cover image Angels in the Gloom

Angels in the Gloom

Anne Perry. Ballantine Books, $25.95 (337pp) ISBN 978-0-345-45656-4

This powerful and intense third novel in Perry's WWI series (after 2004's Shoulder the Sky) continues the Reavley family's anguished search for the ""Peacemaker,"" a shadowy figure responsible for their parents' murders two years earlier, and now intent on Anglo-German world domination as a means toward world peace. After Chaplain Joseph Reavley is badly wounded in Flanders attempting to rescue fellow Brits under fire, he returns home to bucolic St. Giles for rehabilitation, but finds the village consumed by issues raised by the war. Perry's deeply held antiwar feelings are again apparent in this moving story in which ""the searing scarlet of grief"" destroys families of loved ones lost in the service, and the local vicar questions fundamental beliefs in the wake of mounting casualties. When Theo Blaine, a scientist working on a secret weapon to end the war, is mysteriously slain, the town is torn apart by fears of a spy in their midst. Joseph's brother, Matthew, an intelligence expert, must work with seductive Irish double agent Detta Hannassey to determine the extent of Germany's knowledge of Britain's war strategies, despite his revulsion for her duplicity. A climactic U-boat hunt and naval battle conclude this stirring work.