If Necessary Alone

V.M. Knox. Book Reality Experience, $14.99 trade paper (324p) ISBN 978-0-6485920-3-7

Set during WWII, Knox’s impressive sequel to 2019’s In Spite of All Terror presents Clement Wisdom—who was an ordinary, happily married vicar in rural East Sussex for more than 20 years before he was recruited to serve as an intelligence operative—with a new mission. The Special Duties Branch operative in Caithness, Scotland, a highly sensitive area housing an air force base and naval radar station, has detected unexpected radio transmissions, possibly sent to Germany by a British traitor. Wisdom agrees to travel to the area to identify the source of the messages, posing as the new minister for one of the Orkney Islands. Soon after his arrival, he learns a secret about his main contact in the region, the local postmistress, and has a murder to solve, apparently connected with the enemy spy. The plot twists are both surprising and plausible, building toward a satisfying climax, and the lead, whose two professional obligations are often in conflict, is more than capable of sustaining a long series. Grantchester and Maisie Dobbs fans will be enthralled. (Self-published)
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