGHT: I always mean to read during dialysis but often find myself watching television or wasting time on social media so it took me a few days to commit to involving myself in The Prisoner in the Castle. After recently swearing off more violent stories, reading a tribute to Agatha Christie was such a change. Murders happen but the puzzle is the emphasis.
The opening chapter gets your heart racing before introducing Maggie into the story.
I loved the remote Scottish island, the quirky characters, and the historical tidbits that flesh out the story. Although written in the third person Maggie's thoughts are scattered throughout endearing her to the reader.
Mick Wiggins is responsible for the amazing cover for this book. He has captured the character of Maggie and her situation in a beautiful rendition of despair and cold.
BOTTOM LINE: If asked, I never say I read historical fiction although I have made many exceptions. Susan Elia MacNeal is a great storyteller. Definitely recommended but start with the first book in the series!
Publisher: Bantam (August 7, 2018)
DISCLAIMER: I received a free e-copy of The Prisoner in the Castle by Susan Elia MacNeal from NetGalley/Bantam for my honest review.
Susan Elia MacNeal is an American author, best known for her Maggie Hope mystery series of novels, which are set during World War II, mainly in London, England. (Wikipedia)